Rays at Mariners
UPDATE, 9:15: Not much from Joe Maddon's pre-game, though he does plan to start John Jaso at catcher on Thursday against Seattle lefty Ryan Rowland-Smith rather than switch-hitter Dioner Navarro. Also, though Maddon said J.P. Howell remained on track in his comeback, Maddon did mention the J-word, that it may late May or early June before he gets back to pitching for the Rays.
UPDATE, 9:12: The Mariners are giving Milton Bradley a few days to sort through his latest personal issues and don't plan on using him in the games. Here is their lineup:
UPDATE, 6:44: Rays lineup, back to normal:
DEVELOPING: The Rays are readying for game two of their three-game series with the Mariners, and it's going to be cold (and wet) again tonight here at covered, but open-air, Safeco Field.
The Rays will put their major-league best 19-7 record, and 10-1 road mark, to the test against Seattle lefty Cliff Lee. The Mariners have other issues, given their overall lack of offense (9 homers total, none in their last 73 innings) and the distraction caused by OF Milton Bradley, who reportedly left the stadium after being removed from Tuesday's game (and may have been upset manager Don Wakamatsu didn't argue the called third strike on his behalf, then showed up at a scheduled appearance today. Here are details from the Seattle Times' Geoff Baker.
And some interesting tidbits from the Rays game notes:
RAYS ROAD RECORD BEST SINCE THE 2003 YANKEES ---Rays are a major league best 10-1 on the road this season and off to the best start on the road since the 2003 Yankees started 10-1 (11-1)…the Rays are one of only 4 teams to start 10-1 or better on the road in the last 25 years and one of only 8 teams to start since 10-1 or better since the start of divisional play in 1969… Rays are pitching to a 2.21 ERA (IP-102, ER-25) on the road and have held opposing hitters to a .205 batting average, both top the majors …tonight’s starter Matt Garza leads the AL with a 0.56 road ERA…last night started the Rays on a stretch of 14 of 19 on the road.
Best Road Records After 11 Games, Since 1969
1981 Oakland A’s 11-0
1984 Detroit Tigers 11-0
2010 Rays 10-1
1976 Philadelphia Phillies 10-1
1977 LA Dodgers 10-1
1994 Atlanta Braves 10-1
2001 Seattle Mariners 10-1
2003 New York Yankees 10-1
POINTS FOR AND AGAINST---The Rays lead the American League in most runs scored (152) and fewest runs allowed (82) …Their run differential of+ 70 is the greatest by a major league team after 65 games since the 2003 Yankees (+76) and matches the 3rd greatest after 26 games since divisional play began in 1969.
Majors Greatest Run Differential After 25 Games, Since 1969
2003 New York Yankees +76
1984 Detroit Tigers +73
1993 Detroit Tigers +70
2010 Rays +70
1981 Oakland A’s +70
1997 Atlanta Braves +69
1977 Los Angeles Dodgers +69
POINTS AGAINST---The Rays have allowed only 82 runs, the fewest by an American League team after 26 games since the 2001 Red Sox permitted only 76…only twice has an AL team allowed fewer runs after 26 games in the last 25 years.
Fewest Runs Allowed After 26 Games, Last 25 Years, Since 1985
1991 Boston Red Sox 77
2001 Boston Red Sox 76
2010 Rays 82
1986 Boston Red Sox 82