Tonight the Rays will play in front of 40,000 people as the Tampa Bay community comes together to honor and support the victims of last week's mass shooting.
The last time the Rays played in front of a crowd this large was during game five of the 2010 American League Division Series -- a game of tremendous importance to the Rays as their season hung in the balance. It was the final time Carl Crawford, Matt Garza, and Jason Bartlett dawned a Rays uniform, representing a huge change in the franchise's direction.
Today's game may be of equal importance, not to the Rays season hopes, but to their impact on the area.
Whenever a horrific tragedy occurs, like the shooting in Orlando, people rally around each other and find ways to move on and endure. After the September 11th attacks, baseball was suspended for a week, but when it returned, the nation watched as Mike Piazza blasted a home run that resulted in a standing ovation and USA chants and a curtain call for the Mets catcher.
There is always sports to get you through the tough times, a constant of life, and more often than not, it's baseball right around the corner.
Win or lose tonight, the fact that the Rays were able to sellout a game with more people filling the Trop than most playoff games in their recent history, but this time to show their support to the LGBT community and the victims of a horrific crime.
What follows here is tonight's scouting report, but at the end of the day, this game does not matter. To honor those we lost, and to support those who were effected by Orlando, is the victory in itself.
TODAY'S STARTING PITCHERS:
Chris Archer's last start was another notch in the right direction as he pitched two outs into the eighth inning, most notable walking none and striking out eight. It was just Archer's second start of the year in which he didn't walk anyone. Over Archer's last four starts, he has a 3.58 ERA -- which isn't great, but a tremendous improvement over how he began the year. He's also averaging close to seven innings per outing over that stretch.
Jeff Samardzija Scouting Report:
Over his last three starts, Jeff has struggled to pitch deep into games, having completed a total of 14 and two-thirds innings, averaging just under five innings a start. Over that time, he has given up 13 runs -- 12 earned. His last start, Samardzija pitched just two outs into the fifth inning, allowed two runs seven hits, walking two and striking out three resulting in no decision against the Dodgers.
|PITCH||AVG. VELO.||FREQUENCY||vs LHB||vs RHB|
25.9% vs LHB
15.7% vs RHB
|Paints the outside corner||Tends to stay middle-away, up in the zone|
20.0% vs LHB
33.1% vs RHB
|Paints the outside corner||Paints the inside corner|
31.7% vs LHB
29.3% vs RHB
|Up and inside, in the zone||Paints the outside corner|
10.0% vs LHB
20.4% vs RHB
|Paints the outside corner||Anywhere low in the zone|
12.1% vs LHB
1.3% vs RHB
|Low and away from the zone||Low and away from the zone|
0.1% vs LHB
0.0% vs RHB
|Low and inside, off the plate||Non-existent|
TODAY'S STARTING LINEUPS:
|TAMPA BAY RAYS||SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS|
|Logan Forsythe - 2B||Denard Span - CF|
|Brad Miller - SS||Joe Panik - 2B|
|Evan Longoria - 3B||Brandon Belt - 1B|
|Logan Morrison - 1B||Buster Posey - C|
|Steve Pearce - DH||Brandon Crawford - SS|
|Corey Dickerson - LF||Matt Duffy - 3B|
|Desmond Jennings - CF||Angel Pagan - LF|
|Jaff Decker - RF||Jarrett Parker - DH|
|Curt Casali -C||Gregor Blanco - RF|