Game 107: These Rays Sting

Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 07:01 AM EDT

Contributed by: Coach

Of all the teams to have your number. The D-Rays would be playoff bound if they only played the Jays. As Robert said in last night's game thread:

It occured to me that the D-Rays are well-suited to turf. Fast guys who put the ball in play (and seem to get hits on grounders with maddening regularity), speedy outfield and good basestealers.

Yeah, and they have stolen a couple of wins this year with bloops and bleeders off hard-luck starters. Tonight, Lou sticks with RH Victor Zambrano, who was awful in April, better in May, 4-1 with a 2.36 ERA and .165 opponent's average in June, and has been mediocre in July. He was the winner in that horrible April game when a brilliant Hendrickson had a 2-0 lead through seven; the roof didn't cave in, it kinda crumbled. Vic's given up 17 earned runs in his last three starts, which prompted me to thank him for June and release him in the BBFL when Cliff Politte came off the DL.

Cory Lidle's on our side, for now. He might not be dealt; he's a guy who could clear waivers and he would probably bring draft pick compensation if there are no acceptable trade offers. His last start was more encouraging; the time before he was livid at a mysteriously quick hook. June's ERA 7.90 and July's (now down to 8.41) are embarrassing, and he only beat the D-Rays in May thanks to plenty of run support. For the umpteenth time, I'm hoping he's turned it around. It's the new "regular" lineup for the Jays; Woody, Berg and (sigh) Phelps are watching again. I think Hudson and Cat will sit with Myers against lefties; Berg can play some 2B and with Wilson catching, Josh has to either DH or play first. Woody will play when Bordick gets tired.

I'm pleased to have been wrong when I joked last night about the likely small crowd -- there were 21,007 on hand. There were exactly 14,007 (mostly disguised as empty seats) for the May opener against these guys. I hope the trend continues.