Friday, June 12, 2009

Rays the Series Preview

No Steaks, just baseball nonsense.

Friday: Craig Stammen vs. Matt Garza

Saturday: Jordan Zimmermann vs. Andy Sonnanstine

Sunday: Ross Detwiler vs. James Shields

To put the last week in perspective, if you remove the high and low values, the Nats are averaging a little over a run and a half per game (overall, it was 17 runs in 8 games, 7 coming during Lannan’s CG). That makes winning very difficult. The pitching staff has held up their end of the bargain, giving up just 3.5 runs/game (removing the high and low values). Lower scoring games are more manageable, but holy crap guys. Manufacture a run. It looks like the Nats bullpen may finally have rounded into form, though I think Colome or Tavarez will get the boot once Kip Wells returns. This is extremely good news.

The Rays are much better than their .500 record indicates and should have no problem taking at least two of three, though a sweep is likely. Now that they have moved Kazmir to the DL, their rotation is deeper than almost anyone, especially if they don’t allow Andy Sonnanstine to pitch on the road. Their weakness, which the Nats can pounce on, is their bullpen. It isn’t awful, but they just aren’t as effective as last season. The Nats, scored 6 of their seven runs in the Reds’ series after the fifth inning. If this is trend, they may be able to steal a game or two.

In steps Lee Corso: NOT SO FAST. The Rays are the highest scoring team in baseball and sport the second highest run differential in the league… and they are at home. Corso then puts on a Ray Romano mask and the home crowd goes wild.

The important thing for the Nats will be if J Zimm gets his pitches. After pitching in the rain last Thursday after the rain out, his schedule was off so the skipped start was probably a wise decision. Hopefully he continues to throw strikes. Adam Dunn will be at DH, which should vastly improve the defense, and the turf should help the infield out. This give Manny fewer options in the outfield, but Willingham, Harris, and Dukes would be the most productive bet for all three games.

The Nats are my Ray of cloud on a sunny day...

No comments:

Post a Comment