Rays take aim at A's
Well, good thing the Rays are liking this cold weather stuff, because it's only slightly warmed in Oakland today it was in Seattle. It's 61 now in the middle of the day, and will be in the 50s by gametime - again.
The Rays will put their baseball-best 21-7 record - and pace for an absurb 122 wins - on the line tonight, as well as their 12-1 road mark.
LHP David Price will be on the mound, facing the A's for the first time, with a 3-1 record, dazzling 2.34 ERA and the confidence all the Rays have been pitching with.
The Rays PR staff keeps going back in time to look up notes on the 12-1 road start, and it's an impressive accomplishment.
From what they found:
* The Rays are just the 8th major-league team, and 4th AL team, since 1900 to start 12-1 or better on the road. The last team to do it was the 1984 Tigers, who set a major-league record by winning their first 17 road games.
* With a win tonight, the Rays would become only the 5th major league team, 3rd AL team, since 1900 to start 13-1 or better on the road
Best Road Records After 13 Games, Since 1900
1984 Detroit Tigers 13-0 14-0 1981 Oakland A’s 12-1 12-2
1912 Chicago White Sox 12-1-1 13-1-1 1941 St. Louis Cardinals 12-1 12-2
1976 Philadelphia Phillies 12-1 13-1 1902 Pittsburgh Pirates 12-1-1 12-2-1
1923 New York Giants 12-1 13-1 2010 Rays 12-1
* A key to their success: The Rays are pitching to a 2.03 ERA (IP-120, ER-27) on the road and have held opposing hitters to a .198 batting average, including .086 (6-70) with runners in scoring position - all top the majors.
Some other interesting tidbits, from the game notes:
* The Rays lead the majors in most runs scored (168) and the American League in fewest runs allowed (85) …Their run differential of+ 83 is the greatest by a major league team after 28 games since the 1984 Tigers (also +83) and equals the 3rd greatest advantage after 28 games since 1900.
Greatest Run Differential After 28 Games Since 1900
1902 Pittsburgh Pirates + 112 (+113 after 29 games)
1905 New York Giants +97 (+98)
1939 New York Yankees +91 (+94)
1984 Detroit Tigers +83 (+85)
2010 Tampa Bay Rays +83
* The Rays have allowed only 85 runs…it is the fewest runs allowed by an AL team through the first 28 games of the season since the 1990 Oakland A’s who allowed only 84 runs.
* The Rays lead the AL with a 2.84 ERA (3rd in the majors), lowest on this date by an AL team since the 1991 Red Sox (2.45)
* Rays starters have lost only 3 decisions in the first 28 games and are 17-3 with a 2.61 ERA (IP-183.0, H-145, ER-51, BB-61, SO-155)
* Rays starters lead the majors in ERA and wins and are tied with the St. Louis Cardinals for the major league high with an average of 6.2 innings per start.
* Rays starters haven’t lost since April 23 (Garza lost to Toronto, 6-5) and are 8-0 with 3 no decisions since.
* Un the last 20 games (since April 14 at BAL), the Rays bullpen is 3-2 with a 1.78 ERA (50.1-IP, 10-ER).
* Last night was the 13th time a Rays starter has gone 7.0+ innings and allowed 2 or fewer runs…only the Cardinals with 14 such games and the Giants with 13 have as many in 2010.
* Rays lead the majors with a .317 (84-265) average with runners in scoring position (tied with Arziona)… among the Al leaders Carl Crawford (.474) is 2nd, Jason Bartlett (.458) is 6th, John Jaso (.385) is 9th and Reid Brignac (.375) is 10th…the Rays are just 12th overall in hitting in the majors.