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Game Preview: Thursday (3/9) vs. Atlanta (St. Petersburg)

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Atlanta (3-4) at RAYS (4-3)
1:05; Al Lang Field, St. Petersburg
NO TV/RADIO

Pitching Matchup

RH Tim Hudson

RH Seth McClung

The Bottom Line

The Rays come back home to Al Lang today to play Atlanta, and for the second straight day they will face the opposing team's #1 pitcher (yesterday was Jon Lieber). If McClung is able to pitch as well as he did last Saturday against Minnesota, against a good Braves offense, then maybe 2006 will be his year. He has already virtually locked up a rotation spot, and as long as he doesn't go all Tim Corcoran on us, he will stay as one of the five lucky men. Meanwhile the lineup should face a good test today against Atlanta ace Tim Hudson, and hopefully Rays manager Joe Maddon brings out his #1 team for the first few innings or so, to see how they measure up. Should be entertaining to watch.

Question of the Day

There isn't much information to be garnered from Seth McClung's start today, so the main focus will be on the hitting. Against a strong Atlanta pitching staff, how will our batters measure up? You can gather a surprising amount of knowledge from an exhibition game, so don't let the short stints fool you.

Upcoming Games
Friday-vs. Blue Jays in St. Pete (Jackson)
Saturday-vs. Indians in St. Pete (Waechter)
Sunday-at Pirates in Bradenton (Fossum)

GO RAYS!!!!!!!!!!

Atlanta (3-4) at RAYS (4-3)
1:05; Al Lang Field, St. Petersburg
NO TV/RADIO

Rays Reads

-The Rays got their revenge on the Phillies yesterday by scoring two in the ninth and withstood a last gasp home run to walk out of Bright House Networks Field with a 4-3 win and an identical spring record. Joey Gathright, starting in center for the Rays, went 3 for 4 with a run scored and a stolen base, while Elijah Dukes and Russell Branyan each had a hit in their lone at bat in the ninth inning, driving in a run apiece. Aubrey Huff also went 2 for 4 with a RBI, and Jonny Gomes had a double, his only hit in four ABs. Damon Hollins and Ty Wigginton each went 2 for 3, but Hollins stole a base while Wigginton was caught being greedy. Travis Lee also went 1 for 3 with a RBI. Notable 0 fers included Rocco Baldelli, who went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts, the same number of whiffs as Julio Lugo, who went 0 for 4.

On the rubber, Scott Kazmir increased his innings total in his second start, going three decent innings giving up one run on three hits, but walked two and struck out only one. The run he gave up came on a home run by former Ray Alex Gonzalez. He also hit a batter. The rest of the bullpen blanked Philadelphia, except for Justin Miller, who gave up a two run shot to pull the Phils to within one in the ninth. Number 14 prospect Chris Seddon pitched two innings, giving up a hit and a walk while k'ing two. The game in Clearwater was witnessed by just 5,008 on a beautiful 75 degree day, and I didn't get stuck in game traffic on the way home!

Short Hops-Looking at the league leader board, Jonny Gomes is tops in the AL in total bases this spring, he is tied for second in hits and home runs...Other Rays on the leaderboard include Elijah Dukes, who is tied for third in walks, Joey Gathright and Damon Hollins, each tied for first with three stolen bases, Delmon Young and Carl Crawford, tied for second in stolen bases, while Gathirhgt is tied for fourth in at bats...The Rays begin a three game homestand at Al Lang Field tomorrow against Atlanta, which concludes Saturday against the Indians.

Pitching Matchup

RH Tim Hudson

RH Seth McClung

Breakdown

Now Frode, if you are able to find the releivers scheduled for today's game, I will be impressed. I look all over, at the link you suggested, at the un-updated Game Notes, everywhere, and could not find them. But we know the starters, and Seth McClung goes to the mound for the Rays tomorrow in his second spring start. McClung also pitched last Saturday against Minnesota, throwing two shutout innings aginst the Twins in an eventual loss last Saturday in St. Pete. He will probably go three innings today, if he follows Scott Kazmir's lead, and then will turn it over to an unannounced set of players. Taking the mound for Atlanta is former Okaland Athletic Tim Hudson.

The Bottom Line

The Rays come back home to Al Lang today to play Atlanta, and for the second straight day they will face the opposing team's #1 pitcher (yesterday was Jon Lieber). If McClung is able to pitch as well as he did last Saturday against Minnesota, against a good Braves offense, then maybe 2006 will be his year. He has already virtually locked u[ a rotation spot, and as long as he doesn't go all Tim Corcoran on us, he will stay as one of the five lucky men. Meanwhile the lineup should face a good test today against Atlanta ace Tim Hudson, and hopefully Rays manager Joe Maddon brings out his #1 team for the first few innings or so, to see how they measure up. Should be entertaining to watch.

Question of the Day

There isn't much information to be garnered from Seth McClung's start today, so the main focus will be on the hitting. Against a strong Atlanta pitching staff, how will our batters measure up? You can gather a surprising amount of knowledge from an exhibition game, so don't let the short stints fool you.

Upcoming Games
Friday-vs. Blue Jays in St. Pete (Jackson)
Saturday-vs. Indians in St. Pete (Waechter)
Sunday-at Pirates in Bradenton (Fossum)

GO RAYS!!!!!!!!!!