Game 30 Lineups and Outlook
Coming off the sweep the Rays must be feeling like they’re back in the high life again, but this road trip to Seattle will require them to keep away from the haze that has led to some offensive malaise at times. Felix Hernandez won’t be doing him any favors even if he is a bit diminished since that fateful afternoon where me and a good friend watched him twirl his one and only perfect game. This newer version has even less of a fastball which is finally starting to show a bit too much convergence with his change up. He still brings all the guts, guile and intelligence that comes from a lifetime of doing one thing over and over at a very high level. I fear he will use the Rays overt aggressiveness against themselves, which could lead to low pitch counts and a deep start for the veteran hurler:
The numbers actually like the Rays quite a bit tonight and a lot more than Vegas. It might be worth taking a stab tonight, but much like the system not knowing that King Felix hasn’t been his usual self it has to have no idea what to expect from Matt Moore. Matty has certainly pitched very well for a lot of the time this year, but when he’s not on, whether it be for an inning or an at bat, he can be gotten to. These usually start innocuously with a scratch hit or an easy walk, but it seems to balloon from there. Keeping on track and adjusting with the opposition batters will be the key for Moore and the Rays tonight. Here’s a look at the bullpen expectations:
(note that these figures have been updated as of 9:57, the previous figures were wrong)
Cishek is pretty good and he’s not alone as there are several good matchups out there, but it cuts both ways. Old friend Joel Peralta, who is not a lion of any kind, has assumed the primary setup role. He is joined by a couple of lefties that have wide splits. Getting into this pen early, in the game, and in the series, will be a big key for the Rays. Of course that will also mean that the offense did something against their starters, which is probably why it seems important.