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Game Preview: Thursday (5/25) at Boston

RAYS (21-26) at Boston (26-18)
7:05; Fenway Park
RAYS TV/PAX, ESPN2; RAYS RADIO/1250 AM WHNZ

Game Previews
Devil Rays
Boston

Pitching Matchup:

RAYS-RH Doug Waechter (0-2, 6.63)

BOS-RH Josh Beckett (6-1, 4.19)

Lineups

RAYS
SS Julio Lugo-.708 OPS
LF Carl Crawford-.721 OPS
DH Jonny Gomes-.992 OPS
3B Aubrey Huff-.526 OPS
2B Ty Wigginton-.818 OPS
1B Greg Norton-.841 OPS
C Toby Hall-.772 OPS
RF Russell Branyan-.759 OPS
CF Damon Hollins-.722 OPS

Boston
1B Kevin Youkilis-.925 OPS
2B Mark Loretta-.727 OPS
DH David Ortiz-.923 OPS
LF Manny Ramirez-1.021 OPS
RF Trot Nixon-.825 OPS
C Jason Varitek-.712 OPS
3B Mike Lowell-.968 OPS
CF Willy Mo Pena-.865 OPS
SS Alex Gonzalez-.588 OPS

Gameday Tune-Boston has been a Boulevard of Broken Dreams for us.

I gotta have more cowbell, baby!

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

RAYS (21-26) at Boston (26-18)
7:05; Fenway Park
RAYS TV/PAX, ESPN2; RAYS RADIO/1250 AM WHNZ

Game Previews
Devil Rays
Boston

Pitching Matchup

Breakdown

RAYS-RH Doug Waechter (0-2, 6.63):

Scouting Report-Waechter made his first start out of the bullpen on Saturday after missing a turn in the rotation because of an off-day. He allowed three runs over six innings on six Marlins hits, walking three and striking out two. It was a big improvement from his last outing, in which he allowed seven runs on 11 hits over seven innings in his longest outing of the year. Waechter lasted just 2 2/3 innings at Boston April 19, surrendering seven runs (six earned) on five hits and three walks for his first loss of the season. He is 1-2 all-time with a 6.27 career ERA against Boston.  
[DevilRays.com]

This Season-36.2 IP, 8/7 G/GS, 170 TBF, 5.30 FIP, 16:15 K/BB, 1.07 K/BB, 3.93 K/9, 3.68 BB/9, 1.58 WHIP, .817 Opp OPS, .309 BABIP, 0.76 G:F, 0.98 HR/9

Career-299.1 IP, 57/51 G/GS, 1316 TBF, 13-23, 5.56 ERA, 5.69 FIP, 168:101 K/BB, 1.66 K/BB, 5.05 K/9, 3.04 BB/9, 1.44 WHIP, .830 Opp OPS, .288 BABIP, 0.76 G:F, 1.71 HR/9

Last Start-5/20 vs FLA (ND): 6 IP, 100 Pitches, 6 H, 3 R (ER), 3 BB, 2 K, 5:11 G/F

Last Start vs BOS-4/29 (ND)-5.1 IP, 87 pitches, 3 H, 3 R (ER), 4 BB, 3 K, 3 HR, 6:7 G/F

All-Time vs BOS-33 IP, 7/6 G/GS, 0-2, 6.27 ERA, 26:15 K/BB, 1.58 WHIP, .282 Opp AVG, 1.91 HR/9
[Yahoo Sports]

Batter v Pitcher:
David Ortiz-17 ABs, .925 OPS, 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, BB, K
Trot Nixon-14 ABs, 1.018 OPS, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, BB
Jason Varitek-13 ABs, .760 OPS, 2B, RBI, 2 BB, 2 K
Manny Ramirez-11 ABs, 1.194 OPS, 2 2B, HR, 2 RBI, 4 BB, 5 K
Mike Lowell-7 ABs, 1.214 OPS, 2 2B, 3 RBI, BB, K
Willy Mo Pena-1 for 5, solo HR, 2 K
Coco Crisp-2 for 3, solo HR
Kevin Youkilis-2 for 3, solo HR, 2 BB
Mark Loretta-1 for 2
[ESPN.com]

Miscellaneous-Waechter is 0-2 with a 8.25 ERA all-time at Fenway Park...Waechter's home and road ERAs are exactly the same, 5.56...Waechter's start last time out was the first this season in which the Rays have won when he took the hill, although he himself is still looking for his first win since last August.

BOS-RH Josh Beckett (6-1, 4.19):

Scouting Report-Beckett was masterful with his fastball in his last start, leading the Red Sox to a win over the Phillies. He struck out just four, but kept Philadelphia hitters at bay until an eighth inning three-run home run by Ryan Howard. Finishing the seventh inning is nothing new for him; he's done it in seven of his nine starts. Beckett has not faced the Devil Rays in either of the two series between the teams this year.  
[RedSox.com]

This Season-58 IP, 9/9 G/GS, 238 TBF, 5.20 FIP, 40:19 K/BB, 2.11 K/BB, 6.21 K/9, 2.95 BB/9, 1.12 WHIP, .695 Opp OPS, .226 BABIP, 0.94 G:F, 1.55 HR/9

Career-667 IP, 115/112 G/GS, 2775 TBF, 47-35, 3.52 ERA, 3.71 FIP, 647:242 K/BB, 2.67 K/BB, 8.73 K/9, 3.27 BB/9, 1.22 WHIP, .680 Opp OPS, .292 BABIP, 0.88 HR/9

Last Start-5/20 at PHI (W): 7 IP, 106 Pitches, 6 H, 4 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 4 K, 2 HR, 9:8 G/F

Last Start vs RAYS-Has not pitched vs RAYS.

All-Time vs RAYS-33 IP, 7/6 G/GS, 0-2, 6.27 ERA, 26:15 K/BB, 1.58 WHIP, .282 Opp AVG, 1.91 HR/9
[Yahoo Sports]

Batter v Pitcher:
Ty Wigginton-8 ABs, 1.319 OPS, 2B, solo HR, 2 K
Tomas Perez-7 ABs, .946 OPS, 3B, 2 RBI, BB, K
Russell Branyan-3 for 3, 2B, solo HR, BB
[ESPN.com]

Miscellaneous-Beckett is second on the Red Sox in wins (6), and can tie Curt Schilling for the team and major league lead (along with Rays starter Scott Kazmir) by winning today...He became the first Red Sox pitcher to hit a home run since 1972 when he connected in his last start, an interleague dust-up with the Phillies...Beckett will be facing the Rays for the first time today, he has not faced them as a member of the Florida Marlins in the "Citrus Series" rivalry, or in two previous series' against the Rays this year...With a win today, Beckett will have defeated every AL East foe in under two months to start the season...He is 2-0 with a 2.84 ERA at Fenway Park this season.

Game Notes-The Rays are in the midst of their longest road trip of the season, 10 games in 11 days that has taken them through Toronto, and has an upcoming trip to Baltimore, the Rays are in Boston for four games against the Red Sox...The Rays' nine road victories so far this season has topped their total from the entire pre-All Star break period last year; It took the Rays until July 14th to win their ninth on the road last season...Red Sox 2B Mark Lorettta has a nine game hitting streak going, tying him for the longest such streak by a Boston hitter this season; He is 15 for 37 during the streak, and is hitting .301 on the season.

Lineups

RAYS
SS Julio Lugo-.708 OPS
LF Carl Crawford-.721 OPS
DH Jonny Gomes-.992 OPS
3B Aubrey Huff-.526 OPS
2B Ty Wigginton-.818 OPS
1B Greg Norton-.841 OPS
C Toby Hall-.772 OPS
RF Russell Branyan-.759 OPS
CF Damon Hollins-.722 OPS

-Might I say that the lineup looks so much better after yesterday's tear, especially the top of the order in Carwford and Lugo, who were a combined 8 for 10 last night. They are finally starting to look like a major league quality top of the order. Jonny Gomes i in a bit of a slump, but overall he still deserves to three hole. Aubrey Huff continues to bat cleanup for some strange reason (cough...bribe...cough), while Ty Wigginton bats in the five hole. Travis Lee can ride the bench today as the more productive Greg Norton takes his spot, while Toby Hall, a productive Russell Branyan, and Damon Hollins round out the order. To me, it doesn't make sense why the Rays don't put Tomas Perez at third today. One, he has a good track record against Beckett, two, Aubrey Huff is in a funk, and three, his defense at third is a major upgrade. He'd be a good end of the order type to slot in.

Boston
1B Kevin Youkilis-.925 OPS
2B Mark Loretta-.727 OPS
DH David Ortiz-.923 OPS
LF Manny Ramirez-1.021 OPS
RF Trot Nixon-.825 OPS
C Jason Varitek-.712 OPS
3B Mike Lowell-.968 OPS
CF Willy Mo Pena-.865 OPS
SS Alex Gonzalez-.588 OPS

-An impressive lineup for the Sox today, if jumbled up a bit. The Sox apparently are trying to stash Willy Mo Pena and Mike Lowell low in the order so no one will notice how good they are doing, while batting, for example, Loretta in the two hole and Varitek sixth. But there is no question that they've got some firepower in the order today (basicly everyone outside of Alex Gonzalez), so Waechter will have his hands full.

Gameday Tune-Boston has been a Boulevard of Broken Dreams for us.

I gotta have more cowbell, baby!

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