Oof. Like I said a few days ago, I was cautiously optimistic about whether the Rays might be on an upward trend when it comes to run production. After scoring four runs and going 1-5 wRISP on Sunday, and scoring two runs while going 2-9 wRISP last night, I think you can see why. The first inning was pretty though.
Believe it or not, the two errors in the first weren’t the Rays undoing, and neither was their inability to score runs. No friends, the nail in the coffin was the number of runs they gave up with two outs.
Sure, you can’t win games if you don’t score runs. However, even if they drove in the other seven base runners in scoring position, that’s what? Nine runs total? They still would have lost. Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not saying that they should admitted defeat early. Yes, had they manufactured runs the score would have been closer. And sure, you’d have imagined that Tampa Bay would have run against the tall right-hander considering that base runners have a 91% stolen base average against Young. But the fact remains, Tampa Bay gave up nine runs with two outs. They certainly cannot afford to do that tonight.
The Mets will throw RA Dickey (9-1, 2.44 ERA) on the mound. Dickey is on quite a streak of late, going 7-0 with a 1.55 ERA while holding opponents to a .195 average in his last nine starts. What’s more, he has lost just one game in 12 starts, and the Mets have won 10 games when Dickey has been on the mound. The right-handed knuckleballer has allowed one earned run in 30-2/3 innings while striking out 38 and walking three. With a 4.0 K/BB rate, allowing only three earned runs (or less) in 11 of his 12 starts this season, it’s obvious that the Rays have their work cut out for them.
On the other hand, the Mets will face a very good David Price (8-3, 2.40) for the first time. Price has won four of five home starts this season and is the best pitcher to go toe-to-toe against Dickey. Price has a 0.96 ERA in those five home starts. With the exception of the 3.1 IP/4 H/3 ER/3 BB/3 K 12-2 shellacking at the hands of the Red Sox back in April, all of Price’s losses have been by two runs.
The Rays and the Mets are two evenly keeled teams. Tonight’s game should be an interesting one from a pitching fanatics point of view.
Rays 6/13/12 Starting Lineup:
Note: Neither Luke Scott or Ben Zobrist are in the lineup. Scott reportedly has a bit of a stiff back, and Zo has a touch of illness.