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Tampa Bay Rays news and notes: Ben Zobrist jabs Matt Joyce; Casey Kotchman's 'Dumb Just Enough' joke

ALDS (best of five) Rays at Rangers

When/where: 7:07 tonight; Rangers Ballpark, Arlington, Texas

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

Starting pitchers:

Rays RH James Shields (16-12, 2.82)

Rangers LH Derek Holland (16-5, 3.95)

Watch for ...

Shields up: Shields beat the Rangers in back-to-back starts Aug. 31 and Sept. 5, allowing one earned run in 17 innings and only eight hits. Overall he is 5-2, 3.05 against them. He is 2-3, 3.68 in five postseason starts.

Holland tunnel: The only start Holland didn't win of his last six was a Sept. 7 no-decision at the Trop (four runs, six hits, 6⅔ innings.) Overall he is 3-1 in five starts against the Rays, but with a 6.51 ERA.

Key matchups

Rays vs. Holland

Evan Longoria 6-for-13 HR

B.J. Upton 5-for-12 HR

Ben Zobrist3-for-12 HR

Rangers vs. Shields

Adrian Beltre8-for-31 HR

Josh Hamilton2-for-16 HR

Ian Kinsler3-for-21 HR

On deck

Sunday: Off, workout day at Tropicana Field

Monday: Game 3, vs. Rangers, 5:07, TBS. Rays — Jeremy Hellickson (13-10, 2.95) or David Price (12-13, 3.49); Rangers — Colby Lewis (14-10, 4.40) or Matt Harrison (14-9, 3.39)

Tuesday: Game 4, vs. Rangers (if necessary), TBA, TBS. Rays — David Price (12-13, 3.49) or Jeremy Hellickson (13-10, 2.95); Rangers — Matt Harrison (14-9, 3.39) or Colby Lewis (14-10, 4.40)

Wednesday: Off, workout day at Rangers Ballpark, Arlington

Thursday: Game 5 (if necessary), at Rangers, TBA, TBS. Rays — James Shields (16-12, 2.82); Rangers — C.J. Wilson (16-7, 2.94)

Zinger of the day

2B/OF Ben Zobrist — the genial, soft-spoken, religious Ben Zobrist — poked fun at Matt Joyce, right, about being dropped to ninth in the lineup. "He said I might be the only All-Star player to hit ninth," Joyce recalled. "Then he was like, 'No wait, All-Star players hit ninth all the time — they're called pitchers.' And this is Zo saying this."

List of the day

Rays with multihomer postseason games:

Evan Longoria 2 '08 ALDS Gm 1

B.J. Upton 2 '08 ALDS Gm 4

Kelly Shoppach 2 '11 ALDS Gm 1

Slogan of the day


1B Casey Kotchman came up with it, playing off how unlikely it was for the Rays to be even in the playoffs that they could end up champs, and posted it on the clubhouse whiteboard. At least that's Matt Joyce's understanding. "We're not supposed to be here, so we might just be dumb enough to win this whole thing," Joyce said. "And (Kotchman) wrote it that way because, obviously, we're dumb."

Tampa Bay Rays news and notes: Ben Zobrist jabs Matt Joyce; Casey Kotchman's 'Dumb Just Enough' joke 09/30/11 [Last modified: Friday, September 30, 2011 11:14pm]
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