Game 37 Lineups and Outlook
Well that was fun. It feels like it has been ages since the Rays had a blowout like this. Score aside, last night looked like a team with a plan that was just going to exhale all of their frustration from the Oakland series. The thing about a full exhale is that you have to be breath again. Tonight’s game will be the inhale that follows the full exertion and a decent enough bellwether for what to expect out of this schizophrenic ball club we call the Rays. They’ll need to be quick about it, because those lads across the chalk sure as shit want some payback.
The system seems to already be adjusting to the fact that Chris Archer isn’t quite what he was last year leading to some pretty unfavorable wOBA expectations for the top half of their lineup. It gets a little easier, but Archie will need to be ready to go when the bell rings, because if it takes him a few batters to find it the hole might already be too deep.
Most of that is due to Marcus Stroman being just so very good. He’s really tough on righties, and lefties shouldn’t expect to do a whole lot, either. When the Rays faced him earlier I was concerned he would throw a Maddux with how aggressive the Rays were, but he merely pitched very well. So far this year he has carved the Rays up to the tune of 16 innings, 14 strikeouts, three walks, and four runs on nine hits. With most of that damage coming in the second start perhaps the Rays are starting to figure him out a little or maybe Gibby hands it over to his shitpen a little earlier this time.
Dustin Antolin got optioned down for the ambidextrous Pat Venditte. Ol’ Pat might use both arms, but only one of them is any good as he has had much more success in his career when facing lefties. If that’s the case then they have a second LOOGY to go with Girodo and maybe they can squeeze a little more out of him. Yesterday, I begged the Rays to get into this thing early to blow it up and they came through with flying colors. The lesser lights got pretty extended so I’m sure we’re likely to see some Gavin Floyd action since neither Chavez nor Storen is likely to see extensive work. Of course, if history repeats they’ll only need the fantastic Osuna. We’ll see.