The Rays start a new series, back home in the Trop, and Joe has high hopes as we host the hottest team in the American League.
We haven't yet scratched the surface as to how well we can play. We are better than that. Guys will come back to who they are.— Joe Maddon (@RaysJoeMaddon) April 19, 2013
A players-only meeting is to be held before the game, hopefully enough to continue the spark in offense.
Tampa Bay held a homerun derby yesterday, but lost the lead and then the game in extra innings -- dropping the record to 5-10. Here's hoping for a better day.
#Rays lineup: Jennings cf, Johnson lf, Zobrist rf, longoria 3b, Duncan DH, Rodriguez 1b, Roberts 2b, lobaton c, Escobar ss, Cobb RHP— Joe Smith (@TBTimesRays2) April 19, 2013
A's lineup vs Rays: crisp cf, Jaso c, smith DH, lowrie ss, moss 1b, young lf, reddick rf, Donaldson 3b, sogard 2b, Anderson LHP— Joe Smith (@TBTimesRays2) April 19, 2013
With another southpaw on the mound, and a groundballer at that, Joe Maddon is benching James Loney in favor of Sean Rodriguez. EsKobar remains in the lineup.
The A's are 1st in runs scored (96), 2nd in OBP (.354), 3rd in slugging (.464), and 4th in batting average (.269). In all of baseball. This team is that good. And our former catcher, who we traded for a minor league relief pitcher, bats either leadoff or second in every game he plays. He's that good... man.
Maybe they're due for some regression...
For more on the Athletics and the coming series, read Kinsella's preview here.
Our own Skitty Katz will be at the game. Just look for the emoticons.