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For starters, Rays at Yankees, with no Zobrist and lots of math

20

September

UPDATE, 6:20: LHP David Price said he feels fine and is no longer sore after being hit by a line drive and Sunday and plans to make his next start as scheduled on Friday. Price pushed his scheduled bullpen session back from today until tomorrow, but said that he'll throw less than usual. ... RHP Kyle Farnsworth (right elbow) remains optimistic he will be back before the end of the regular season after throwing at a distance of 90 feet today and letting a few go; the bigger test will be Wednesday when he throws off the mound for the first time since the Sept. 10 game. ... Ben Zobrist remained in St. Petersburg on Tuesday after the Monday birth of his daughter, Kruse, and is not expected to be back until the Wednesday night game. ... OF Sam Fuld (wrist) hasn't responded enough to the cortisone shot and remains limited to pinch-hitting and defense. ... Maddon said the Rays likely will decide before the Wednesday night game who will start on Saturday, with the choices being one of the two rookie LHPs, Matt Moore or Alex Torres. ... Maddon said he was fined by MLB for his Friday night objections/ejection. ... The Yankees are saying their pitching isn't set for Wednesday, with a tentative plan for Phil Hughes to pitch the day game and CC Sabathia the night game, but Hughes has been bothered by back spasms.

UPDATE, 3:55: Rays lineup with S-Rod in Zobrist's place and Damon hitting cleanup:
Jennings lf,
Upton cf,
Longoria 3b,
Damon dh,
Kotchman 1b,
Joyce rf,
Rodriguez 2b,
Shoppach c,
Brignac ss,
Davis p

DEVELOPING:  The Rays are regrouping at Yankee Stadium this afternoon to resume their dramatic push for a playoff spot with the opening of a four-games-in-three-days series against the AL East leading Yankees.

The Rays remain two games behind the Red Sox, who split a day-night doubleheader with the Orioles on Monday, and face the last-place O's again tonight.

Though the Red Sox in essenced gained ground with the split because two games came off the schedule (they have only eight left), the Rays moved closer because they are now only one behind Boston in the loss column.

The Rays have a magic number as of now of 12. But even more interesting, as Todd Kalas of Sun Sports just explained to me (twice, sorry, Todd), the Rays actually control their own destiny if they win their remaining 10 games, since they play the Yankees seven times and then the Yankees and Red Sox play each other three times. So in that case, the Rays would finish with 95 wins and both the Yankees and Red Sox can't finish with that many.

The Rays are expected to be without 2B/RF Ben Zobrist tonight, as he went home Sunday for the birth of his daughter on Monday.

There has been rain throughout the day in New York, though nothing heavy is forecast during the game-time window.

The Rays are 5-6 thus far against the Yankees, having pitched to a 3.47 ERA and hit .229 (though out-homering the Bronx Bombers 15-9).

Lineups when available.

 

[Last modified: Thursday, October 20, 2011 12:15am]

    

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