7:10; FSN Florida
RAYS RADIO/WHNZ 1250 AM
|RAYS||RH E. Jackson||36.1||5.45||6.69||6.19||1.08||10.40||.826||0.50||1.84||1.68||18.96|
LH C.C. Sabathia, Cleveland:
Overview-Cleveland send ace lefty C.C. Sabathia to the hill on their end of a rare matchup of African American pitchers in the first game of their series against the Devil Rays. Sabathia, coming off of his finest year statistically in 2006 with the Indians, has been even better through his first three starts in 2007, as he has struck out 17 and surrendered only two earned runs in his previous two starts. Sabathia, still only 26, has already amassed 84 career wins and has a lifetime 3.92 ERA in 188 career starts.
Last Start-The Indians hosted their division rivals from the Windy City in Sabathia's last start, a home matchup with the Chicago White Sox. Sabathia responded to the task of an important divisional game, as he went eight full innings, surrendering just one run on five hits while striking out ten. He left the ballgame after throwing 113 pitches, and earned his third win in as many starts. He preceded this effort with a stellar seven inning stint against the Angels in Milwaukee, giving up three runs, all but one unearned, while striking out seven.
vs RAYS-Sabathia made one start against the Devil Rays last year in the Indians' late August stopover in Tropicana Field. Unfortunately for the Rays, it was an impressive one. Sabathia went eight innings of work, giving up just one run on five hits while striking out four. He has a lifetime 2.44 ERA against the Rays in eight starts, though a lot of that is built on success against the team at Jacobs Field. At the Trop, he is a little bit worse, having put up a 4.50 ERA in 28 innings of work against the team. Of all the Devil Ray hitter, would you believe that it is Josh Paul who has the most success historically against Sabathia? Indeed, this is the case, and it really isn't even close. Paul is 6 for 15 lifetime off of Sabathia, with three home runs and nine RBI. The rest of the team's hitters, the ones that have faced Sabathia at least, have been relatively unsuccessful.
RH Edwin Jackson
Overview-Edwin Jackson heads to the hill for the third time this season to face Sabathia and the Indians. Looking to make the most of his first prolonged stint in a major league rotation, Jackson struggled mightily last time out on Saturday against the Twins, though he had a solid outing in Texas prior to that. Overall he has an 8.31 ERA through two starts this season, coming off of a 2006 campaign in which he posted a 5.45 ERA in 23 games, all but one of them in relief. This will be his first career start in Tropicana Field.
Last Start-Jackson got demolished in his last outing in the Metrodome against Minnesota, surrendering five runs, four of which were earned, in three innings of work against Minnesota. All of the improvements that he had apparently made with his control in his prior start against Texas, in which he walked just one in 5.2 innings, went out the window as he walked five, gave up three hits, and struck out none. He surrendered four runs, all earned, in 5.2 innings in his previous outing against the Rangers, and struck out four, but of concern was his inability to remain economical with his pitch count, up to 105 before his departure, as well as his penchant for being hit hard, as he gave up eight over the course of the game as well as several more hard-hit outs.
vs Cleveland-Jackson has made one career appearance against the Indians, a one inning scoreless relief outing last year, but he has not faced the Indians in the regular season at Tropicana Field, and no Indians hitter has faced him more than twice.
Cleveland-The Indians trot out most of their regulars for tonight's game from an offense that places second in the American League in On Base Percentage. Grady Sizemore, off to a torrid start for the Indians, leads off and plays center. He is followed up by David Dellucci, whom the Rays pursued as a free agent last offseason. They are followed up by the deadly combo of DH Travis Hafner and Victor Martinez. Former Red Sox outfielder Trot Nixon bats fifth and is the right fielder, while Casey Blake, Mike Rouse, Josh Barfield, and Andy Marte round out the order for Cleveland.
DEVIL RAYS-The Rays, coming off of a rest day in which most of their players recovered from a flu virus that swept the clubhouse prior to Wednesday afternoon's game, trot out their normal batting order, with Brendan Harris apparently cementing a role as the starting shortstop. He bats second in the order, in lieu of Ben Zobrist. Rocco Baldelli precedes him as the leadoff hitter in center field, while the core 3-5 hitters remain the same. Akinori Iwamura makes his return from illness to bat sixth, while Dioner Navarro makes his return to the batting order and hits seventh. Jonny Gomes gets a rare start and bats eighth as the DH, and B.J. Upton rounds out the order and bats ninth from the '4' hole.
[editor's note, by Patrick L. Kennedy] On a personal note, I will be out of commission for at least the next day, as I will be in Lakeland for the Sun 'n Fun EAA Fly-in tonight and tomorrow afternoon. This means no game wrap and no minor league report, as well as no updated sidebars for the next day. There also exists the possibility that I will be unable to make a game thread tomorrow. Everything should resume as normal tomorrow night, I regret the inconvenience.