Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rays Report

Tampa Bay Rays: Dan Johnson has messages; postseason veterans; Don Zimmer realizes his mistake

Rays at Rangers

When/where: 5:07 today; Rangers Ballpark, Arlington, Texas

TV/radio: TBS; 620-AM, 1040-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

Starting pitchers:


LH Matt Moore (1-0, 2.89)


LH C.J. Wilson (16-7, 2.94)

Watch for …

More Moore: The 22-year-old makes his second major-league start (fourth appearance) and says he doesn't expect to be intimidated by the stage. Texas' hitters, whom he has never faced, could be another story.

Leaning left: Wilson has allowed two earned runs or fewer in nine of his past 10 outings, including a complete-game shutout of the Rays on Sept. 6. In 18 appearances (five starts) against them, he is 5-0 with a 1.94 ERA.

Key matchups

Rays vs. Wilson

Casey Kotchman2-for-16

Evan Longoria2-for-14

B.J. Upton0-for-11

Projected lineups


1. Desmond Jennings LF

2. B.J. Upton CF

3. Evan Longoria 3B

4. Ben Zobrist 2B

5. Sean Rodriguez SS

6. Johnny Damon DH

7. Kelly Shoppach C

8. Casey Kotchman 1B

9. Matt Joyce or Justin Ruggiano RF


1. Ian Kinsler 2B

2. Elvis Andrus SS

3. Josh Hamilton CF

4. Michael Young DH

5. Adrian Beltre 3B

6. Mike Napoli C

7. Nelson Cruz RF

8. David Murphy LF

9. Mitch Moreland 1B

List of the day

Most postseason games from 2008-10:

Team No. Rec.

Phillies 38 25-13

Yankees 24 16-8

Rays 21 10-11

Number of the day

30 Consecutive games won by the Rays when scoring five or more; they are 63-7 overall.

Quote of the day

"I just kept saying to (bench coach Davey Martinez), 'Do you believe this? Do you believe this?' I don't know how many times I said it. And I might have included a word I can't utilize right now."

Rays manager Joe Maddon on Evan Longoria's winning homer Wednesday

On deck

Saturday: Game 2, at Rangers, 7:07, TNT. Rays — James Shields (16-12, 2.82); Rangers — Derek Holland (16-5, 3.95)

Sunday: Workout at Tropicana Field

Monday: Game 3, vs. Ran­gers, 5:07, TBS. Rays — TBA; Rangers — TBA

Tuesday: Game 4 (if necessary), vs. Rangers, TBA, TBS. Rays — TBA; Rangers — TBA

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: Game 5 (if necessary), at Rangers, TBA, TBS. Rays — TBA; Rangers — TBA


Games 3 and 4 go on sale at 1 p.m. today at Any remaining tickets go on sale at 9 a.m. Saturday at all team outlets, including the Tropicana Field box office, Tampa team store and via Ticketmaster.

Marc Topkin and Joe Smith, Times staff writers

Flashing red light of the day

Dan Johnson knew he'd have a lot of messages on his phone the day after his oh-so-dramatic ninth-inning tying homer Wednesday. What he didn't know was how he could have so many. "I've got 59 new messages and 48 new voicemails," said Johnson, right. "And I don't even know 60 people, so that's amazing."

Stat of the day

According to Nate Silver of the New York Times, Boston's odds of reaching the playoffs peaked on Sept. 3. Following a 12-7 win against the Rangers, the Red Sox held a nine-game lead over the Rays with 24 games to play, giving them a 99.6 percent chance of making the playoffs.

Change of heart of the day

Don Zimmer has seen a lot during his 60 years in baseball. By the sixth inning Wednesday, he figured he had seen enough. The Rays' special adviser left the Trop with his team in a 7-0 hole to the Yankees. About halfway home, he realized he had made a mistake. "I said to myself, 'What am I doing? I haven't even said goodbye to the guys,' " he told the Charlotte Sun. Zimmer, 80, raced back to the stadium and peeled into the players' parking lot only to find someone had parked in his space. He jumped out of the car and threw his keys to someone who looked like a parking attendant and told him to look after it. He reached the clubhouse in time to see the Rays embark on their historic comeback.

Tampa Bay Rays: Dan Johnson has messages; postseason veterans; Don Zimmer realizes his mistake 09/29/11 [Last modified: Thursday, September 29, 2011 11:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Four key games that could decide Bucs' success in 2017


    The Bucs finished so close to making the playoffs in 2016 -- literally flip-flop the last two results and have them beat the Saints and lose to the Panthers and they're in as a wild card with the same 9-7 record -- that it's difficult to say with any certainty what will happen in the 2017 season.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston, shown celebrating a touchdown against the Giants in 2015, will face New York again this fall in Week 4 in Tampa.
  2. Frank Deford wrote with sincerity, giving depth to complicated sports figures

    Human Interest

    Frank Deford practically invented the notion of multimedia: He exported his voice to radio, TV and film, and if you didn't know him you might have thought he was an actor, because he wore purple suits and looked like Clark Gable. But Frank, who died Sunday at age 78, was a writer above all things, and an important …

    In a 1991 photo, Frank Deford holds a proof of The National Sports Daily, of which he was editor and publisher [Associated Press]
  3. Clarity coming this week on Florida Gators, Malik Zaire


    After months of speculation, we could finally get some clarity this week on the Florida Gators and graduate transfer quarterback Malik Zaire.

    SEC flags outside the hotel of last year's spring meetings in Destin. This year's meetings could have a huge impact on the Florida Gators' season.
  4. Jose De Leon sent back to minors after helping Rays win


    RHP Jose De Leon worked 2 2/3 innings to get the win in his Rays debut Monday and then was optioned back to Triple-A Durham.

    De Leon was brought up to provide length and depth in the bullpen after the Rays played 15 innings on Sunday, and he did that, allowing three runs on four hits while throwing 69 …

  5. Rays rally twice to beat Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ARLINGTON, Texas — Starting Erasmo Ramirez on Monday after he closed out Sunday's marathon win turned out, despite the Rays' best intentions and rigid insistence, to be a bad idea as he gave up four runs without getting through three innings.

    Erasmo Ramirez, starting a day after closing a 15-inning marathon, struggles against the Rangers and comes out after throwing 43 pitches in 21/3 innings.