Oct 10, 2010, 4:00 PM EDT
Photo courtesy Texas Rangers
The Rays try to keep their season going today at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
There may have not been a more mysterious team in baseball this season than the Tampa Bay Rays, who wound up with the American League's best record but at times looked as weak as any club in the majors. Such is life when you rely on an all-or-nothing lineup that features plenty of pop but also plenty of strikeouts and plenty of low batting averages. So I guess we shouldn't be surprised that Tampa Bay's offense was rendered helpless in Games 1 and 2 of the ALDS, only to spring back to life yesterday in Game 3. The question now is which Rays lineup will show up today for Game 4.
This pivotal game features a matchup of both teams' No. 4 starters: Tampa Bay's Wade Davis and Texas' Tommy Hunter. For all the attention lavished upon aces and No. 2's, these series often come down to which club is better at the back end of the bullpen. If you were wondering, the Rangers didn't give any real consideration to bringing back ace Cliff Lee on short rest. He's never done it before in his career, so manager Ron Washington didn't want to try now. However, Game 2 starter C.J. Wilson is available out of the bullpen if needed.
The Rangers would love to wrap this thing up today and avoid a trip back to St. Petersburg, Fla., for a do-or-die Game 5. There are some demons to overcome, though. The Texas franchise (which of course began as the expansion Washington Senators) has never won a postseason series. It's the only franchise in the majors that can claim that. So history is on the line today in Arlington, Texas…
C John Jaso
2B Ben Zobrist
LF Carl Crawford
3B Evan Longoria
NL EAST STANDINGS
Through Sunday's early games
NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Sunday's early games
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Marlins at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
Full season schedule
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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