Series Preview: Tampa Bay Rays vs. Colorado Rockies

Trop TalkContributor IJune 16, 2009

NEW YORK - JUNE 08:  Andy Sonnanstine #21 of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches against the New York Yankees on June 8, 2009 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Tampa Bay, fresh off its sweep of the Nationals, travels to the real Coors Field (not the one in New York) for a three-game series against a hot Colorado team. The Rays have won five straight and have moved into third place in the AL East.

The Rays will have Jason Bartlett back tonight, as Reid Brignac was sent back to Triple-A Durham.

 

Probable Pitchers:

Jeff Niemann, RHP(5-4, 4.12) vs. Jorge De La Rosa, LHP(2-6, 5.08)
David Price, LHP(1-0, 2.37) vs. Aaron Cook, RHP(5-3, 4.26)
Matt Garza, RHP(4-4, 3.63) vs. Ubaldo Jimenez, RHP(5-6, 3.92)

What To Watch For:

As much as it pains me to say this, the "Gabes" (Kaplar and Gross) are playing well. Maybe they are heating up and it is a sign of things for the future, or maybe the Nationals series was a complete fluke for them and they will go back to their terrible ways.

As Adrian pointed out yesterday, the bullpen has thrown 22 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings. And with the loss of Jason Isringhausen for the season, Tampa will now get to see Winston Abreu in a Rays uniform.

 

X-Factor:
With Brignac being sent down, it looks like Ben Zobrist will receive the majority of the time at second base. The more playing time he gets, the better the chance fans will get to see him in the All-Star game.

The starting pitching needs to be better. There have been too many walks, which kills the chances of starters going deep into the game. As well as the bullpen is throwing, who knows how long that is going to last.

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