|TAMPA BAY ( PRICE )|
TEXAS ( PEREZ )
|** AL Wild Card Tie Breaker|
|981||TAMPA BAY||-130||Ov 7.5,+105||-110||Ov 7.5,+100|
|982||TEXAS||+120||Un 7.5,-125||+100||Un 7.5,-120|
|vs Left-handed Starters||30-24||-2.6||23-27||4.5||0.259||0.332||3.5||0.234||0.304|
|Past 7 Games||5-2||+2.1||5-2||5.1||0.273||0.320||3.7||0.246||0.330|
|vs Left-handed Starters||32-19||+4.8||24-26||5.0||0.280||0.344||4.0||0.244||0.306|
|Past 7 Games||7-0||+7||5-1||6.6||0.308||0.365||2.7||0.243||0.302|
|9/24/2013||MOORE(L)||@ NY YANKEES||KURODA(R)||7-0||W||-105||7.5 un||U||9||6||0||4||11||2|
|9/25/2013||PRICE(L)||@ NY YANKEES||HUGHES(R)||8-3||W||-160||7.5 un||O||15||9||0||8||7||2|
|9/26/2013||COBB(R)||@ NY YANKEES||NOVA(R)||4-0||W||-130||7.5 un||U||11||6||0||3||3||0|
|9/27/2013||HELLICKSON(R)||@ TORONTO||DICKEY(R)||3-6||L||-130||7.5 ov||O||7||5||3||8||7||2|
|9/28/2013||ARCHER(R)||@ TORONTO||HAPP(L)||2-7||L||-165||7.5 ov||O||6||4||0||12||8||0|
|9/29/2013||MOORE(L)||@ TORONTO||REDMOND(R)||7-6||W||-180||7.5 ov||O||9||3||0||12||11||0|
|9/30/2013||PRICE(L)||@ TEXAS||PEREZ(L)|| |
|9/16/2013||GARZA(R)||@ TAMPA BAY||COBB(R)||2-6||L||120||7 un||O||6||4||0||12||8||0|
|9/17/2013||OGANDO(R)||@ TAMPA BAY||HELLICKSON(R)||7-1||W||110||7.5 un||O||10||5||1||4||4||0|
|9/18/2013||HOLLAND(L)||@ TAMPA BAY||ARCHER(R)||3-4||L||110||7 un||P||7||7||0||10||8||0|
|9/19/2013||DARVISH(R)||@ TAMPA BAY||MOORE(L)||8-2||W||-115||6.5 un||O||16||12||0||7||7||1|
|9/20/2013||PEREZ(L)||@ KANSAS CITY||SANTANA(R)||1-2||L||120||7.5 un||U||5||5||0||9||11||0|
|9/21/2013||GARZA(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||GUTHRIE(R)||3-1||W||-105||7.5 un||U||8||6||0||5||5||1|
|9/22/2013||OGANDO(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||SHIELDS(R)||0-4||L||115||7 ev||U||6||5||0||5||2||0|
|9/26/2013||GARZA(R)||LA ANGELS||WILLIAMS(R)||6-5||W||-175||9 un||O||12||5||4||13||11||1|
|9/27/2013||OGANDO(R)||LA ANGELS||WILSON(L)||5-3||W||-145||8 ov||P||7||9||0||8||5||1|
|9/28/2013||HOLLAND(L)||LA ANGELS||RICHARDS(R)||7-4||W||-165||9 un||O||10||7||0||9||9||5|
|9/29/2013||DARVISH(R)||LA ANGELS||VARGAS(L)||6-2||W||-225||7.5 ov||O||10||5||0||7||4||1|
|9/30/2013||PEREZ(L)||TAMPA BAY||PRICE(L)|| |
|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).
|TEXAS: HITTING: 2B IAN KINSLER will lead off again. A few less at-'em balls and he's an MVP candidate. SS ELVIS ANDRUS is coming along offensively, but his poor SB% could lead to fewer attempts. Injuries are the only thing that will keep OF JOSH HAMILTON out of the MVP discussion. He'll likely start declining at age 35, but DH MICHAEL YOUNG can't help but put up numbers batting cleanup in this lineup. 3B ADRIAN BELTRE was unstoppable in Arlington. Like Hamilton, he's an MVP candidate if healthy. Injuries are piling up for OF NELSON CRUZ, who still has monster power but doesn't run as much anymore. C MIKE NAPOLI is MLB's best offensive catcher and will play some 1B on 'off' days. Because their lineup is stacked, Texas can play defensive-minded/offensively limited 1B MITCH MORELAND. And because Ron Washington would prefer to play Hamilton in left, speedy CF CRAIG GENTRY looks to have the edge over DAVID MURPHY for the starting job in center. Cuban import LEONYS MARTIN will start the season in Triple-A, but JULIO BORBON could earn a significant OF role. |
STARTING PITCHING: COLBY LEWIS can overpower when he's on, but as a flyball pitcher in cozy Arlington he's going to have a handful of ugly days. The much-ballyhooed YU DARVISH brings a deep arsenal of pitches and a durable frame from Japan. He's probably the best Japanese arm to ever cross the Pacific. Lefty MATT HARRISON solidified his rotation spot. He has topped out as a respectable No. 3-type starter. DEREK HOLLAND has top-of-the-rotation upside. Consistency has been an issue, but hopefully another year and some big postseason moments helped to cure that. The big story is NEFTALI FELIZ moving to the rotation. He was considered a future ace in the minors, but the transition might not be easy. His K/BB ratio plummeted last year and his flyball tendencies could spell disaster in Arlington. Keep in mind the Rangers made a successful closer-to-ace switch with C.J. Wilson. Top prospect MARTIN PEREZ could be an option in the second half.
RELIEF PITCHING: Veteran JOE NATHAN was brought in and handed the closer's job. He struggled in his first year back from Tommy John surgery, but most pitchers who've had the procedure don't come all the way back until their second full season. If Nathan falters, MIKE ADAMS could be next in line. He had no trouble transitioning from pitcher-friendly San Diego in the National League to hitter-friendly Arlington and the A.L.'s superior bats. KOJI UEHARA would also be in the closer discussion if Nathan falters, but he was unhappy about being traded from Baltimore and faltered for the Rangers late last year. ALEXI OGANDO got a huge boost from his defense and his bullpen before a late-season collapse. He threw by far a career-high in innings; better stamina would allow him to take the next step and possibly rejoin the rotation.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER AL PREVIEW (TAMPA BAY-TEXAS) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Rays-Rangers Preview* ======================
By NOEY KUPCHAN STATS Writer
Tampa Bay (90-71) at Texas (90-71), 8:07 p.m. EDT
After 162 regular-season games, the Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers need one more to decide the second AL wild-card spot.
While the visiting Rays have the benefit of turning to reigning Cy Young Award winner David Price in their biggest game of the year, the Rangers are set to welcome back All-Star Nelson Cruz on Monday night.
The Rays (91-71) held on for a 7-6 win over Toronto and the Rangers (91-71) beat the Los Angeles Angels 6-2 on Sunday, forcing a one-game showdown for the right to face Cleveland - which overtook both teams and clinched its playoff spot with a season-ending 10-game win streak - in the wild-card game Wednesday.
"Hands down my biggest game of this year, night and day bigger than opening day," said Price, who struck out eight over seven innings of two-run ball in Wednesday's 8-3 win at Yankee Stadium. "This is a moment that I want to be in. I want to be able to relish this moment and go out there and have fun."
Price (9-8, 3.39 ERA), though, is 1-7 with a 5.57 ERA in 11 starts against Texas, including the postseason. He will face a Rangers team that won seven straight by a 46-19 margin to keep its playoff hopes alive.
"You can't say enough. Just the fight, the character of this team," said outfielder Craig Gentry, who is 17 for 36 (.472) with eight runs and 10 stolen bases in his last 10 games. "From being about as low as we could possibly be and almost everybody probably counting us out, and to come home and play the way we have."
Texas figures to be more formidable with Cruz back in action. The two-time All-Star and 2011 ALCS MVP completed his 50-game suspension for his role in Major League Baseball's Biogenesis investigation and will be activated for this game.
Cruz went 9 for 27 with a homer, five doubles and nine RBIs in eight games while playing in the instructional league in Arizona. He batted .269 with 27 homers and 76 RBIs in 108 games prior to his ban.
"I'll have a chance (Monday) to be with me teammates and do the thing I love the most, play baseball," he said. "The guys are excited. I'm excited."
Texas, which took four of seven from the Rays, beat them in the division series in 2010 and 2011.
"We have something to prove in Texas," said Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, hitting .360 with two homers and nine RBIs in his last six games. "We've left that place too many times with our heads down and disappointed. I feel like now is the time to be able to turn that page."
While Price has struggled against the Rangers, the Rays are confident in their ace. He is 6-2 with a 2.71 ERA in 10 road starts since July 2.
"You can't not feel good about it," Longoria said of giving the ball to Price. "He's the guy that I think everybody in this room looks to when we need somebody to go out and give us a great performance."
Cruz is 9 for 21 with three homers lifetime off Price, including playoffs, and Alex Rios is 10 for 23 with five extra-base hits.
Texas counters with rookie Martin Perez (10-5, 3.55), who is eager to prove himself with the season on the line.
"I'm excited, but I don't want to put any pressure on myself or get nervous," he told MLB's official website. "I just need to relax and take it as another game."
Perez surrendered three runs and struck out a career high-tying eight over seven innings to beat Houston 7-3 on Wednesday, improving to 1-2 with a 4.13 ERA in his last four starts.
The left-hander allowed two solo homers in five-plus innings of relief in a 6-0 loss at Tampa Bay on Sept. 9, 2012, his only appearance versus the Rays.
|Last Updated: 9/30/2014 10:51:47 AM EST|