Rays' road to the postseason just got bumpier

Updated: August 11, 2008

G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images

The Rays already were without Carl Crawford, and now they'll be without Evan Longoria.

WOUNDED RAYS

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The Rays have won 10 of 12 games as they head out to Oakland for a series with the A's. Tampa Bay has built a four-game lead on the Red Sox in the American League East and a nine-game lead on the Yankees. But it may need that cushion now that both Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria will miss extended stretches because of injuries.

Longoria's injury, which on Monday was revealed as a broken wrist, is significant because he was leading the Rays in many significant statistical categories and ranked among the best third basemen in the American League. It'll be Willy Aybar's job to fill the void. Aybar hit two homers Sunday, but a quick look at Longoria's numbers shows just how hard it will be to replace him.

Evan Longoria (rank among AL 3Bs)
HRs 22 2nd
RBIs 71 2nd
Slugging pct. .533 2nd
Errors 8 Tied for fewest

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FORWARD THINKING: TUESDAY

Scott Feldman • Rangers at Red Sox, 7:05 p.m. ET: Knuckleballer Charlie Zink (0-0, 0.00 ERA) makes his debut, replacing injured knuckleballer Tim Wakefield. The Rangers' Scott Feldman (4-5, 4.82 ERA) is 0-2 with a no-decision since he was recalled from the minor leagues on July 22.

Kyle Lohse • Cardinals at Marlins, 7:10 p.m. ET: Opponents are having quite a bit more success against Kyle Lohse (13-4, 3.80 ERA) when he pitches away from Busch Stadium. When Lohse pitches on the road, he yields a .335 batting average against, compared with .227 at home. The Marlins' Chris Volstad (3-2, 2.67 ERA) is the opposite; he's 0-2 at home but 3-0 on the road.

Cole Hamels • Phillies at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m. ET: Cole Hamels (9-8, 3.35 ERA) has not won since July 3, as he's gone 0-3 with three no-decisions. Clayton Kershaw (2-3, 3.71 ERA), who needed more than two months to pick up his first win, is 2-0 in his past three starts.

Complete list of pitching probables for Tuesday's games

TOUCH 'EM ALL

Touch 'Em AllWho went deep? Keep track of all the home runs hit each day on "Baseball Tonight" and on the Baseball Tonight Clubhouse page.

Click here to find out who hit the longest home run. For more, check out the Home Run Tracker page.

Home Run Tracker
NAME HR OPPPITCHER SITUATION
D. Wright, NYM23PitDukeBot 1: 1-1, 0 Outs. 2 on.
R. Weeks, Mil10WasMockBot 1: 3-1, 0 Outs. None on.
C. Hart, Mil18WasMockBot 4: 1-0, 0 Outs. 1 on.
R. Cancel, NYM1PitDukeBot 6: 1-2, 0 Outs. None on.
A. Cabrera, Cle4BalSarfateBot 2: 3-2, 0 Outs. None on.
C. Ross, Fla17StLPineiroBot 2: 1-0, 1 Outs. None on.
B. Inge, Det10TorMarcumBot 3: 2-2, 0 Outs. None on.
Y. Molina, StL5FlaSanchezTop 4: 0-1, 0 Outs. 1 on.
A. Huff, Bal24CleCarmonaTop 4: 0-1, 0 Outs. None on.
A. Everett, Min2NYYPonsonBot 2: 3-2, 2 Outs. 1 on.
R. Barajas, Tor10DetLopezTop 6: 2-1, 0 Outs. None on.
M. Cabrera, Det24TorMarcumBot 6: 3-2, 0 Outs. None on.
J. Mather, StL7FlaNelsonTop 9: 0-2, 2 Outs. None on.
B. Francisco, Cle12BalWalkerBot 8: 2-0, 0 Outs. None on.
A. Gonzalez, Cle1BalWalkerBot 8: 3-2, 1 Outs. 1 on.
T. Wigginton, Hou12SFSadlerBot 8: 0-0, 1 Outs. None on.
C. Blake, LAD3PhiKendrickBot 3: 2-0, 2 Outs. 1 on.


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BBTN ON THE AIR: TUESDAY

TIME WHO'S ON?
10 p.m. ET
ESPN
Host: Karl Ravech
Analysts: John Kruk,
Buck Showalter
12 a.m. ET
ESPN
Host: Karl Ravech
Analysts: John Kruk,
Buck Showalter

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BBTN MINUTE: LONGORIA PLACED ON DL

HAMELS BETTER THAN HIS NUMBERS

For the most part, Cole Hamels' season has been a story of bad rhythm between starts and uneven run support. You might look at a No. 1 pitcher who's just a game better than .500 (9-8) and think he's not having a good season, but if you take a closer look at the numbers, you'll see Hamels is doing everything a team could ask its No. 1 starter to do.

Hamels is winless since July 3, but the Phillies have scored three runs or fewer in four of his past six starts. Hamels has gone at least six innings in five of those starts and has pitched seven innings or more in three of them. (Philadelphia scored six runs Sunday, the first time in August they've scored more than five runs in a game.)

I've noticed while watching video of Hamels that he has been elevating his pitches, which he has admitted. Like any great pitcher, Hamels is hard on himself. Like any great teammate, he hasn't outwardly shown any signs of frustration about his team's not producing for him. That he hasn't made any comments about his hard luck of late shows me a lot of maturity, especially for a pitcher who is only 24 years old.

The Phillies' bullpen has won 41 percent of the team's games this season (26 of 64). Its offense is scoring runs late in games, which happens when you have a team that relies so heavily on homers. (Philadelphia currently is fourth in the NL in come-from-behind wins and leads the National League with 160 home runs.)

STAT OF THE DAY

Inside EdgeAccording to Inside Edge's scouting data, the Marlins lead the league in slugging percentage on balls hit to the left side of the field at .671, compared to .460 up the middle and .541 to the right side. It's no wonder, because Florida's lineup is stocked with dead-pull right-handed hitters:

Percentage of in-play balls hit to each side (through Monday)
Hitter Left Middle Right
Josh Willingham 57.6 18.0 24.4
Jorge Cantu 57.5 20.2 22.3
Dan Uggla 54.3 20.6 25.1
Cody Ross 52.6 23.1 24.3
Matt Treanor 51.4 21.5 27.1
MLB average (RHB) 45.9 23.3 30.9

MONDAY'S NOTEWORTHY PERFORMANCES

GOOD
Glen Perkins• The Twins' Glen Perkins gave up five runs in six innings last month in a loss against the Yankees. He had no trouble with them this time, tossing eight shutout innings while allowing just four hits in a 4-0 win.
BAD
John Danks• The White Sox's John Danks took a no-hitter into the seventh inning; the Giants' Jonathan Sanchez took one into the sixth. Both ended the night as losing pitchers in losses against the Red Sox and Astros.
UGLY
Rocky Cherry• The O's Rocky Cherry retired just one batter in the seventh inning against the Indians. He gave up two hits and three runs and walked away with the loss in a 13-8 defeat. It was Cherry's second appearance of the season.

FANTASY: PREVIEW OF TUESDAY'S GAMES

Adam Madison examines the pitching matchups in store for the 15 games on Tuesday's schedule.

Fantasy Madison also looks at injuries and details player reports that could help shape the way you put together your roster for Tuesday. Daily Notes