By MARC TOPKIN and Times staff reports
© St. Petersburg Times
published May 24, 2002
TONIGHT: RAYS AT ATHLETICS WHEN/WHERE: 9:05; Network Associates Coliseum, Oakland, Calif.
PITCHERS: Rays -- Paul Wilson (2-3, 3.47); Athletics -- Tim Hudson (3-6, 4.17).
TV/RADIO: Ch. 32; WFLA-AM 970.
WORTH NOTING: Wilson is 0-3 with a 16.36 ERA against the A's. Hudson has lost four straight, the longest losing streak of his career. He is 4-0 with a 1.37 ERA against the Rays.
RAYS TICKETS: Available at Tropicana Field box office, through all Ticketmaster outlets, online at devilrays.com or ticketmaster.com, and the Rays Dugout Store at WestShore Plaza. Beach tickets ($5 for adults, $2 for children and seniors) go on sale two hours before home games.
INFORMATION: Call toll-free 1-888-FAN-RAYS.
RAYS BY THE NUMBERS
VS. EAST: 8-21
VS. CENTRAL: 6-7
VS. WEST: 2-1
VS. NL: 0-0
VS. RH/LH STARTERS: 14-24/2-5
AHEAD AFTER 6/7/8: 9-6/10-5/12-4
BEHIND AFTER 6/7/8: 3-19/2-23/1-23
TIED AFTER 6/7/8: 4-4/4-1/3-2
ONE-RUN/TWO-RUN GAMES: 7-7/3-7
EXTRA INNINGS: 2-2
LAST AT-BAT WINS: 6
COME-FROM-BEHIND WINS: 9
COME-FROM-AHEAD LOSSES: 16
MAKING ERROR: 8-18
HITTING HOMER: 8-14
HITTING HOMERS: 4-2
SCORING FIRST: 9-8
SCORING 4 OR MORE: 11-7
SCORING FEWER THAN 4: 6-21
OUTHITTING OPPONENTS: 9-2
BEING OUTHIT: 1-22
GETTING 10 OR MORE HITS: 10-6
GIVING UP 10 OR MORE HITS: 7-19
TYING/GO-AHEAD RBIs: Grieve, Winn 7; Cox 6; Abernathy, Gomez, Johnson, Tyner, Vaughn 5.
INFIELD HITS: Tyner, Winn 9.
BUNT HITS: Tyner 5; Winn 2
OUTFIELD ASSISTS: Winn 6; Grieve 4.
CATCHERS EFFICIENCY: Hall 8-23, .348; Flaherty 1-13, .008
HOME DATES: 22
HOME TOTAL: 304,614
HOME AVERAGE: 13,846
2001 AVERAGE: 16,029
LARGEST: 38,142 vs. Tigers, April 2
SMALLEST: 10,264 vs. Orioles, May 12
* * *
SCOUTING REPORT: These aren't last season's A's, who went to the AL playoffs. Heck, they're not even last week's A's.
Responding to a slump that has the team on the brink of dropping from the pennant race, general manager Billy Beane decided to shake up his club. And there's been a whole lot of shaking going on: seven moves involving eight players in the past three days.
The new look has speedy rookie Esteban German batting leadoff and playing second base, offensive-oriented Olmedo Saenz playing first base and perennial prospect Adam Piatt in leftfield. Larry Sutton and John Mabry join the bench, and 240-pound right-hander Aaron Harang is expected to move into the rotation. And for the first time since 1995 there are no Giambis on the team.
The A's have lost 16 of 21 for basic reasons: Their vaunted offense has been among the worst in the league during that time, and their pitching hasn't been much better. Thirteen of the losses have been by more than four runs, nine by more than six. Injuries have been a problem, with DH David Justice still on the disabled list and Jermaine Dye yet to get on track since returning April 26. Jeff Tam was dropped from a disappointing bullpen that added closer Billy Koch during the offseason.
But no matter how bad things look, the A's still have a chance because they have three starters who could be at the top of many teams' rotations: Tim Hudson (who'll face the Rays tonight), Barry Zito (whom they'll see Sunday) and Mark Mulder (whom they'll likely get next week at the Trop).
TAMPA BAY CONNECTIONS: A's reliever Jim Mecir was one of the Rays' best expansion draft picks but got too expensive and was traded for Jesus Colome, who's back in Triple A. ... Rays outfielder Ben Grieve had three stellar seasons for the A's before being traded to the Rays in a three-way that sent Cory Lidle (currently injured) to the A's. ... Rays 1B Steve Cox was drafted from the A's minor-league system.
ALL-TIME SERIES: The Rays are 11-28 against Oakland, their second-worst record against an AL opponent (18-46 vs. the Yankees), and 5-16 at Network Associates Coliseum.
WHO'S HOT: 3B Eric Chavez is 16-for-49 over his past 12 games after an 0-for-23 stretch.
WHO'S NOT: C Ramon Hernandez is in a 5-for-34 slump and hitting .195 overall.
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