Another stellar pitching performance and another lackluster showing at the plate; two things that have become synonymous with the Rays this season. Credit where it’s due, Moore looked great last night, and I think we’re finally seeing the rookie turn the corner…and not too soon. If the Rays are going to put together a post-season run, Moore is going to have to be on point. I think his last two outings are indicative of what we can expect. Jeremy Hellickson (5-6, 3.42 ERA), will take on Zack Greinke (9-3, 3.44 ERA) and the Angels this afternoon. Hellickson is another starter that’s had a tough time this season, though I think he may have turned a corner as well.
Helly is 1-6 in his last 10 starts, but he’s allowed three runs or fewer eight times during that span. He earned his first win in over two months Tuesday with a great 6.1 IP/2 H/1 ER/0 BB/4K performance against the Orioles. Helly has also only walked only one batter in his last two starts. The Angels have collectively posted a .211 BA/.268 OBP/.368 SLG/.637 OPS against, with two homers and two RBI. That is to say, he’s pitched well against the Angels. As with last night, it will be incumbent on the batters to carry the team today. And they’ll be facing a very good pitcher in Zack Greinke.
Greinke is 2-4 with a 3.32 ERA against the Rays, posting a 1.64 ERA in his last three meetings. You have to go back to 2009 to find a time that he’s given up more than two earned runs to the Rays. Greinke is very good, and the Rays are going to have to be patient at the plate to see if they can force him to pitch up in the zone…something that he typically doesn’t do. If one thing is certain, with a 53.7% to 24.3% GB/FB ratio, it’s going to be a low scoring, small ball kind of a day.
The Rays can walk away from Anaheim with a series win today. It’s not going to be easy, and the odds are assuredly against them. Then again, the odds were heavily against the Rays last night, and they eked out a W.
Tampa Bay Rays 7/29/12 Starting Lineup
Noteworthiness:BJ Upton has been scratched from today’s lineup, and Jeff Keppinger will fill the revolving DH door. I can’t really think of anything else to write, however this song has been going through my head following Matt Moore’s quality start last night: