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Q&A with R.J. Anderson from DRays Bay.

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MLB World Series blog coverage on SB
Nation

 

 

Once again, we've exchanged five questions with our rival's blog on the SBNation network. I present you my five questions and answers with R.J. Anderson from DRaysBay.com.

Please find our answers to his questions here.

 

1.  At what point in the season did you realize that this Rays team was "for real," and it wasn't just a hot start, a fluke, luck, whatever you want to call it?

Probably after the initial sweep against Boston in St. Pete. Every aspect of the team shined through and from there things seemed to just take off.

2.  Which Phillies player is your biggest worry for the Series?  How do you suggest the Rays counteract that threat?

Chase Utley, and it might be because of his defense more so than his offense (which is scary as well). I guess not hitting the ball to the right side would help, but the Rays feature a lefty heavy lineup and groundballs to that gap more than likely are not going to get through.

3.  There are now zero artificial turf fields in the National League, and no true indoor parks either.  What can the Phillies expect at Tropicana Field, and how will the Rays use their idiosyncratic park to their advantage?

Dimming the lights during the top half of the innings seems to work well. Uh, I’m not really sure there’s that much of an advantage, yes fielding the balls on the turf is a bit different, but you don’t seem to see too many hassles with misplayed balls due to the turf.

4.  So have the Rays officially made David Price their closer for the Series?

No, and do not expect them to. The Rays rely on a “relief ace” system. Some call it bullpen-by-committee but that name has a negative connotation amongst most fans. If the game is close in the 7th you will see Grant Balfour or J.P. Howell enter almost certainly, if the starter can last until the 9th then that’s when you’ll see one of those two enter. Price has been the second to last guy out of the pen most of these games, despite the increased role you have to realize he was not one of the first out of the pen.

5.  Are there any areas where you perceive the Phillies holding a significant advantage over the Rays?  Where do you see the Rays being clearly superior to the Phillies?

 

The Phils offense and the Rays starting rotation. Okay, Cole Hamels is really good,  and Myers is fine, but Moyer and Blanton against Garza and Sonnanstine are clear Rays advantages.