To say the Rays 4-3 win against the Red Sox was important would be an understatement. In the throes of a horrible stretch, Jeremy Hellickson put together a solid outing, while Tampa Bay took advantage of Jake Peavy’s misgivings — coming up with key (I refuse to call them clutch) hits to give them a 3-1 lead and the subsequent one run win.
Tampa Bay heads to Minneapolis to take on the lowly Twins in a three game set — the final leg in the 2013 Knutson Cup. The Rays swept Minnesota in four games back in July while in the midst of a 21-5 stretch. In an ideal world, facing a sub .500 team could be precisely what the doctored ordered following Thursday night’s huge win. A cautionary tale is in order though, Tampa Bay didn’t fare too well against a pair of sub .500 teams on their most recent west coast trip.
Kevin Correia: Per Rotowire, “Correia picked up his ninth win of the season Sunday as he gave up one earned run on five hits over seven innings. He walked one and struck out two.” Egad, a pitcher who the Rays have had success against! Tampa Bay last faced Correia in a 5.1 IP/3 ER/1 HR outing, back on July 10th. Since then, the Twins RHP has given up three or more runs in four starts, and 15 overall. Key match-ups: David DeJesus (3-11, 2 2B, BB), Yunel Escobar (4-9, RBI, BB), Kelly Johnson (9-25, 2B, 5 HR, 10 RBI), Wil Myers (1-3), Luke Scott (2-4, 2 BB), Delmon Young (3-9, RBI).
Andrew Albers: Per Rotowire, “Albers gave up four hits over seven scoreless innings Sunday against Toronto. He walked none and struck out five.” Albers has been described as a, “He’s a 6-1, 195 pound lefty, born October 6, 1985. As you may surmise given his background, he doesn’t have a blazing fastball, working at 85-88 MPH and usually at the lower end of that range. He locates it well however, and is adept at changing speeds with his slider and changeup. He’s always thrown strikes, and has succeeded at every level of baseball to which he’s been exposed, including playing for the Canadian national team.”
Pedro Hernandez: Per Rotowire, “Hernandez did not record a decision Monday against the Angels as he pitched 4.2 innings and allowed three runs, eight hits and one walk to go along with three strikeouts.” The scouting report on Hernandez, “Hernandez is er solidly built at 5’10″ and 210lbs and throws a hittable fastball that will touch 90 but requires precise location to be effective. When Hernandez is at his most effective he locates his fastball early, gets ahead of hitters and brings his decent change into play. Hernandez will throw a looping curve, but he can neither locate or disguise it well so experienced hitters will just watch it bounce and wait on his hittable fastball. He is notorious for losing composure on the mound and that, along with his lack of an effective breaking pitch, may have sabotaged him as he moved up the chain in both the White Sox and Padre systems.”