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Series Preview: Tampa Bay Rays @ Seattle Mariners

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Seattle: 8-5
Rays: 5-8

SUMMARY

MARINERS RAYS EDGE
HITTING (wOBA)
-17.1 (26th) 3.5 (13th) TAM!
FIELDING (UZR)
8.4 (1st) 6.2 (2nd) sea
ROTATION (pRAA)
15.3 (2nd) -10.3 (26th) SEA!!!
BULLPEN (pRAA)
5.3 (4th) -3.9 (24th) SEA!!
OVERALL(RAA)
11.9 -4.5 Seattle








GAMES

Game 1: Jarrod Washburn* vs Andy Sonnanstine
Game 2: Chris Jakubauskus vs Jeff Niemann
Game 3: Felix Hernandez vs James Shields

The Rays rotation has been horrid to start the year, with all five regulars pitching below average. It's early of course, but Sonnanstine has been missing fewer bats and missing the zone more often than last season. He's been lucky so far to have only given up a single home run.

Niemann never has been much of a strike thrower and just like last year, when he hits the majors, his ability to miss bats drops markedly along with his ground ball rate. At 26, he strikes me as just a place holder for David Price.

Shields was the real deal last year but early into 2009, he's lost two points on his swinging strikes which have transfered almost directly to batters putting pitches in play more frequently. That's led to a drop in strikeout rate. Shields' line drive rate is also up, not a good sign ever, but made worse by the higher percentage of pitches thrown ending up in play.

Endy Chavez and Russell Branyan are our only two hitters above average so far this year. Carlos Silva and Roy Corcoran are our only two pitchers below average so far this year (defense independent even!). Our defense rocks. We are on pace to allow just 561 runs. We are on pace to score just 685. The 685 is actually believable.

THIS SERIES BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

Fat Scotch Style Ale
Silver City Brewing Company. Silverdale, WA

I've had this a few times and in a long enough gap of time that I essentially got a fresh look at it, and both tastes were pleasing and revealed a malty sweetness laden down with some fruity notes in the aroma that gave it an interesting character.