|BALTIMORE ( GONZALEZ )|
TAMPA BAY ( HERNANDEZ )
|963||BALTIMORE||+115||Ov 8,-110||+100||Ov 8,+110|
|964||TAMPA BAY||-125||Un 8,-110||-110||Un 8,-130|
|vs Right-handed Starters||0-1||-1||1-0||7.0||0.306||0.342||8.0||0.400||0.400|
|Past 7 Games||1-1||+0.5||2-0||7.0||0.324||0.375||6.0||0.308||0.318|
|vs Right-handed Starters||0-1||-1.6||1-0||4.0||0.200||0.226||7.0||0.342||0.405|
|Past 7 Games||1-1||-0.6||2-0||6.0||0.308||0.318||7.0||0.324||0.375|
|4/2/2013||HAMMEL(R)||@ TAMPA BAY||PRICE(L)||7-4||W||150||7 un||O||13||8||1||6||2||0|
|4/3/2013||CHEN(L)||@ TAMPA BAY||HELLICKSON(R)||7-8||L||125||7 ov||O||11||5||0||14||3||0|
|4/4/2013||GONZALEZ(R)||@ TAMPA BAY||HERNANDEZ(R)|| |
|4/5/2013|| ||MINNESOTA|| || |
|4/6/2013|| ||MINNESOTA|| || |
|4/7/2013|| ||MINNESOTA|| || |
|4/8/2013|| ||@ BOSTON|| || |
|4/10/2013|| ||@ BOSTON|| || |
|4/11/2013|| ||@ BOSTON|| || |
|4/5/2013|| ||CLEVELAND|| || |
|4/6/2013|| ||CLEVELAND|| || |
|4/7/2013|| ||CLEVELAND|| || |
|4/8/2013|| ||@ TEXAS|| || |
|4/9/2013|| ||@ TEXAS|| || |
|4/10/2013|| ||@ TEXAS|| || |
|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 JEFF MEZYDLO STATS Senior Writer
Baltimore (1-0) at Tampa Bay (0-1), 3:10 p.m. EDT
The Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles have the look of two teams again poised to contend for the postseason in 2013.
After the Rays won in dramatic fashion to even the series, the teams conclude their entertaining set Thursday at Tropicana Field.
Baltimore overcame a one-run deficit with five runs in the seventh inning of Tuesday's 7-4 season-opening victory over Tampa Bay. The Orioles blew a 4-0 lead Wednesday then tied it in the ninth before Matt Joyce homered in the bottom of the frame to give the Rays an 8-7 win.
"It was entertaining for most people here," Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. "Didn't like the way it ended, but good things happened. We'll dwell on those.
"I liked the way our guys kept fighting back."
Both clubs hope to sustain the same kind of fight that helped generate success in 2012.
Baltimore snapped a string of 14 straight losing seasons by winning 93 games and earning an AL wild-card spot while Tampa Bay won at least 90 games for a third consecutive season despite falling short of its third straight postseason appearance.
"To get the first win out of the way, and to have it in dramatic fashion kind of seems to be the Rays way," said Joyce, who was 1 for 14 with five strikeouts in his previous six games versus Baltimore before going 2 for 2 on Wednesday.
"We're going to have fun this year."
Ben Zobrist added two more hits and two more RBIs, giving him four of each in the first two games. Teammate Desmond Jennings is 4 for 8 with two doubles.
Tampa Bay prevailed despite closer Fernando Rodney, one of the keys to the Dominican Republic's run to the World Baseball Classic title, blowing the save by allowing a run for the first time since Aug. 14.
"If we play the game properly, we'll win a lot of games together," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.
Maddon on Thursday will hand the ball to Roberto Hernandez, formerly known as Fausto Carmona. He signed a one-year deal with Tampa Bay and beat out Jeff Niemann for the final spot in the rotation despite going 0-2 with a 5.33 ERA in seven spring training appearances.
Hernandez, who won 19 games for Cleveland in 2007, went 0-3 with a 7.53 ERA for the Indians last season when he was suspended three weeks by the club for age and identity fraud. The right-hander hopes a fresh start with Tampa Bay will help revive his career.
"I'm very, very happy to be with that group, that rotation," Hernandez told the Rays' official website. "I'll continue to work hard and throw strikes. Keep the ball on the ground. Try not to overthrow."
He is 2-2 with a 7.06 ERA in five starts against the Orioles since 2008.
Baltimore first baseman Chris Davis is 3 for 11 with a double against Hernandez, but he has seven RBIs in this series to become the first Oriole in franchise history to drive in at least three runs in the first two games of a season.
Davis went 4 for 4 with four RBIs Wednesday and homered for the second straight game. He's homered in eight of his last nine regular season games overall and four of five at Tropicana Field.
"We're just going to roll it up there (Thursday)," Maddon told the Rays' official website. "Listen, he's on everything right now, they all look good. They've got a bunch of guys looking good right now. They're no fun right now."
|Last Updated: 9/21/2014 7:10:09 PM EST|