Tonight veterans James Shields and Jered Weaver face off as the Rays go for the much needed sweep over the struggling LA Angels. The Rays won last night as rookie Alex Cobb got his first career win, out pitching the Angel's ace Dan Haren. The Rays have not had a three game win streak in about a month and Weaver will pose a significant threat, he is 4-1 in six starts with a 2.27 ERA against the Rays.
Weaver has struggled as of late, he had not received a decision for six consecutive starts until his hold of the Yankees last friday. Shields has struggled lately as well, his last appearance was a shallacking by the Mariners who posted eight runs off him. Even still, history says Shields will be ready to rebound, in seven starts against the Halos Shields has garnered 4 wins and a 2.58 ERA. Tonight's gonna be one hell of a match up.
- Johnny Damon, batting .340 over his last 25 games, is three doubles shy of joining an exclusive club. He's trying to become the 11th player with at least 500 doubles, 100 triples, 200 homers and 2,500 hits. The other 10 are in the Hall of Fame. Damon has also reached base safely in 33 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the majors. (h/t ESPN) Damon has been batting leadoff to much success and could find himself there for a few weeks to come. Look for Damon to make history in his next few starts!
- Many players are still feeling the affects of a stomach flu, including Evan Longoria who has missed a couple games with a fever. Marc Topkin has noted the absence as a "concern." He also pointed out that Sean Rodriguez was so sick Monday he threw up during the game but stayed in. Conditioning coach Kevin Barr is out as well, and many players are still feeling ill effects - making wins on the road all the more difficult.
- The Rays moved within 2.5 games with last night's win. Another win tonight could put Boston, New York and Tampa Bay all within two wins as the other rivals started a three game series last night and will hopefully even the playing field with at least one loss on either side.