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Game Preview: Monday (3/6) vs. Boston

Boston (3-3) at RAYS (3-1)
1:05; Al Lang Field, St. Petersburg
NO TV/RADIO Coverage

Pitching Matchup

RH Josh Beckett

RH Doug Waechter, RH Travis Harper, RH Bart Miadich, RH Chad Harville, RH Jesus Colome, RH Chad Orvella

The Bottom Line

Depending on who the Rays throw out into the field tomorrow, the pitching should steal the show. Except for Miadich, every pitcher has something to play for, so we should see some high level performances. It is all about the pitching tomorrow, and tomorrow will go a long way in determining not only the fifth starter's job, as in yesterday, but also much of the bullpen.

Question of the Day

There are many. In Boston, the Rays are facing Boston, one of the Al's top offenses. I don't care how many stars are at the WBC, or how long the starters play, this is a top offense, so this will be a good performance evaluator for all of those Rays pitchers with something to play for. Will Waechter keep pace with Jackson in the fifth starter's race? Will Orvella move a step closer to solidifying his job in the closer's role? And will Harper, Colome, and Harville begin to lock up their bullpen roles? So many questions, I wish I could be there to see them answered.

Upcoming Games
Tuesday-vs. Philadelphia in St. Pete (Fossum)
Wednesday-at Philadelphia in Clearwater (Kazmir)
Thursday-vs. Atlanta in St. Pete (McClung)

GO RAYS!!!!!!!!

Boston (3-3) at RAYS (3-1)
1:05; Al Lang Field, St. Petersburg
NO TV/RADIO Coverage

Before I get to yesterday, I want to share with you some interesting little tidbits I culled from the Game Notes from yesterday.

-On Saturday, the Rays beat Veracruz, a Mexican League team 11-1, in a B Game at the Stu Sternberg complex. Carl Crawford went 1-4 with two stolen bases, Julio Lugo went 1-4 with a triple and an RBI, and Wes Bankston blew them both out of the water, going 3-4 with two doubles, two RBI, and three runs scored.

-X-Rays on Luis Rivas revealed a broken middle index finger knuckle that will sideline him for four weeks, he suffered the injury in a Feb. 28 intrasquad game attempting to bunt. This may kill his chances of mkaing the final 25 man cutdown.

-Shinji Mori will begin throwing again tomorrow (Tuesday) after a brief rest due to shoulder stiffness.

-Individual tickets have sold out for the March 25th game against the New York Yankees, and less than 1,000 tickets remian for today's game.

And about yesterday's game. I went down to Ed Smith Stadium yesterday with my mother and we sat in decent seats close to the plate. We arrvied late due to a wrong turn (NOTE TO SELF: Take 301 instead of 41 at the split), and took our seats in the second inning. It was a great all-around game, as Elijah Dukes, Jonny Gomes, and Nick Green all teed off, Edwin Jackson pitched well, and we survived a four run ninth inning scare to walk away with our third Grapefruit League victory. More details will come in the photo column next weekend.

Pitching Matchup

RH Josh Beckett

RH Doug Waechter, RH Travis Harper, RH Bart Miadich, RH Chad Harville, RH Jesus Colome, RH Chad Orvella

Breakdown

This game will be especially important for the Rays to evaluate their bullpen. They go once again with a righty-loaded slate of pitchers (only one lefty pitched yesterday). Today's game was basicly Edwin Jackson, and then that was it for useful performance evaluations. Hines, Stokes, Franklin, Corcoran, and Childers do not have a chance in hell of making the team, espeically Corcoran after two awful outings. But today is different. You have a pitcher starting in Waechter who will have to bring it in order to maintain his fifth starter's job, and he will be hard pressed to top Edwin Jackson's two perfect, in every sense of the word, innings yesterday. Following Waechter are Travis Harper, Bart Miadich, Chad Harville, Jesus Colome, and Chad ORvella, all involved in important bullpen battles (in Orvella's case, the closer job) except for Midich, who I did not know existed until I looked over the probables. On the other side, former Marlin Josh Beckett takes the mound for Boston.

The Bottom Line

Depending on who the Rays throw out into the field tomorrow, the pitching should steal the show. Except for Miadich, every pitcher has something to play for, so we should see some high level performances. It is all about the pitching tomorrow, and tomorrow will go a long way in determining not only the fifth starter's job, as in yesterday, but also much of the bullpen.

Question of the Day

There are many. In Boston, the Rays are facing Boston, one of the Al's top offenses. I don't care how many stars are at the WBC, or how long the starters play, this is a top offense, so this will be a good performance evaluator for all of those Rays pitchers with something to play for. Will Waechter keep pace with Jackson in the fifth starter's race? Will Orvella move a step closer to solidifying his job in the closer's role? And will Harper, Colome, and Harville begin to lock up their bullpen roles? So many questions, I wish I could be there to see them answered.

Upcoming Games
Tuesday-vs. Philadelphia in St. Pete (Fossum)
Wednesday-at Philadelphia in Clearwater (Kazmir)
Thursday-vs. Atlanta in St. Pete (McClung)

GO RAYS!!!!!!!!