Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Rays @ Rangers: Game 1 lineups and notes
Posted Sep 30, 2011 by Roger Mooney
Updated Sep 30, 2011 at 03:43 PM
ARLINGTON, Texas The Rays are giving Matt Moore the all important start in today’s Game 1 of the ALDS for a couple of reasons:
The Rangers have never seen him.
It’s tough for hitters to pick up the ball during late-afternoon games.
Moore, they feel, has the makeup to handle the pressure.
Wade Davis, the only other candidate to start today, has been moved to the bullpen. Joe Maddon feels Davis will be a weapon against the Rangers predominantly right-handed lineup. Also, he feels Davis can add a few miles to his fastball knowing he’s only pitching one inning, two tops.
And, Maddon feels Davis can pitch on consecutive days.
James Shields will start Game 2 and Game 5 if the series goes that far.
Maddon dropped Desmond Jennings to eighth in the lineup. Desmond has three hits in his last 40 at-bats.
“I want to take some pressure off him,” Maddon said.
Maddon also said the move could only be for today’s game.
Jeff Niemann was left off the ALDS roster because his back is not 100 percent, and Maddon said they want to use this time to get Niemann healthy for the next round, should the Rays advance.
Elliot Johnson was kept on the roster because he gives the Rays a pinch-runner and he can play a number of positions.
Dan Johnson was left off the roster in favor of Jose Lobaton. The Rays added the third catcher to give them more flexibility to pinch-hit or pinch-run later in the game.
Here are the lineups:
C.J. Wilson LHP