|BALTIMORE ( TILLMAN )|
TAMPA BAY ( HELLICKSON )
|977||BALTIMORE||-105||Ov 7.5,+100||-105||Ov 7.5,+110|
|978||TAMPA BAY||-105||Un 7.5,-120||-105||Un 7.5,-130|
|vs Right-handed Starters||66-50||+25.9||51-60||4.6||0.249||0.307||4.3||0.254||0.314|
|Past 7 Games||5-2||+2.6||3-3||5.0||0.241||0.289||2.6||0.205||0.250|
|vs Right-handed Starters||62-49||+0.8||41-66||4.3||0.239||0.310||3.5||0.230||0.289|
|Past 7 Games||5-2||+2.6||3-4||4.1||0.209||0.302||2.4||0.181||0.250|
|9/19/2012||SAUNDERS(L)||@ SEATTLE||HERNANDEZ(R)||3-1||W||145||6.5 ev||U||8||6||0||8||8||1|
|9/21/2012||GONZALEZ(R)||@ BOSTON||LESTER(L)||4-2||W||100||8 ov||U||10||7||0||8||7||0|
|9/22/2012||WOLF(L)||@ BOSTON||COOK(R)||9-6||W||-115||9.5 ev||O||15||10||1||13||10||1|
|9/23/2012||TILLMAN(R)||@ BOSTON||DOUBRONT(L)||1-2||L||-130||9 un||U||6||8||1||9||8||0|
|10/1/2012||CHEN(L)||@ TAMPA BAY||COBB(R)||3-5||L||130||7.5 ov||O||6||5||1||7||5||1|
|10/2/2012||GONZALEZ(R)||@ TAMPA BAY||SHIELDS(R)||1-0||W||130||7.5 un||U||2||1||0||2||5||0|
|10/3/2012||TILLMAN(R)||@ TAMPA BAY||HELLICKSON(R)|| |
|9/25/2012||PRICE(L)||@ BOSTON||BUCHHOLZ(R)||5-2||W||-160||8 ev||U||11||8||1||7||3||1|
|9/26/2012||COBB(R)||@ BOSTON||LESTER(L)||4-2||W||-130||9 un||U||8||5||0||4||6||0|
|9/27/2012||SHIELDS(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||PEAVY(R)||3-2||W||-115||8 un||U||5||3||0||8||10||0|
|9/28/2012||HELLICKSON(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||FLOYD(R)||1-3||L||-115||8 ev||U||3||8||1||10||7||0|
|9/29/2012||MOORE(L)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||SALE(L)||10-4||W||110||7.5 un||O||13||10||0||4||4||1|
|9/30/2012||PRICE(L)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||QUINTANA(L)||6-2||W||-165||7.5 ev||O||9||8||0||5||5||0|
|BALTIMORE: HITTING: The leadoff spot is 2B BRIAN ROBERTS' if he can stay on the field. His recent injury history is very troubling, though his talent makes him a risk worth taking. 2B ROBERT ANDINO and 2B RYAN ADAMS would compete for time if Roberts is out. The O's best hitter last year was arguably SS J.J. HARDY. He was healthy for the first time in years and flexed his legit 30-HR power. If Roberts and Hardy stay healthy, OF NICK MARKAKIS will likely hit third and see an increase in RBI chances. OF ADAM JONES seems to have the highest ceiling of any Baltimore hitter. 3B MARK REYNOLDS will probably end up at 1B. His horrendous average cancels out some of his 40-HR potential. OF NOLAN REIMOLD revived his MLB career with an impressive end of the season. He's got a shot to start in left. 1B CHRIS DAVIS is a candidate to start at first, third or DH as sort of a Junior Mark Reynolds. C MATT WIETERS is already one of the best two-way backstops in baseball at age 25. |
STARTING PITCHING: WEI-YIN CHEN pitched well enough in Japan (2.48 ERA, 1.06 WHIP in past four seasons) to become the de-facto ace of this horrible pitching staff. JAKE ARRIETA is a mediocre talent, but is good enough to secure a spot as a Baltimore starter. JASON HAMMEL hopes the switch from Coors Field will help lower his career ERA of 4.99. The highest-risk, highest-potential O's pitcher may be BRIAN MATUSZ. His 2011 line is frightening (10.69 ERA, 2.11 WHIP), but he has the raw skills and pitch repertoire to turn it around. TOMMY HUNTER came over from Texas midseason and should round out the rotation.
RELIEF PITCHING: There was talk of JIM JOHNSON being converted into a starter, but he'll open the season as the team's closer. Johnson established himself as the O's best option to close after going 7-for-7 in that role last September. KEVIN GREGG would step in as the ninth-inning man if Johnson falters. He was unstable in that role last year. Gregg is a trade candidate this midseason, in which case he'd probably end up a set-up man elsewhere. Flame-throwing MATT LINDSTROM is a darkhorse for saves. He saved 23 games for Houston in 2010 before being used as a set-up man in Colorado last year. TSUYOSHI WADA brings his finesse game from Japan. He's a heady hurler who hides the ball well, but he's in for a rude awakening in the A.L. East. BRAD BERGESEN and CHRIS JAKUBAUSKAS are long relievers who may get bumped into the rotation if the young Baltimore SPs struggle again.
|TAMPA BAY: HITTING: OF DESMOND JENNINGS' on-base skills will lead to tons of runs and SBs despite his mediocre batting average. 2B BEN ZOBRIST bounced back from a disappointing 2010, and will continue to produce near the top of the batting order. Though a series of nagging injuries plagued his 2011 season, 3B EVAN LONGORIA slugged 17 HR in his last 53 games. Fully healthy this season, he'll be an elite power-hitter with double-digit SB potential. OF B.J. UPTON's days in Tampa may be numbered. He's an elite athlete, but he just might lose his head if he's traded into a tough situation. After a hot start, OF MATT JOYCE settled in as the productive hitter he is. He should get to play every day in right field. SSs SEAN RODRIGUEZ and REID BRIGNAC will battle for ABs but neither hits on a consistent basis. C JOSE MOLINA was acquired for his defense much more than his hitting. DH LUKE SCOTT can also play some 1B when slugger CARLOS PENA, who is returning to Tampa after hitting 28 homers for the Cubs in 2011, needs a rest. |
STARTING PITCHING: DAVID PRICE was a little more hittable than in 2010, but he increased his already-high strikeout rate while cutting back on walks. His win total should rise from a disappointing 12 last year. JAMES SHIELDS put his 2010 disaster season behind him and became a Cy Young candidate. His peripheral stats and skills weren't all that different the past two years, it was a big swing of luck. Some people are putting out the Bust Alert on Rookie of the Year JEREMY HELLICKSON. He had the league's luckiest batting average on balls in play (.217), but he improved as last season progressed. MATT MOORE may be this year's R.O.Y. after a dominant late-season call up. He'll be among the league leaders in strikeouts for years to come. WADE DAVIS is a mediocre pitcher who eats innings at the back of the rotation.
RELIEF PITCHING: KYLE FARNSWORTH looked as strong as he has in years, converting 25 of 31 saves in his first season with the Rays. He's the closer again this year, but it won't take much for him to lose that job after an unsteady last third of the 2011 season. JOEL PERALTA may overtake Farnsworth for ninth-inning duties at some point this season. Peralta was 5-for-5 on saves in September when Farnsworth was hurt, and gave up only one run in his final 21.3 innings. Possible future closer JAKE McGEE progressed nicely after a tough start to 2011. He's got potentially lethal stuff. Former Angels hurler FERNANDO RODNEY is looking to bounce back after a wild season (28 walks, 26 strikeouts in 32 IP).
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER AL PREVIEW (BALTIMORE-TAMPA BAY) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Orioles-Rays Preview* ======================
By JON PALMIERI STATS Editor
Baltimore (92-68) at Tampa Bay (89-71), 7:10 p.m. EDT
The Baltimore Orioles have done just about all they can to stay in contention for the AL East title.
Their efforts still may not be enough, but being home for the wild-card game isn't the worst consolation.
With a division title still a possibility, the Orioles hope to win their regular-season finale Wednesday night against the Tampa Bay Rays and at least secure home-field advantage for the wild-card game.
Baltimore continued its improbable season Tuesday with a 1-0 victory over the Rays to remain one game behind the East-leading Yankees. Although they managed only two hits and struck out 15 times against James Shields, the Orioles (93-68) got another homer from Chris Davis to win for the 12th time in 16 games.
A one-game tiebreaker for the division title Thursday at Camden Yards would be the result if the Orioles win and the Yankees lose to Boston. Wins by both New York and Baltimore would send the Orioles home for the wild-card playoff Friday against the loser of Wednesday's Texas-Oakland matchup.
"We're not supposed to be here. So just go out and have fun and see what happens," closer Jim Johnson said after recording his major league-best 51st save.
Davis joined Reggie Jackson (1976) as the only players in team history to homer in six straight games. He has seven home runs and 13 RBIs during that span.
"It kind of blows my mind to even be mentioned in the same breath as Reggie, but it's more about the win than anything else," Davis said. "I'm kind of glad to be the guy that's coming through in this situation, but as long as we get the win I don't care."
Baltimore hasn't done much offensively in this series, totaling four runs and eight hits while striking out 25 times. But it has hit three home runs, increasing its total to 17 in the last six games.
As part of the Orioles' unheralded rotation, Chris Tillman (9-2, 2.78 ERA) has played the role of ace over the past three months.
One of many reasons for the team's stunning turnaround from 93 losses in 2011, Tillman has already exceeded the seven games he won in 36 starts over his previous three major league seasons.
He was outstanding again Friday in a 9-1 win over Boston, yielding one hit - a bunt single to the game's first batter - and one unearned run over eight innings. The right-hander walked two, struck out four and retired the final 14 batters he faced.
"I feel like I'm confident in my delivery, and when you have confidence in that, things will play out well for you," Tillman said. "I just got to take it pitch-by-pitch and not get too worried about the next inning or the next game."
Tillman pitched six strong innings in a 6-2 win over the Rays (89-72) on July 26 after going 0-2 with a 5.06 ERA in his first five starts against them.
Tuesday's loss was only the Rays' second in 13 games overall but their sixth in the last seven meetings with the Orioles. Tampa Bay has scored 11 runs and batted .185 in those seven contests.
Jeremy Hellickson (9-11, 3.20) will try to help the Rays reach 90 wins for the third consecutive season when he faces Baltimore for the sixth time this year.
The right-hander is 1-2 in those matchups despite posting a 2.83 ERA. He tossed five scoreless innings at Camden Yards on Sept. 13 before Tampa Bay lost in 14 innings.
Hellickson has been unable to pitch deep into games lately, going four straight starts without completing six innings. He gave up three runs and a season high-tying nine hits over 5 2-3 frames during a 3-1 loss to the White Sox on Friday.
|Last Updated: 4/25/2017 5:25:53 PM EST|