After a 6-4 loss to the San Francisco Giants on Saturday, the Tampa Bay Rays look to win their first road series of the season this afternoon.
The six runs the Giants scored on Saturday were the most allowed by the Rays since Opening Day (5). Prior to Saturday’s contest, Tampa Bay’s bullpen had allowed just four runs in 31 innings, yet then gave up six in six frames.
There is a bright side though: the Rays’ offense, which has averaged four runs per game (RPG) over the last five games, appears to be waking up. Compare that to the 2.75 RPG Tampa Bay averaged over the first four games. After being mired in a 1-for-27 stretch of frustrating at-bats, Willy Adames — who entered Saturday’s ballgame as a pinch hitter — went 2-for-3 on the day with a run scored.
Adames said he hopes the showing was the start of something.
I was not thinking a lot when I got to the box. I wasn’t thinking of my hands, my feet. I was just seeing the ball and hitting it. …I think I needed a day like that to get my confidence back— Willy Adames
.Hopefullykeep it going (Sunday).
Ji-Man Choi also had
Another superlative, Jeff Samardzija — who had been incredulous at the Rays usage of openers — was knocked out of the game in the fifth inning. Perhaps, if he had an opener in front of him, Samardzija wouldn’t have had to face Austin Meadows (1-for-5), Tommy Pham (0-3, BB, run, RBI sac-fly), and Choi three times. I digress.
The New What Next
Yonny Chirinos (1-0, 1.29 ERA) will get the start for Tampa Bay, pitching opposite of Drew Pomeranz (0-0, 3.60 ERA).
Chirinos gave up one run on two hits with no walks across seven innings of a win over the Astros on Sunday. He struck out six and walked none. The lone run he relinquished came on a third-inning Jake Marisnick homer with two outs. Otherwise, the tall right-hander coaxed a ton of weak contact to pair with his strike-throwing (88 pitches, 60 strikes, 68% strike rate) which kept the Astros’ bats at bay.
Pomeranz yielded two solo homers across five innings in his season debut against the Dodgers on Monday. The 30-year-old southpaw is 4-3 with a 3.98 ERA in 11 career appearances against the Rays. Last season Pomeranz went 0-1 with a 5.79 ERA across 9-1/3 innings against the Rays, having allowed four homers. He relies primarily on a firm 81 mph knuckle curveball with 12-6 movement and a whiffy 92 mph four-seam fastball with little natural movement, while also mixing in a whiffy 92 mph sinker with some arm-side run. Expect the Rays to load the lineup up with righties, as Pomeranz’s splits have the hurler performing to a career .329 wOBA against right-handed hitting as opposed to a .279 against southpaw batters. Key Matchups: Willy Adames (1-2, HR, 2 RBI), Avisail Garcia (3-5, 2B), Guillermo Heredia (2-4, HR, 3 RBI, BB), Daniel Robertson (1-4, HR, RBI)
You can read about the series.
Rays 4/7/19 Starting Lineup
- Diaz 1B
- Pham LF
- Robertson 2B
- Garcia RF
- Zunino C
- Kiermaier CF
- Adames SS
- Arroyo 3B
- Chirinos RHP
— A throwback to before the Rays were a thing, when we almost had the Giants.
Let’s not take our small market team for granted.