Talk about a good game yesterday! Matt Joyce had grand slam to dead center (cough, I guess that was because 25,000+ fans were in the stands) and Sean-Rod smacked a one run dinger to left field. Both homer’s accounted for the five Ray runs. I’m still not a fan of a five spot in the LOB column, as well as going 1-5 with RISP. But ultimately, I can’t complain since a very good Braves team had the same stats in the LOB/RLISP columns.
What can I say about the pitching besides wow! Alex Cobb posted a 7 IP/6 H/2 E/2 BB/6 K line on 113 pitches and received his first W of the season. Cobb and the pen Tampa Bay’s retired the last 16 batters in a row. All this in front of a good sized crowd of 27,433.
Onward to today. Tim Hudson (2-1, 3.96 ERA) gets the start against David Price (6-2, 3.10 ERA) in the rubber match of this three game set. Hudson is yet another sinkerball pitcher in the Braves starting rotation. Leaning primarily on his Sinkerball, fastball, and slider, Hudson has given up only one home run in 25 innings of work. Yet, he is prone to keep the ball up in the zone (see pitch f/x graphs below) and has been knocked around this season; most notably on the fourth of May when he gave up six runs on six hits and three walks in six innings of work. Whether this makes him the devil is unknown at the moment. Nevertheless, the Rays hitters will need to approach the plate similarly to way they did yesterday: work the count, and force Hudson to pitch in the zone.
Price is 3-0 with an ERA under 3 at home this season. Incidentally, his two longest starts of the season have been at home as well. That is to say, he’s owned this season…but he’s REALLY owned at home. Price looks to give the, 5-5 in their last ten games, Rays a solid start, helping them win their first intraleague series of the season. A win would put Tampa Bay on more stable ground going into the upcoming series against the Jays.
The starting lineup is below. I’m rather surprised that Jeff Keppinger, who’s a career .517 hitter against Hudson, isn’t in the lineup. Then again, Sean-Rod and Elliot Johnson are red hot at the moment, so I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised. As always, Let’s Go Rays