Oct 7, 2010, 6:00 PM EDT
Photo courtesy Tampa Bay Rays
C.J. Wilson faces James Shields today at Tropicana Field.
In a short, five-game series, Game 2 takes on added significance. In a seven-game series, it's not impossible to rally from a 2-0 deficit. In a five-game series? Well, it's not impossible, but it's really, really difficult.
So the Rays face a stiff challenge today in trying to win Game 2 of their Division Series against the Rangers, evening the series at one game apiece before it heads west to Texas for the next two. They'll send James Shields to the mound, a right-hander who two years ago earned the nickname "Big Game James" because of his penchant to come through in crucial situations. This would be an opportune time for him to live up to the moniker.
After getting thoroughly dissected by Cliff Lee yesterday in Game 1, the Rays have some lineup changes against fellow left-hander C.J. Wilson. Carlos Pena, who struck out three times and wasn't exactly sparkling in the field, takes a seat. Ben Zobrist moves in from right field to take over at first base, with young Desmond Jennings in right. Also, Rocco Baldelli, who served as DH yesterday, had to be taken off Tampa Bay's roster due to what is being called "left leg fatigue." Baldelli suffers from a rare mitochondrial disorder that causes incredible muscle fatigue, and his return to play this postseason was shaping up to be an inspiring story. Sadly, it looks like he's done.
I'll share some thoughts along the way and will be interested to read your comments as well. Enjoy another day of postseason baseball. There's really nothing else like it…
SS Elvis Andrus
3B Michael Young
CF Josh Hamilton
DH Vladimir Guerrero
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
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