Series Preview: Tampa Bay Rays VS. Colorado Rockies

June 16, 2009
Niemann leads the Rays into battle against the Rockies. (Times photo)

Niemann leads the Rays into battle against the Rockies. (Times photo)

Tampa, fresh off their sweep of the Nationals, travels to the real Coors Field (not the one in New York) for a three game series against a hot Colorado team. Tampa will have Jason Bartlett back tonight as Reid Brignac was sent back to Durham. The Rays have won five straight and have moved themselves into third place in the A.L. East. Read the rest of this entry »


Series Preview: Washington Nationals VS. Tampa Bay Rays

June 12, 2009

Probably the most exciting part of this series.

Probably the most exciting part of this series.


The Rays, coming off a series win against the Angles, will now face the Nationals for a three game set. Back to back series wins for the Rays would be huge in their effort to get out of fourth place. We can’t figure out what is more exciting, watching the Nationals? Or watching Ludacris perform? Read the rest of this entry »


Series Preview: Kanas City Royals VS. Tampa Bay Rays

June 1, 2009
Joyce celebrates his homerun.

Joyce celebrates his homerun.

Kanas rolls into town for a three game series against the Rays. Since Tampa is playing better we are dropping the Devil for the time being. The Rays looked strong against the Twins taking two out of three. But playing in the AL East means that they need to sweep teams such as the Twins and Royals. Plus we do not have to see Zack Greinke. Read the rest of this entry »


Series Preview: Cleveland Indians

May 25, 2009
David Price makes his debut tonight. (A/P)

David Price makes his debut tonight. (A/P)

We are going to try something a little different for pre-games here at Trop Talk. Instead of a daily pre-game we are going to try series previews to see how that goes. Tell us if you like this style or would rather see the old daily pre-games by either leaving comments or reaching us through one of the contacts on the contact page.

So without further ado, lets take a look at the next opponent, the Cleveland Indians. Read the rest of this entry »


One Big Mashup

May 14, 2009

We’re a little behind schedule so here’s last night’s thoughts, today’s preview, daily links, and lineups all in one post. Don’t get used to it.

I couldn’t catch much of last night’s game, but it seemed pretty typical. Carlos Pena had a good day at the plate, along with B.J. Upton who had three hits. The story offensively was Jason Bartlett who is the best hitter in the bottom three of any order. Barty continues to mash and hit his fifth homerun of the season in his first at bat. Let the debate for J.B. leading off over Upton continue.

Jeff Niemann had a typical start, going five innings and working in and out of trouble all night. And Troy Percival also had a typical night for himself which is giving up a lot of runs quickly and efficiently: that’s four runs, on four hits and two jacks on 19 pitches. Luckily the Rays were up by a good amount and were able to escape Baltimore with a W (as sad as that sounds). Read the rest of this entry »


Game 35: Tampa Bay (15-19) vs. Baltimore (14-19)

May 13, 2009

Jeff Niemann needs to keep the ball down and the offense needs to hit. Plain and simple, they need a win tonight or else will take over duties from the Orioles as the division bottom feeder.

Rays:
Upton CF
Crawford LF
Longoria 3B
Pena 1B
Aybar DH
Gross RF
Iwamura 2B
Bartlett SS
Navarro C
Niemann P

Orioles:
Roberts 2B
Jones CF
Markakis RF
Huff 1B
Mora 3B
Montanez LF
Wigginton DH
Moeller C
Izturis SS
Bergesen P

Pat Burrell has left the team to see a doctor about his stiff neck, read about it here.


Game 34: Tampa Bay Rays (15-18) vs. Baltimore Orioles (13-19)

May 12, 2009

Sonnanstine looks to put the Rays back on track. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Sonnanstine looks to put the Rays back on track. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)


The Rays will be coming off a well needed off-day as they continue this stretch of 40 games in 41 days. In the first 20 games, the Rays went 10-10 and continue to struggle to find any consistency. Tampa Bay travels to Baltimore for another two-game set before coming home for an eight game stand. These two games versus the Orioles will also be the last time the Rays play in their division for the rest of the month, and until the fifth of June when they travel back to New York. Of the 33 games played so far, 20 have been division games and the Rays have an 11-9 record. They need to turn it on now and start winning series. Last May is when Tampa Bay put it in gear and they need to repeat that as soon as possible. I know it’s still considered early, but the way to relieve pressure in September is to win games early.

What To Watch For:
Evan Longoria has absolutely owned today’s starter, Mark Hendrickson, to a tune of a .500 average in eight at bats, including two home runs. Carlos Pena is 2-6 with a homer, and Ben Zobrist is 2-3 lifetime against Hendrickson. However, Gabe Kapler has a .294 AVG in 17 AB, so it’ll be interesting to see who Joe Maddon goes with in right field.

X-Factor:
After a rough start to the season, Andy Sonnanstine has put together good starts his last two outings. That included a victory over Boston and a no decision against New York, in which he had a shutout into the eighth inning. The Rays will need him to have another good outing as they look to start climbing back into the division race. However, Sonnanstine will have his hands full as Brian Roberts, Aubrey Huff, Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, and Gregg Zaun all sport averages over .350 lifetime off him.