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Game Preview: Saturday

Boston (13-10) at RAYS (10-13)
7:15; Tropicana Field
FSN Florida; RAYS RADIO/1250 AM WHNZ

Pitching Matchup:

LH Lenny DiNardo

RH Doug Waechter

Lineups-I do not know whether I will be home to post them tonight, seeing as though I may be going to the game. If I am able to, you will see this passage replaced with said lineups.

Upcoming Games

Tomorrow-vs Boston, 1:15 (Kazmir)

Monday-vs Texas, 7:15 (McClung)

Tuesday-vs Texas, 7:15 (Hendrickson)

Guess what? I got a fever! And the only prescription...is more cowbell!

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

Boston (13-10) at RAYS (10-13)
7:15; Tropicana Field
FSN Florida; RAYS RADIO/1250 AM WHNZ

Editor's Note-Eh, the 'Rays News & Notes' feature may return tonight, but after the last two days, no guarantees.

Pitching Matchup

Breakdown

LH Lenny DiNardo:

-The Red Sox look to break their three game losing streak and end a stretch which has seen them lose six of eight games dating back to the conclusion of the Rays-Red Sox series on April 20th. To do so, they send out Lenny DiNardo to the mound to face the Rays. DiNardo's 7.43 ERA this year may suggest a poor pitcher, but in reality, he has really only made one poor appearance this year, and that was his second start of the season last Saturday against Toronto in which he gave up seven runs, all earned, on 10 hits, including a home run, on a walk and a stikeout in three innings. But he did well in his first start of the year against Seattle, and did decently in two bullpen outings before that. In his major league career, he has a 4.37 ERA spread of parts of three years, including this one.

DiNardo has not faced the Rays this year, and his only experience against them has been three relief outings spread out over 2004 and 2005. Those outings produced a total of 4.1 innings pitched, during which DiNardo gave up just one run, earned, on three hits and one walk, while strking out six. So he hasn't been too shabby against the Rays in the past, although one start could easily tip the scale. As a result of DiNardo's lack of appearances against the Rays, no player on the roster has faced him more than twice, and thus, you can throw out the matchups.
Splits
Batter v. Pitcher

DiNardo is actually a solid career pitcher if you look at his peripherals. He has a good K:BB ratio, a good home run ratio, in fact, his only problem appears to be a virus I call Hendricksonitis, and that is the lack of dominance. DiNardo will not dominate anybody, he is not an overpowering pitcher. He has good control, but will not strike out many. He has had a home run problem this season, and if that continues, he and Doug Waechter may be fined for scoreboard repairs after this one is over. Still, the way I see we can beat DiNardo is to assert ourselves. Claim early dominance over the plate, and take control, because DiNardo sure as hell isn't. The Blue Jays have obviouly found some success doing this, and if the Rays can bust out early, we have a good chance of winning, because the Sox bullpen is pretty shaky if they must turn to it before the late innings.

RH Doug Waechter:

-After skipping a turn in the rotation, Doug Waechter takes the hill today against Boston in looking to clinch a series win against the Red Sox. Waechter has not had the best of starts, struggling in two of his three starts. In fact, the Rays skipped his last turn in the rotation, as he pitched out of the bullpen last Sunday in Texas, going two shutout innings and surrendering two hits while walking none and striking out three. He has faced Boston once before, going 2.2 innings, giving up seven runs, six earned, on five hits while walking three and striking out two.

Waechter has not had success against the Red Sox in the past, giving up a 6.53 ERA and 1.61 WHIP in 27.2 innings against Boston. As you might expect, a few Red Sox have had success against Waechter in the past, and by "a few", I mean nearly every player, too many to list in fact, though I will link to it below.
Splits
Batter v. Pitcher

For Waechter, the objective today is simple, keep the ball down. As you can see by the above link, the Sox are not shy about hitting him hard, so Waechter must get a lot of low strikes today, and if he must expand the strikezone, do it at the bottom of the order or without runners on base. Today's game could see a lot of long balls, lets just hope Waechter gives up the least.

Upcoming Games

Tomorrow-vs Boston, 1:15 (Kazmir)

Monday-vs Texas, 7:15 (McClung)

Tuesday-vs Texas, 7:15 (Hendrickson)

Guess what? I got a fever! And the only prescription...is more cowbell!

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