Rays look to continue dominance at home in showdown against Sox
Originally Published: September 15, 2008By Jerry Crasnick | ESPN.com
Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays, received a $25 million facelift before the 2006 season. Cynics might call that investment the baseball equivalent of putting lipstick on a certain barnyard animal.The Trop still lacks ambience, tradition and the creature comforts of most parks built in the last two decades. But the building's main tenants love it 71.6 percent of the time.
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Disaster centralNice weekend for the Brewers. They go to Philadelphia sporting a four-game lead in the National League wild-card race, and proceed to get outscored 26-10 and hit .169 (21-for-124) while dropping four straight. The Brewers were outscored 11-2 in the first two innings, and received clunkers from starting pitchers Manny Parra and Jeff Suppan. It didn't help that the Milwaukee lineup showed a galling lack of patience against Phillies starter Brett Myers, forcing him to throw a mere 95 pitches over nine innings when he was working on three days' rest.
|• Cubs vs. Astros, 2:05 ET | Talk about it|
• Twins at Indians, 7:05 ET | Talk about it
• White Sox at Yankees, 7:05 ET | Talk about it
• Dodgers at Pirates, 7:05 ET | Talk about it
• Red Sox at Rays, 7:10 ET | Talk about it
• Mets at Nationals, 7:10 ET | Talk about it
• Giants at D-backs, 9:40 ET | Talk about it
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Fast finishersIf the National League MVP voters are going to excuse Carlos Delgado's poor start and give him consideration because of his strong finish, it'll be tough for them to exclude the Phillies' Ryan Howard from the conversation.
This and that• The White Sox and Twins, separated by 1½ games in the American League Central, hit the road this week. Mark Buehrle (1-5 with a 6.58 ERA in seven career starts at Yankee Stadium) will take on rookie Alfredo Aceves in the opener of a four-game series in New York. Minnesota will send out Kevin Slowey against Cleveland rookie Scott Lewis. Slowey is 5-1 with a 2.27 ERA in his last seven starts. • Pedro Martinez, who hasn't pitched in a week, starts for the Mets against John Lannan on Monday night in Washington. Martinez is 20-8 with a 3.73 ERA in his career with at least six days' rest, and the Mets are 25-8 in Washington since the Nationals moved there from Montreal. Those numbers might provide a smidgen of comfort to Mets fans as they contemplate the possibility of another late charge by the Phillies. Jerry Crasnick covers baseball for ESPN.com. His book "License To Deal" was published by Rodale. Click here to order a copy. Jerry can be reached via e-mail.
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