Sunday, April 12, 2009

Rays Lose 2 out of 3 vs. Orioles...Prepare for Home Opener vs. Yankees

The Tampa Bay Rays salvaged the last game of a 3 game series at Baltimore against the Orioles to get back to .500 (3-3) on the year. Evan Longoria continues to kill AL East pitching, by hitting his 5th homer in 6 games and raising his batting average to .481 in the young season. Now the Rays head back to Tampa for their home opener in a 3 game series against the New York Yankees. Tampa also gets great news when they get back, BJ Upton, Tampa's October hero last year during the playoffs (7 bombs hit during the playoffs last year), comes off the DL and will fit perfectly into this lineup. You throw him back into this lineup with Carl Crawford and Longoria - this team might try to do the unthinkable - compete for the AL East crown...AGAIN!!

Monday, April 13th

NYY Chien-Ming Wang (0-1, 17.18) In Wang's season debut - he was rocked by the O's. He gave up 9 hits and 7 runs in 3 2/3 innings pitched in his first outing since season ending surgery last June. The good sign is that Wang is 1-0 in two starts last year with a 0.69 ERA against the Rays last year.


TPA Scott Kazmir (1-0, 1.50)
Kazmir has never been an efficient pitcher, but he is dominant in the innings he pitches. Kazmir went 6 innings and threw 111 pitches in 6 innings in his season debut at Fenway. He allowed one run on 5 hits and picked up the win. The guy is money on the mound, but rarely can go more than 6 innings because of his inefficiency. In my opinion, the Rays would be an even better ball club by putting David Price in the rotation and make Kazmir the closer...he would be the new Billy Wagner...and Billy was the most dominant left handed closer in baseball for years.

*Tuesday, April 14th - This game might be the best of the series

NYY AJ Burnett (1-0, 3.38) Burnett won his Yankee debut with a win over the O's, but he was disappointed with only lasting 5 1/3 innings. I have a feeling he will be very good on Tuesday night. Burnett is 27-8 in 46 career starts against AL East foes and the last time he faced Tampa, Burnett went 7 innings, allowing only 3 hits and 1 run in a win for Toronto.


TPA Matt Garza (1-0, 1.29) Garza won his season debut against the Red Sox and also showed why he has the best stuff on the staff. His fastball sets up his breaking ball and changeup, and if he can figure out how to pitch deep into games when one of his pitches isn't working...this guy will be the ace of the Rays for years to come. Garza is 7-3 in 15 career starts at Tropicana Field with a 2.89 ERA.

Wednesday, April 15th

NYY Andy Pettitte (1-0, 1.29) Pettitte went 7 innings in his win over the Kansas City Royals in his season debut, and only allowed 1 run while striking out 6. In his career vs. Tampa, Andy is 15-4 with a 3.63ERA.


TPA Andy Sonnanstine (0-1, 9.64) Sonnanstine went 4 2/3 vs. the Orioles in his season debut, giving up 5 runs on 8 hits. Not a good start when phenom David Price is lurking down at Triple A. Andy is 2-1 with a 6.08 ERA in his career vs. the Yankees. This is going to be a tough game to win for the Rays on Wednesday.

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