|TORONTO ( BUEHRLE )|
TAMPA BAY ( HELLICKSON )
|963||TORONTO||+140||Ov 7.5,-110||+130||Ov 7.5,+110|
|964||TAMPA BAY||-150||Un 7.5,-110||-140||Un 7.5,-130|
|vs Right-handed Starters||8-16||-10.1||10-13||3.5||0.221||0.293||4.7||0.255||0.332|
|Past 7 Games||2-5||-3.4||4-3||3.4||0.241||0.312||5.3||0.230||0.327|
|vs Left-handed Starters||7-2||+5.1||4-4||4.9||0.259||0.312||2.6||0.207||0.290|
|Past 7 Games||4-3||+0.6||7-0||6.6||0.299||0.353||5.7||0.307||0.363|
|4/22/2013||HAPP(L)||@ BALTIMORE||TILLMAN(R)||1-2||L||110||8.5 un||U||4||6||1||5||9||0|
|4/23/2013||DICKEY(R)||@ BALTIMORE||GONZALEZ(R)||3-4||L||-115||7.5 un||U||6||6||1||6||6||0|
|4/24/2013||MORROW(R)||@ BALTIMORE||STINSON(R)||6-5||W||-130||8.5 ov||O||8||7||2||8||7||0|
|4/25/2013||BUEHRLE(L)||@ NY YANKEES||KURODA(R)||3-5||L||125||8 un||P||7||5||0||9||6||1|
|4/26/2013||LAFFEY(L)||@ NY YANKEES||NOVA(R)||4-6||L||130||9 ev||O||10||7||0||6||9||0|
|4/27/2013||HAPP(L)||@ NY YANKEES||SABATHIA(L)||4-5||L||135||7.5 ov||O||11||7||0||11||8||1|
|4/28/2013||DICKEY(R)||@ NY YANKEES||HUGHES(R)||2-3||L||-110||8.5 un||U||8||7||0||4||4||0|
|5/6/2013||BUEHRLE(L)||@ TAMPA BAY||HELLICKSON(R)|| |
|5/7/2013||HAPP(L)||@ TAMPA BAY||HERNANDEZ(R)|| |
|5/8/2013||ROMERO(L)||@ TAMPA BAY||MOORE(L)|| |
|5/9/2013||DICKEY(R)||@ TAMPA BAY||PRICE(L)|| |
|5/10/2013||MORROW(R)||@ BOSTON||LESTER(L)|| |
|5/11/2013||BUEHRLE(L)||@ BOSTON||BUCHHOLZ(R)|| |
|5/12/2013||HAPP(L)||@ BOSTON||DEMPSTER(R)|| |
|4/22/2013||MOORE(L)||NY YANKEES||SABATHIA(L)||5-1||W||-130||7 un||U||7||3||1||2||4||1|
|4/23/2013||PRICE(L)||NY YANKEES||HUGHES(R)||3-4||L||-180||7 un||P||7||4||0||9||5||0|
|4/24/2013||COBB(R)||NY YANKEES||PETTITTE(L)||3-0||W||-135||7 un||U||8||8||0||4||4||1|
|4/25/2013||HELLICKSON(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||SALE(L)||2-5||L||120||7 un||P||5||6||0||7||5||0|
|4/26/2013||HERNANDEZ(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||PEAVY(R)||4-5||L||130||7.5 un||O||10||8||0||8||3||0|
|4/27/2013||MOORE(L)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||FLOYD(R)||10-4||W||-120||7 ov||O||19||14||1||9||10||1|
|4/28/2013||PRICE(L)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||AXELROD(R)||8-3||W||-135||7.5 un||O||8||6||0||6||4||2|
|4/30/2013||COBB(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||SHIELDS(R)||2-8||L||120||7.5 un||O||8||6||1||14||8||1|
|5/1/2013||HELLICKSON(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||MENDOZA(R)||8-9||L||-115||7.5 ov||O||13||6||0||15||8||0|
|5/3/2013||MOORE(L)||@ COLORADO||FRANCIS(L)||7-4||W||-135||9 ov||O||11||8||0||11||12||0|
|5/4/2013||PRICE(L)||@ COLORADO||GARLAND(R)||3-9||L||-130||9 ov||O||9||9||1||12||6||0|
|5/5/2013||COBB(R)||@ COLORADO||CHACIN(R)||8-3||W||105||9.5 un||O||11||4||2||10||8||1|
|5/10/2013||COBB(R)||SAN DIEGO||RICHARD(L)|| |
|5/11/2013||HELLICKSON(R)||SAN DIEGO||VOLQUEZ(R)|| |
|5/12/2013||HERNANDEZ(R)||SAN DIEGO||CASHNER(R)|| |
|TORONTO: HITTING: SS YUNEL ESCOBAR brings a little pop and could score runs in bunches atop a solid lineup. OF JOSE BAUTISTA has simply been the best hitter in baseball the past two seasons. 1B ADAM LIND will have plenty of RBI chances, but his average stinks and he faded late last year. 3B BRETT LAWRIE will be a 30-30 candidate in his prime and he's a solid slugger already. Expect big power numbers but a painful average in C J.P. ARENCIBIA's sophomore season. OF COLBY RASMUS should have his head right this year and could see an uptick in power numbers. 2B KELLY JOHNSON improved his dreadful average after being traded to Toronto. He has great potential as a 20-20 candidate. DH EDWIN ENCARNACION raked at home last season and has the position flexibility to stay in the lineup every day. OF ERIC THAMES will start in left field. Thames has 15-15 potential. OF RAJAI DAVIS' speed makes him worthy of staying in the fourth outfielder role. |
STARTING PITCHING: He's not really an ace, but RICKY ROMERO is a solid innings-eater at the front of the Jays' staff. He's a low-risk, low-reward starting pitcher. BRANDON MORROW's talent is intriguing. His mid-90s heat and deceptive slider lead to huge strikeout tallies, but also leads to a lot of gopher balls. Questionable conditioning was an issue for BRETT CECIL last year, as he gave up a whopping 37 HR between the majors and Triple-A. He seemed to straighten things out over the second half of last season. HENDERSON ALVAREZ's performance as a 21-year-old gives him an inside track for a rotation spot. He has intriguing upside. DUSTIN McGOWAN returned in September from a 38-month layoff to put himself in the mix for the rotation. His mid-90s gas is still there, giving him 175-K potential. KYLE DRABEK has great potential, but he was a disaster in 2011. He could not command his promising arsenal of pitches, and broke down mentally at times.
RELIEF PITCHING: SERGIO SANTOS has unhittable stuff, but will have to battle newcomer FRANCISCO CORDERO as Toronto's closer. Cordero's strikeout rate dropped down to a putrid 5.4 K/9 last year, but he showed great command with a stellar 1.02 WHIP. CASEY JANSSEN was Toronto's most improved pitcher in 2011. He has a sinking fastball, a pretty good K rate and performed quite well against the AL East last season. Prospect JOEL CARRENO, a starter in the minors, is a closer-in-waiting. He was impressive out of the pen after a late-August call-up, and averaged better than a strikeout per inning, albeit with shaky control, in the minors.
|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 (TORONTO-TAMPA BAY) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Blue Jays-Rays Preview* ========================
By JORDAN GARRETSON STATS Writer
Toronto (10-21) at Tampa Bay (13-16), 7:10 p.m. EDT
The Toronto Blue Jays have been among baseball's biggest disappointments, but they're hoping their most complete performance thus far can provide some momentum going forward.
Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Rays - one of the majors' best teams at home - are likely looking forward to returning to Tropicana Field for 10 straight games, beginning with the opener of a four-game series Monday night against Toronto.
The Blue Jays (11-21) had lost four in a row and 14 of 18 before a 10-2 home win over Seattle on Sunday. It was the most lopsided victory of the year for the team with the AL's second-worst record, as Toronto matched its highest-scoring game of 2013 and had a season-best 15 hits.
"We were desperate for that. We needed something like that," manager John Gibbons said. "It's not like we're just waiting to get on a roll. We needed a win and they're hard to come by."
Mark DeRosa and Melky Cabrera both provided homers after the team hit one in the previous four games combined. Starting pitcher Brandon Morrow, who allowed three hits in eight innings, called the win a "morale booster."
A victory Monday would give Toronto back-to-back wins for just the second time.
Tampa Bay (14-16) is coming off a 4-5 road trip, capped by winning two of three games at Colorado after an 8-3 victory Sunday.
While they're 6-12 away from home, the Rays are 8-4 in St. Petersburg as they kick off a 10-game homestand. They've allowed no more than one run in six of the last nine at Tropicana Field.
Scheduled starter Jeremy Hellickson (1-2, 4.71 ERA) won his last start at home, throwing seven scoreless innings against the A's on April 20, but has since been roughed up in two outings on the road. He gave up a combined nine runs in 11 innings, including a 9-8 loss at Kansas City on Wednesday that saw him yield a season-high nine hits over five frames.
"Defense and offense came to play tonight and I didn't," Hellickson told the team's official website. "It was as simple as that."
Hellickson is 3-2 with a 2.89 ERA in six starts versus Toronto, which counters with struggling left-hander Mark Buehrle (1-2, 6.43).
Buehrle has surrendered seven hits, five runs and three homers in each of his last two outings and lost both. He issued a season-high three walks in 6 2-3 innings of a 10-1 home loss to Boston on Wednesday.
He's allowing 2.3 home runs per nine innings compared to a 1.0 career average.
"I have to make better pitches," Buehrle told the team's official website. "(I) have to keep the ball down, execute pitches and stay low in the zone."
The only current Rays player to homer off him is Jose Molina - that came in 2006 - and Buehrle is 8-3 lifetime against them with a 4.19 ERA.
Tampa Bay's middle infield is shorthanded. Shortstop Yunel Esocbar, a former Blue Jay, didn't play Sunday after getting hit on the hand by a pitch Saturday and is expected to miss a few days, manager Joe Maddon said. Second baseman Ben Zobrist will miss a second straight game after flying home to Illinois on Sunday following his grandmother's death.
James Loney is 17 for 34 over his last eight games with five three-hit performances, but he's 4 for 24 (.167) in six games versus the Blue Jays.
Toronto hasn't won a series against Tampa Bay since Aug. 6-8, 2010, with the Rays going 30-12 in meetings since then. Tampa Bay won last year's series 14-4 as Evan Longoria hit .360 with 14 RBIs in 13 contests.
|Last Updated: 10/20/2014 10:05:40 AM EST|