Series Preview: Washington Nationals vs. Tampa Bay Rays

Trop TalkContributor IJune 12, 2009

PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 27:  Catcher Dioner Navarro #30 of the Tampa Bay Rays fouls off a pitch against the Boston Red Sox during a Grapefruit League Spring Training Game at Charlotte Sports Park on February 27, 2009 in Port Charlotte, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
The Rays, coming off a series win against the Angles, will now face the Nationals for a three-game set. Back-to-back series wins for the Rays would be huge in their effort to get out of fourth place.
We can’t figure out what is more exciting, though: Watching the Nationals, or watching Chris "Ludacris" Bridges—who will hold a concert at Tropicana Field following Saturday's game—perform?


Probable Pitchers:

Craig Stammen, RHP (0-2, 6.45) VS. Matt Garza, RHP (4-4, 3.55)

Jordan Zimmermann, RHP (2-3, 5.71) VS. Andy Sonnanstine, RHP (4-6, 7.00)

Ross Detwiler, LHP (0-3, 5.06) VS. James Shields, RHP (5-5, 3.36)


What To Watch For

This series will prove if the Rays are around to contend. The Nationals are the type of team that Tampa has been struggling with all season. The Rays play on the same level as these subpar teams, and continue to lose series to them.

With Pat Burrell being activated, Matt Joyce has been sent back to Durham. As well as Gabe Gross is playing, it is disappointing to see Joyce go. Burrell does figure to relieve some pressure from Carlos Pena with his return to the lineup.

After an article from this author questioning Dioner Navarro’s play, Navarro had one of his best games of the season hitting a double and a home run. It will be interesting to see what the catcher formally known as fat does this series.



Starting pitching needs to go deeper into these games. Only being able to pitch four to five innings deep into games is pathetic. And who knows how long the bullpen will pitch this well?