Sunday, April 26, 2009

10 Things I want to see this week

1.    Beat a lefty. By my calculations (subject to rotation changes), the Rays will have 3 chances between now and Friday to beat lefties.  That starts today against Dana Eveland and his 7.36 ERA. I don't want to see that guy looking like Steve Carlton and I really don't want to see Minnesota's Francisco Liriano (0-4, 7.06) project the power of the lefty.  The Rays should beat both of these guys and get on track before facing Jon Lester again

2.     Finish the road trip strong.  A good series in Minnesota will help bring some much needed momentum to this team ahead of the Red Sox series.  I don't want to see the team coming back to the Trop with all kinds of question marks.  A small winning streak will get rid of those types of doubts.

3.    A straight sweep by the big three.  Each time the Rays go through the rotation, I like to see the big 3 rack up at least 2 wins.  The last 2 times through the rotation, the Rays have only got 1 win from the big 3 (despite James Shields awesome performance).  I want to see Shields/Kazmir/Garza get a win streak going.  If those three get wins this week, the future will be looking much brighter next weekend.

4.    Don't overlook Minnesota.  It will be real easy for this team to overlook the Twins ahead of their big home series against the Red Sox.  They need to keep focused.  The only way they're going to crawl back into the race is to win one game at a time and get some sort of streak going.  Overlooking Minnesota will be bad news going into the Red Sox series.

5.    Remember the #20.  Last year, the Rays began their turnaround at game 20 with a nice little sweep of Toronto in Orlando.  This year, the Rays play #20 in Minnesota.  A sweep of the Twins would be huge.

6.    Last year's Dioner Navarro.  His swing looks awful right now, much like it did when he first got here from the Dodgers.  I'd like to see Navi get back to his 2008 form.  Having a good hitting catcher is important to this line-up.

7.    Bossman back on track.  I know he's basically still in Spring Training, but it's time for him to get it going.  He's an integral part of the Vicious Circle lineup. If he's not hitting, it breaks the circle a bit.  I don't need to see the Bossman from the playoffs (although it would be nice), I just want to see him get some more hits.

8.    Troy Percival Drama.  The Feast or Famine Rays have made it real easy on Percy and Maddon.  Since they either win going away or lose a close one, we haven't had to see Percy in a save situation in awhile. May be time for a good edge of your seat save.

9.    Home dominance.  Returning home means that it's time to once again make the Trop a terror for opposing teams.  Who better to start that with than the Boston Red Sox?  The team the Rays sent home from the Trop in last year's ALCS.  I'm planning on going at least to Saturday's game.  I may head over their on Thursday, as well.

10.  David Price?  Peter Gammons has said the the Rays planned to bring Price up on May 1st.  It would be real nice to see him pitch on Friday or Saturday against the Red Sox at home.  Looking at the probable pitchers, I wasn't really feeling Sonny and Niemann taking on the Red Sox on Friday and Saturday.  Stay tuned.    

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