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Drew Smyly goes to the mound as the Rays hope to avoid being swept at home

Rick Yeatts/Getty Images

There are 36 regular season games left in the season for the Rays. They'll face team they're either chasing for the division or wild card spot in 19 of those 36 games. So when Jake McGee went down with his knee injury, it was a mighty blow to the Rays playoff hopes and many of us considered the season lost, but there's still perhaps a chance that the Rays may be able to string together a few wins against those postseason teams.

When September hits, the Rays will be able to promote several of their blue chip prospects such as Joey Butler, who was actually just re-promoted as Desmond Jennings has hit the DL again. Jennings aggravated his right knee if running out a ground ball during Tuesday's game.

So things to watch for in tonight's game, the Rays have had less 10,000 show up for consecutive games so let's see if they make it under 30,000 for the series. Also, the Rays defense does not look pretty at all, it's actually pretty horrendous. Look if you dare, below.

Today's Starting Pitchers:

Drew Smyly vs Tommy Milone

Drew Smyly 1 2 3.42 4.61 25% 11.5% .223 6 5 26.1
Tommy Milone 6 3 3.69 4.71 17% 7% .247 15 16 (17G) 92.2

So Drew Smyly was a lot better his last time out against the Oakland Atletics in a start that was a breath of fresh air for Rays fans, especially after how his first start back and Matt Moore's outings turned out. Smyly made his return from what some people first speculated was a season ending injury on August 16th, but it wasn't pretty as he allowed five runs in just four innings. However, his last out was much better as he went five plus innings, not allowing any runs against the Oakland as he struck out two and walked zero.

Tommy Milone Scouting Report:

Milone has been a fairly decent pitcher for the Twins this year, and he has been better as of late. In eight of his last 12 starts, he has given up two runs or less. However, he made a rare relief appearance his last time out on the 23rd against Baltimore. In a game that had gone 11 innings, the Twins had already used seven pitchers, so Paul Molitor had to go to his starting southpaw for the 12th. Milone took it in stride retiring the side with two strikeouts in a perfect inning of work recording a save in the process.

His arsenal:

Fastball High 80's

50% vs RHB


52% vs LHB

Stays towards the lower half of the plate, and tries to paint the edges Paints the inside corner, high or low.
Sinker High 80's

04% vs RHB


03% vs LHB

Low and in Low and away
Cutter High 80's

07% vs RHB


24% vs LHB

Low and away Paints the inside corner, high or low
Change Low 80's

29% vs RHB


03% vs LHB

Sporadic Low in the zone, stays near the middle of the plate or away
Curve Mid 70's

10% vs RHB


18% vs LHB

Low and away Anywhere below the zone

His splits:

Milone is generating the highest rate of groundballs in his carrer thus far this season, as opponents have batted the ball on the ground about 41% of the time, with flies being hit 36% of the time, and the remaining 23% have been line drives. Milone has also been much better on the road than at home this season as hitters have slashed .287/.337/.472 in Minnesota this year, but while at home they have slashed .206/.271/.393 in the exact same amount of innings, 46.1.

vs LHB 105 .163 .221 .274 3 21% 6.7%
vs RHB 283 .279 .336 .492 12 15.6% 7.1%

Today's Lineups

Byron Buxton - CF Brandon Guyer - RF
Brian Dozier - 2B Daniel Nava - 1B
Joe Mauer - DH Evan Longoria - 3B
Miguel Sano - 3B Logan Forsythe - 2B
Trevor Plouffe - 1B Asdrubal Cabrera - SS
Torii Hunter - RF Joey Butler - LF
Eduardo Escobar - SS Tim Beckham - DH
Kurt Suzuki - C Kevin Kiermaier - CF
Shane Robinson - LF J.P. Arencibia - C
Tommy Milone - LHP Drew Smyly - LHP

- J.P. Arencibia will make his first start in a Rays uniform after lining out in his first plate appearance during yesterday's game. His experience working with Drew Smyly with Durham, as well as Rene Rivera's final at-bat last night were probably the determining factors.

- Fresh off a two homer day for Durham, Joey Butler finds himself starting in left field tonight for the Rays

- James Loney elected to serve his one game suspension today, as he would have not played due to the left-handed starting pitcher anyway.

Other Rays Notes:

- August 27th in team history, of which they are 8-7 all-time

  • One former Devil Rays player celebrates his birthday today, as Rick Gorecki was born on this date in 1973. If the name isn't familiar, it's because he only pitched in seven major league games all coming in the span of two seasons (1997-1998). He spent the latter of which with Tampa Bay, starting three games before going down with what turned out to be a career ending injury.
  • 1998 - During a 10-3 rout of the Twins, Devil Rays starter, Julio Santana, hurls a complete game and allows three runs (all unearned). He walked three and struck out three during the game and was supported by seven extra base hits, including John Flaherty's third homer of the year.
  • 1999 - One year after Santana's complete game effort, Rolando Arrojo delivers one of his own in a game against the Indians, however his would result in a 2-1 loss.
  • 2003 - A top prospect in Tampa Bay's system makes his major league debut as Doug Waechter relieves Chad Gaudin in the fifth inning of a game against the Mariners. Waechter would throw two-plus innings of scoreless ball, striking out three and walking two and would record his first major league victory as the Devil Rays won, 8-4.
  • 2006 - The Devil Rays took a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the seventh against the Orioles, unfortunately the foursome of Ruddy Lugo, Jon Switzer, Dan Miceli, and Seth McClung were unable to maintain that lead as Baltimore walked off in the ninth after Miguel Tejeda singled in Nick Markakis from second, winning the game, 5-4.

Kevin Witt's Solo-HR * J.P. Howell's Six Strong IP * Orioles Tie the Game * Tejada's Walkoff Single

  • 2007 - A year after blowing a lead in the seventh inning, the Devil Rays decided to do it again, after Edwin Jackson pitched six innings of shutout ball, he opened the seventh by allowing back-to-back-to-back homers to the trio of A.J. Pierzynski, Jermaine Dye, and Juan Uribe. After allowing a double, Dan Wheeler relieved him, retired two batters, then gave up a homer to the mighty Josh Fields that gave the White Sox a 5-4 lead, which would be the final score.

Delmon Young's 2-Run HR * Back-to-Back-to-Back HR's * Fields' 2-Run-HR

  • 2008 - Mat Garza, Grant Balfour, and Dan Wheeler team up to shutout the Blue Jays with the lone run in the game being provided by Carlos Pena, who hit his 27th home run of the year. Also, Justin Ruggiano had a pretty sweet catch to end the game as well.

  • 2013 - The seventh inning has not been kind to the Rays on this date as they yet again blew another lead. This time they took a 5-1 leading to the top of the seventh, as Jake McGee was unable to set down the Angels after coming in with two runners on a base. A ground out and single later made it only a one run game. Fast forward to the ninth and you have Fernando Rodney giving up a walk and back-to-back doubles and the Angels took the lead and would win y the score of 6-5.