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Game Preview: Tuesday (5/16) at Chicago


Chicago (23-12) at RAYS (15-23)
7:15; Tropicana Field
RAYS TV/PAX; RAYS RADIO/1250 AM WHNZ

Game Preview

Pitching Matchup:

CHI-RH Brandon McCarthy (2-1, 5.21)

RAYS-LH Scott Kazmir (5-2, 2.94)

Lineups

Chicago
LF Scott Podsednik-.811 OPS
2B Tadihito Iguchi-.755 OPS
DH Jim Thome-1.131 OPS
1B Paul Konerko-.940 OPS
RF Jermaine Dye-.979 OPS
C A.J. Pierzynski-.800 OPS
3B Joe Crede-.938 OPS
SS Juan Uribe-.556 OPS
CF Brian Anderson-.608 OPS

RAYS
SS Julio Lugo-.621 OPS
LF Carl Crawford-.661 OPS
DH Jonny Gomes-1.069 OPS
3B Aubrey Huff-.443 OPS
2B Ty Wigginton-.777 OPS
C Toby Hall-.749 OPS
1B Travis Lee-.622 OPS
RF Damon Hollins-.715 OPS
CF Joey Gathright-.544 OPS

Upcoming Games

Tomorrow-vs Chicago, 7:15 (McClung)

Thursday-vs Chicago, 7:15 (Hendrickson)

Friday-vs Florida, 7:15 (Fossum)

No Surrender........

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


Chicago (23-12) at RAYS (15-23)
7:15; Tropicana Field
RAYS TV/PAX; RAYS RADIO/1250 AM WHNZ

Game Notes:

The Rays left one man on base, though only racked up six hits and were outscored 16-4 in losing the final two games of last weekend's series against Toronto...In the three game series, the Ray hit .179, and are hitting .199 in their last 24 games to drop the team batting average to .230, last in the majors...During that stretch, the Rays have scored one run or less seven times, and have done so in three of the past five games...The Rays have lost 17 of their last 25 games, and 7 of their last 10 at home, including 6 of 7 since winning the Red Sox series April 28-30...The Rays left just three men on base in the three game series with Toronto, only three teams have left less runners on base over three games since 1960...Toby Hall's stranding in the 8th inning ended the possibility that the Rays could become the first team in ML history not to leave a runner on base in consecutive games...The 20 inning stretch in which a runner was not stranded was the longest period of time since the Pittsburgh Pirates went 21 innings in 2001...The Rays are 30-50 all-time against defending world champions, and the only season series they have won with one was in 2004, when they took four of six from the Florida Marlins in interleague play...2002 is the only year in which the Rays did not face the defending world champion (Diamondbacks)...Jonny Gomes (13) and Ty Wigginton (9) have the second highest home run title of any AL duo, and their combined 61 RBI is 7th in the majors...Gomes' 13th home run Saturday put him at second place in the AL, and he became the fastest Ray to reach 13, surpassing Jose Canseco's previous record of 39 in 1999 by two games...Ty Wigginton is second in the majors in go ahead RBI, and tops in the AL...The bullpen has allowed a run in 14 of the last 17 games, and the unit's 5.55 ERA is 28th in the majors, while opponents' batting average is at .314, tops (or bottoms) of the majors...The Rays have allowed four or more runs in an inning 17 times, and have produced the fewest such innings of any team, with just three 4+ run frames...The Rays were hitless in five at bats with runners in scoring position in the Toronto series, and are batting .098 (5-51) since the start of the west coast road trip in that department.

Pitching Matchup

Breakdown

CHI-RH Brandon McCarthy (2-1, 5.21):

Scouting Report-The lanky right-hander would have started in place of Jose Contreras on Wednesday against the Angels, but he had not been stretched out enough to last past three or four innings in the move from the bullpen. But McCarthy's strong four innings in relief of Charlie Haeger convinced the White Sox that he was ready to take the mound Tuesday for his first start of 2006. With Thursday's rainout, McCarthy now will start the series opener against Tampa Bay. McCarthy has no record against the Devil Rays, but allowed five runs on eight hits over three innings pitched in his only appearance.

This Season-19 IP, 12/0 G/S, 2-1, 5.21 ERA, 11:4 K/BB, 1.26 WHIP

Career-86 IP, 24/10 G/S, 5-3, 4.29 ERA, 59:21 K/BB, 1.20 WHIP

Last Start-Has not started a game this season.

Last Start vs RAYS-Has not started vs RAYS this season

All-Times vs RAYS-3 IP, 1/1 G/S, 0-0, 15.00 ERA, 2:1 K/BB, 3.00 WHIP

Batter v Pitcher-No RAYS player has more than 2 ABs vs McCarthy

RAYS-LH Scott Kazmir (5-2, 2.94):

Scouting Report-Kazmir is having an outstanding season. He is coming off three straight games in which he has allowed one run or less. He held the Mariners Wednesday to no runs on three hits in his seven innings. His five wins at the time matched the American League lead.

This Season-49 IP, 8/8 G/S, 5-2, 2.94 ERA, 48:18 K/BB, 1.43 WHIP

Career-268.1 IP, 48/47 G/GS, 17-14, 3.87 ERA, 263:139 K/BB, 1.48 WHIP

Last Start-at SEA: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 K

Last Start vs CHI-Has not started vs CHI this season.

All-Time vs CHI-Has not pitched vs CHI

Batter v Pitcher-No CHI player has more than 3 ABs vs Kazmir


[Scouting Reports-DevilRays.com]
[Splits-Yahoo Sports]
[Batter v Pitcher-ESPN.com]

Lineups

Chicago
LF Scott Podsednik-.811 OPS
2B Tadihito Iguchi-.755 OPS
DH Jim Thome-1.131 OPS
1B Paul Konerko-.940 OPS
RF Jermaine Dye-.979 OPS
C A.J. Pierzynski-.800 OPS
3B Joe Crede-.938 OPS
SS Juan Uribe-.556 OPS
CF Brian Anderson-.608 OPS

-I threw in the batter's OPS numbers as an addition to the game previews, as it is the single best metric for determining how well a batter is doing. The first thing I look at when I see a player's stats is OPS, and if not that, OBP or SLG. If they have none of those, I move right along. Anyways, by these OPS numbers, you can see Chicago is throwing out a very strong lineup today, as the first seven batters with the exception of Tadihito Iguchi has an OPS of .8 or above, and even Iguchi is at a respectable .755. The lineup tails off sharply at the end with Uribe and Anderson, but 7/9 of a lineup isn't bad, and the only real useless player here is Uribe, as Anderson looks to have a bright future in center for the ChiSox.

RAYS
SS Julio Lugo-.621 OPS
LF Carl Crawford-.661 OPS
DH Jonny Gomes-1.069 OPS
3B Aubrey Huff-.443 OPS
2B Ty Wigginton-.777 OPS
C Toby Hall-.749 OPS
1B Travis Lee-.622 OPS
RF Damon Hollins-.715 OPS
CF Joey Gathright-.544 OPS

-This is painful to look at. To have your No. 1 and No. 2 batters with an average OPS of .641 is pitiful. I'd call for their replacements, but once you look down, there are none, it only gets worse. Aubrey Huff reamins in the cleanup role for some unfathomable reason, as his .443 OPS is the lowest in the lineup. Hell, put Damon Hollins, Toby Hall, or Ty Wigginton there, but not Huff. Huff should not be batting higher than seventh in this order.

Upcoming Games

Tomorrow-vs Chicago, 7:15 (McClung)

Thursday-vs Chicago, 7:15 (Hendrickson)

Friday-vs Florida, 7:15 (Fossum)

No Surrender........

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