Make us your home page

For starters, Rays vs. Red Sox on ESPN



UPDATE, 6:00 Matt Joyce was scratched from the lineup because his right knee was swollen and stiff after hitting a foul ball off it in Saturday's game.

Manager Joe Maddon said Joyce could get treatment during the game and may be available to pinch-hit, and expects he should be back Monday against the Yankees.

Here's the new lineup:

Damon dh
Zobrist rf
Longoria 3b
Kotchman 1b
Upton cf
Lobaton c
Rodriguez 2b
Fuld lf
Brignac ss
Niemann p

UPDATE, 4:40: Rays lineup, with Lobaton making first start:
Damon dh
Zobrist 2b
Kotchman 1b
Longoria 3b
Joyce rf
Upton cf
Lobaton c
Fuld lf
Brignac ss
Niemann p

DEVELOPING: The Rays are set to step on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball stage for the third, and decisive, game of their series with the Red Sox.

RHP Jeff Niemann will be on the mound for the Rays, and RHP Josh Beckett - who pulled himself out of the All-Star Game due to left knee tenderness - scheduled for Boston.

ESPN is promoting the game on several platforms, including a story on that suggests an interesting reason the Rays have had trouble scoring runs at Tropicana Field - the large amount of foul territory. The story is behind the Insider pay wall, but among the conclusions by Bradley Woodrum of FanGraphs:

The net result of increased foul territory appears significant. Over the past four years, Tropicana has played very similarly to Seattle's Safeco Field. This makes sense given their relatively similar dimensions. The extended outfield foul territory in Tropicana, however, seems to make the Trop an even more difficult environment for hitters.

And also:

Using ESPN's Park Factors, we can get a clue as to how much the different dimensions and environments change run scoring. Over the past three years, the Trop has been the second most pitcher-friendly stadium, trailing only Dodger Stadium (which has so much foul territory it basically has a second outfield behind home plate).

Since 2008, hitters are nearly 12 percent less likely to score runs in the Trop. By comparison, Safeco hitters have a 9 percent disadvantage, while hitters parks like Coors Field and Rangers Ballpark have respective 30 percent and 20 percent advantages.

Here is the Red Sox lineup:
Ellsbury cf
Pedroia 2b
Gonzalez 1b
Youkilis 3b
Ortiz dh
Drew rf
Reddick lf
Varitek c
Scutaro ss
Beckett p


[Last modified: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 12:15am]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours