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Rays Report

Tampa Bay Rays: Don Zimmer improving; New York paper "discovers" an old story

Rays at Yankees

When/where: 7:05 tonight; Yankee Stadium, New York

TV/radio: Sun Sports; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

Probable pitchers

Rays: RH Jeff Niemann (2-3, 4.05)

Yankees: RH David Phelps (0-1, 3.74)

On Niemann: Six innings would be an accomplishment, as Niemann has failed to get that far in any of his five outings this season. He is undefeated in five starts vs. the Yankees, 3-0, 3.10.

On Phelps: The 25-year-old rookie, a former Notre Damer, moved into the rotation last week and lasted only four innings vs. Royals, throwing 85 pitches. He got the final two outs vs. the Rays on April 8.

Key matchups

Rays VS. PHELPS

Elliot Johnson 0-for-1

YANKEES VS. NIEMANN

C. Granderson 1-for-14

Derek Jeter 6-for-13

Nick Swisher 2-for-15

Mark Teixeira 2-for-13, HR

On deck

Thursday: at Yankees, 7:05, Sun Sports. Rays — David Price (5-1, 2.35); Yankees — CC Sabathia (4-0, 4.15)

Friday: at Orioles, 7:05, Sun Sports. Rays — Jeremy Hellickson (3-0, 2.75); O's — Dana Eveland (0-0, 0.00)

Saturday: at Orioles, 7:05, Sun Sports. Rays — Matt Moore (1-2, 5.71); O's — Brian Matusz (1-4, 5.91)

Sunday: at Orioles, 1:35, Sun Sports. Rays — James Shields (5-1, 3.23); O's — Jake Arrieta (2-3, 4.23)

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Legendary updates of the day

Senior adviser Don Zimmer is "doing a lot better" since being released from the hospital to start dialysis treatments, manager Joe Maddon said. "From the sound of his voice, he's a lot stronger. … He sounds almost 100 percent better from maybe a week ago." Maddon also checked in Tuesday with Yankees legend Yogi Berra and got a good report.

"Discovery" of the day

Add the New York Times to the list of those realizing the Rays shift a lot defensively, with a long piece Tuesday under the headline "Joe Maddon's Checkmate" with a clichéd chessboard photo illustration.

Quote of the day

"They're not above the game by any means. They hit the jackpot against us in the first series. … They were in the perfect spot. … That's not going to happen all year."

Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long, to the New York Times, on the success of the shifts

Tampa Bay Rays: Don Zimmer improving; New York paper "discovers" an old story 05/08/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 8, 2012 10:39pm]
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