Opponent: Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Record: 28-55, .337, Fifth Place (AL East)
Place: Tropicana Field
Time & TV: Game 1: 4:15 p.m. (FSN); Game 2: 5:15 p.m. (WGN); Game 3:
12:15 p.m. (FSN)
2002 Record vs Sox: 3-4
2003 Record vs Sox: 0-0
The Tampa Bay Devil Rays are seemingly making a case to reclaim their
crown as the worst team in the American League. They have only won 9 of
their last 36 games and are already 27 games under .500. Twenty-one
year old phenom Rocco Baldelli leads the Rays with a .310 average while
Aubrey Huff has 16 home runs and 49 RBIs. Tampa has featured 20
different pitchers to this point of the year, putting together an ERA
of 5.06. The Devil Rays also have on of the leagues better relievers in
Al Levine. He has a 2-5 record with a 1.71 ERA in 42 innings.
WHO'S HOT (Last 7 days)
Rocco Baldelli, CF: .333, 2 2B, 1 3B, 5 SB
--Baldelli is one of the few Devil Rays that is playing even remotely
well at this point in the season. He can be counted on to try to make
things happen when he gets on base as he likes to steal.
WHO'S NOT (Last 7 days)
Jason Tyner, RF: . 111, 1 hits in 9 at-bats, 1 BB, 0 R
--Tyner has been nothing but a huge disappointment for Tampa Bay as he
has only played in 33 games all year and has spent a lot of time with
the Durham Bulls.
Bartolo Colon (6-7, 4.20, 87 K) vs. Victor Zambrano (5-4, 4.04, 52 K)
--Zambrano has had a very strange season. He leads the AL with 52 walks, but he has the fourth lowest batting average allowed at .219.
He throws a fastball, slider and changeup. Base runners often succeed stealing bases on him.
Esteban Loaiza (11-3, 2.18, 94 K) vs. Jorge Sosa (1-6, 5.06, 21 K)
--Sosa has incredible control problems and probably wouldnt be a
starter on any other squad in the majors. He has two more walks than
strikeouts and batters are hitting .302 off of him.
Mark Buehrle (6-10, 4.36, 63 K) vs. Jason Standridge (0-3, 3.99, 16 K)
--Standridge will be making only his sixth start of the season for the
Devil Rays. He started, relieved and closed games for the Devil Rays
Triple-A affiliate, the Durham Bulls. However, Standridge has been
dependable in his starts so far as he has not given up four or more runs
in any start.
KEY TO THE SERIES
Keep the Sox steamroller running. The White Sox need to realize that
just because they are a better team on paper, they still need to play
fundamental baseball to win. If the Sox dont go all-out, Tampa Bay will be a tough team to beat as many teams have found out.