Rays (55-77) at Boston (75-54)
7:05; Fenway Park
Pax; Rays TV
Hey Devil Rays fans, Patrick Kennedy here! Well, I have not been right on any of my game predictions thus far, so maybe I'll just predict Rays losses for the rest of the season. This rain-delayed drubbing isn't quite through yet, and we still have more bullpen to endure, so it could get even uglier. But, this is why the mostgame reporting you will see out of me is right here, in a little slot before the actual story. When you do the previews, you still have achance at walking away a winner. Anyways, without further delay, here is my game preview for tomorrow's game, my favorite matchup of the series, and one of the best of the season.
Rays-LH Scott Kazmir (7-9, 4.12)
BOS-RH Curt Schilling (5-6, 6.89)
BREAKDOWN: As I said above, this is one of the fiest pitching matchups the Rays will see this year, from both ends. Kazmir comes in on somewhat of a down note after having his worst start of the second half last Thursday in a loss to Cleveland. Kazmir lasted only 2.1 innings, all without any resemblance of a ecent slider, giving up eight runs, four earned, on eight hits. The disappointing part is, that came just after a start against Texas in which Kaz went six innings, giving up only four hits and one run. The best part was his control. Kaz walked two, but struck out 10. The start dropped Kaz's ERA under 4 for the first time since June 4th vs. Seattle, to 3.94, and this last start inflated it up to 4.12. The good news is that Kaz always seems to do well vs Boston. He beat the Sox in one of his first pro starts last September, and in his last start on July the 18th, Kaz beat the Sox by going six innings and surrendering no earned runs. What's more, Sawx hitters are batting .203 against the fireballing lefty. Let's hope Kaz can get back on the winning side and get that ERA under 4, while beating Schilling and the dreaded Red Sox.
And, as mentioned, on the mound for the Sox is Schilling. Idiot is making his second start since returning to the roatation, following an awful expieriment as closer that has resulted in that wild ERA. His last start vs. Kansas City did not give him the kind of welcome back to the rotation he could have hoped for, getting shelled for six earned runs on nine hits over fiv innings. AND THAT WAS THE ROYALS OFFENSE! Imagine what our top tier AL offense can do. Idiot has made five relief appearances vs. the Rays this season, all of them between July 18-27, surrendering two runs over six innings total of work. He did work one early season start against the Rays in the brawl series at Tropicana Field in which Schilling proceeded to run his mouth incessantly about everything from Lou to Joe Magrane, and also got involved in the middle of the brawl the day after his start. The mron shouldn't have even been running his mouth after the Rays beat him down for six earned runs over nine hits in seven innings. Schilling comes into the game with 189 career wins, let's make him wait a little longer for #190.
THE BOTTOM LINE: I feel very confident about our chances in this game, and not like I did yesterday. Assuming that this game doesn't have some type of weird rain delay slapped in the middle of it, I think we pull this off. Schilling is an a dumb fool, and his poor performances vs. the Rays this season bode well for us.
Combine that with Kaz's track record against the Sawx (think Joe Kennedy vs. the Blue Jays), I think the pitching matchup leans in our favor. I mean, if the Royals lit this guy up, then we sure can. I'm feelin lucky, though judging by the forecasts, some rain can be expected.
So what does this mean in terms of lineups? Well, as I mentioned yesterday, Pete LaForest should get the start either Wednesday vs. Tim Wakefield or against the starter Thursday should it be a righty, though I'm banking on a Wednesday start for Pete. Alright, with Hall being established as the likely starting catcher, expect an infield (in no particular order) of Lee-Green-Lugo-Cantu, and an outfield/DH of Crawford-Gathright-Gomes Huff (who I'm still waiting for to show why Boston made a mistake not trading for him).
PREDICTION: Rays 7, Boston 1