clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Game Preview: Sunday (3/19) vs. Minnesota (St. Pete)

New, 7 comments

Minnesota (12-7) at RAYS (8-9)
1:05; Al Lang Field, St. Petersburg
RAYS RADIO/1250 AM WHNZ

Pitching Matchup

RH Carlos Silva

RH Seth McClung

Upcoming Games

Tomorrow-vs Pittsburgh in St. Pete (Jackson)

Tuesday-at Boston in Ft. Myers (TBA)

Wednesday-OFF

GO RAYS!!!!!!!!

Minnesota (12-7) at RAYS (8-9)
1:05; Al Lang Field, St. Petersburg
RAYS RADIO/1250 AM WHNZ

Minnesota 16, Rays 7

By Patrick Kennedy
Ft. Myers-Sometimes, you have games where nothing goes right. And then you have games like Saturday, that threatened to push the definition of that phrase. LH Scott Kazmir, making the start for the Rays, managed to equate one out to 38 pitches in giving up four runs in the very first frame. He gave up a hit, but the damage was done on five, count 'em, five walks, at total that would make Victor Zambrano envious. It was this four run frame that wasted an offensive explosion by the Rays in the top of the inning that garnered three runs, and the Twinkies would go on to put up three more innings where three or more runs were scored in taking the 16-7 final. On the bright side, Julio's brother went 2.2 shutout innings to mop up Kazmir's mess, though Andy Sonnanstine came out of nowhere (I did not know he was even in camp), and got his introduction to big league hitting in giving up five runs on four hits, including one home run. Jim Magrane also gave up a run in one inning, and Jesus Colome was the "big winner", giving up six runs on eight hits in 1.1 innings. Chris Flinn and Justin Miller shut out the Twinkies over the final 1.2 innings to stop the bleeding.

The Rays did have the hitting to win this one, if that was any consolation. Josh Paul and Aubrey Huff both teed off Minnesota pitching in a game that saw 23 total runs, seven home runs, 11 extra base hits, and 29 hits. Huff was the only Ray with more than one hit, as he went 2 for 3 with two RBI. Shaun Cumberland also drove in two in the effort. The announced crowd at Hammond Stadium was 6,710 on a sunny day in Ft. Myers.

Rays Reads

-Plans are in the works for Tropicana Field to be open on Opening Day, Monday, April 3rd for baseball. It just won't be played on the field. A plan is in the beginning stages that would open up the Trop on Opening Day so fans could sit on the "grass" in right field and watch the Rays take on Baltimore at 3:05. Patrons would be allowed to bring in their own food and drink from the outside, or buy some at stadium concession stands. The game would be aired on the right-field video board. The layout is similar to the arrangement two years ago when the Rays opened the Batter's Eye Restaurant to fans wanting to catch a glimpse of the team for their 5am season opener against the Yankees in Japan. The team offered free breakfast for that. Now whose brilliant idea was this? How much common sense thinking does it take to come up with the idea 'hey, let's open up our large, domed stadium to fans so they can watch our opening day road game, and sell concessions at the event'. Well, hat's off to whoever came up with this idea, it is something the old regime did not do for previous season openers in Baltimore and Minnesota.

-According to a St. Pete Times report, the Rays are close to signing journeyman reliever Al Reyes (no, not the Cardinals prospect) to a minor league deal. Obviously, this deal comes about as the front office looks at the bullpen and realizes we are in some deep $#!T. Reyes has bounced around the organizations of Montreal, Milwaukee, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, the Yankees, St. Louis, and the Rays once before. He has surprisingly good number in his major league service time. In 345.1 innings of work, Reyes has a 3.62 ERA, a K:BB of over 2:1, and a WHIP of 1.26. His minor league numbers are very similar. I see nothing to lose here, considering our alternatives, and maybe we'll even squeeze some production out of him like Joe Borowski before "the cold, unforgiving wall of reality" hit him. The question is, will Reyes join too late to make a difference?

Short Hops-CF Rocco Baldelli will likely play the outfield either Thursday or Friday in his comeback from injury...RHP Shinji Mori is progressing in his rehab, he felt no pain during his bullpen session Friday morning, and could pitch in Friday's game against Cincinnati is everything breaks right in two minor league games on Monday and Wednesday...Meanwhile, Luis Rivas' injury time was lengthend after surgery Monday, he will now miss six to eight weeks...Ty Wigginton played at second and third in Saturday's game; no big deal, but he also took grounders in the six hole for the first time since his minor league days...RHP Shawn Camp is on leave to deal with "personal issues", but should be back next week...2B Jorge Cantu, just back from the World Baseball Classic, is slated to be in the lineup for today's game...A Puerto Rican businessman aiming to get more MLB games played in San Juan's Hiram Bithorn Stadium like the arrangement with Montreal in 2003 and 2004 said he had "no contact" with Rays management...Resident baseball liefer Don Zimmer said in his 58 years of baseball he had never seen a team send three players as talented as Elijah Dukes, B.J. Upton, and Delmon Young to the minors on the same day; he then proceeded to look for his breakfast bagel that he swore he was eating five minutes ago...Concourse improvements are being implemented in the Trop this week, with new audio systems and flat screen TVs among the items headed in...Improvements to the rotunda area are also planned...The completely innocent and never trouble-raising trio of prospects B.J Upton, Delmon Young, and Elijah Dukes did not report to the Stu Sternberg complex on Saturday, Dukes for medical purposes, Upton for some reason that his agent didn't identify in a bullshit quote, and Young, presumably, out of arrogance...While at the complex, I had no idea that Mike Butcher was near me, then again, I wouldn't no the difference between him and the Snell Isle Meat Market butcher; apparently Butcher was on hand to follow prospects Chuck Tiffany and Chris Seddon while Triple A Durham pitching coach Joe Coleman handled the major leaguers in the Ft. Myers disaster...The Rays are still MLB's speediest club, and it isn't even close; the Rays have 36, while the Nationals, the next-closest team, have 19...Damon Hollins holds MLB's individual stolen base lead with seven, that is equal to, or greater than the combined SB total of five teams...He is also two off of Carl Crawford's 2003 Rays record...The Rays' ERA going into Saturday's game was 4.50, third best in the AL, afterwards, it was 5.22, 7th in the league, but they still have given up the second-fewest hits...The Rays are fifth in the AL with a .293 batting average.

Pitching Matchup

RH Carlos Silva

RH Seth McClung

Breakdown

Seth McClung goes for the hill for the Rays today against the Twinkies in St. Pete as he makes his fourth start of the spring. So far, McClung has been very impressive, throwing nine shutout innings in his three previous starts while walking four and k'ing 6. He goes to the mound today in the same situation he was in in his first start of the spring, at Al Lang Field against the Twins. But since the Twins have seen this fellow before, will they pick up on him and put that scoreless streak to an end, a streak that dates back to his final start last season against Cleveland? We'll see, as the Twins counter with righty Carlos Silva.

Upcoming Games

Tomorrow-vs Pittsburgh in St. Pete (Jackson)

Tuesday-at Boston in Ft. Myers (TBA)

Wednesday-OFF

GO RAYS!!!!!!!!

-Information from The Tampa Tribune, ESPN.com, The St. Petersburg Times, The Baseball Cube, and The MLB.com network.