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Gameday Thread, #71: 6/20 vs Devil Rays

Miguel Batista, RHP (6-4, 4.68)
Mark Hendrickson, LHP (3-7, 3.62)

Welcome to Tropicana Field - a place where all the players are, presumably, on the juice. Shame Grimsley isn't with us, he'd be right at home. The whirring sound you hear, is our colleagues at D'Rays Bay rolling their eyes. I bet they've never heard that one before. :-)

I think this is the first time we've played here, and overall, in this opening decade, we've definitely had the advantage. Three NL West titles and a World Series win for us, while Tampa... Er...once, didn't finish last in their division? 2006, however, currently sees them back on the bottom of the pile, though they do have some good players, notably pitcher Scott Kazmir, whom we'll see Thursday, and Carl Crawford.

After an excellent May, where he posted a 2.66 ERA in six starts, Miggy has been a bit flaky in his past couple of outings. 18 hits and five walks in 10.1 innings, is not getting the job done, and we'll be hoping for better today. He should have a chance, since Hendrickson hasn't picked up a win in over a month. However, that is largely not his fault: last time out, he threw nine innings of three-hit ball against Detroit, and allowed only an unearned run. The ERA reflects his potential for a quality start, though his career figure is north of five.

Scott Hairston was scheduled to be the DH today, but we'll need to see if he has recovered from his shoulder injury suffered during yesterday's game. Melvin didn't think it was too bad, because of how Hairston could move his arm afterwards, but it'll be decided at game time. He does, however, remain an obvious contender to be sent back down to make way for the expected use of Edgar Gonzalez in the rotation Thursday.

The usual Tuesday night IZW wrestling show will intervene - we've got to be there early to liase with a local TV crew who're covering it for a story - but unlike yesterday, the East-coast start time works in my favour. Should be around for the first hour of this to comment, beyond that, I'll depend on the radio, and if I can talk them into putting it on at The Sets. How hard I try, will likely depend on the score at that time!