Saturday, October 1, 2011

ALDS Game 2: Rays at Rangers

US Presswire photo
Kelly Shoppach was the surprise offensive hero of Game 1 for the Rays.
They dominated Game 1 yesterday behind Matt Moore's seven shutout innings and Kelly Shoppach's surprising power. Now, the Rays look to take complete control of their division series against the Rangers in Game 2 tonight.

Tampa Bay has to like its chances with James Shields on the hill. The veteran right-hander beat Texas twice this season, allowing one total run over 17 innings. He also tossed a major-league-leading 11 complete games this year, giving manager Joe Maddon comfort when it comes time to using his bullpen.

In order to knot the series back up at one game apiece, the Rangers need a big performance from lefty Derek Holland, who finished the season on a prolonged hot streak. The 24-year-old went 10-1 with a 2.77 ERA over his final 15 starts, which should give manager Ron Washington some peace of mind heading into this crucial ballgame...

Where: Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
Gametime: 7:07 p.m.
Radio: XM 181
Weather: Sunny, 82 degrees, Wind 5 mph LF to RF
LF Desmond Jennings
CF B.J. Upton
3B Evan Longoria
2B Ben Zobrist
DH Johnny Damon
C Kelly Shoppach
SS Sean Rodriguez
1B Casey Kotchman
RF Matt Joyce
(P James Shields)

2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
CF Josh Hamilton
DH Michael Young
3B Adrian Beltre
C Mike Napoli
RF Nelson Cruz
LF David Murphy
1B Mitch Moreland
(P Derek Holland)


FS - daydreaming again said...

I can not wait to cheer for Nats in October next season.

But today, Go tampa Go!!!

Anonymous said...

And two of the organization's top picks from this summer's draft (third baseman Anthony Rendon and left-hander Matt Purke) are expected to play alongside them as well.

This will be a good test of Harper's progress, since the soon-to-be 19-year-old will be competing against the best Class AA and AAA talent out there. Most AFL prospects are on the verge of reaching the big leagues. If Harper performs well on a daily basis out there, it could signal how close he is to arriving in Washington. If he struggles, perhaps it's a sign he still needs more seasoning at Class AA.

The world does not revolve around Harper. What happens if Rendon looks almost ready? Matt Purke? Don't you think THOSE would be determining factors in Rizzo/Johnson's offseason decision making?

baseballswami said...

Just seems like Harper/Strasburg are the go-to names when discussing the future of the nats. We have so much more than that now, which is very cool. Next October - the Nats - expect it.

natsfan1a said...

Dang, I had a really nice post worked up there and then hit the wrong key too soon. Oh well. Will try to capture lightning in a bottle again here... :-)

Shields must have felt like he was living in a nightmare in the fourth inning last night. Plunks the hitter and then it's "don't let me plunk this guy, too - d'oh!" He gave his catcher some look when the ball skipped away and another run scored later in the inning. Then it's like we have "fin-ally three outs - d'oh!" I wonder whether Texas is in his head after his previous postseason start there. Oh well. Now that the one-time cycle of neither team winning their home postseason game against the other is broken, will be rooting for the Rays to take two at home this week. Go, RAYS!! (Also can't wait to say "Go, Nats!!" well into October, FS.)

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