Each weekday evening, Big League Stew will take a look at five approaching games that are worth monitoring. Feel free to discuss the night's happenings as they occur in the comments below.
Red Sox at Rays, 7:08 ET At first glance, trying to kickstart an 8-14 season against a bitter rival that has just won 13 of its last 14 games doesn't seem like too good of a deal for the Rays. But the more I think about it, maybe facing the Red Sox over the next four games is exactly what Tampa Bay needs. They won two of three to start the season in Boston and still have last year's momentous ALCS triumph to use as motivation. Matt Garza and Josh Beckett get the calls tonight as the Rays try to jolt that 2-5 Tropicana Field record back into respectable territory.
Angels at Yankees, 7:05 Meanwhile, the Bombers are back in the Bronx for the second homestand in the short history of new Yankee Stadium. Several of the high-end tickets have had their prices cut, but LoHud's Peter Abraham wonders if the jet stream will keep carrying homers out of Yankee Stadium at a rapid rate. He also ponders how long it might take the club to raise the walls in the outfield so that fan interference will be kept to a minimum. Both are good questions that have crossed my mind recently. Yours, too?
Marlins at Cubs, 8:05 You want tall pitchers? Can you handle height? This game's got it. Florida's Chris Volstad and Chicago's Sean Marshall both go all the way up, to 6-foot-7. Volstad (2-0, 2.70) has been a big reason for the Marlins' quick (albeit inconsistent) start. Marshall is ... Marshall. Hanley Ramirez's sore right hand has healed enough so he's back in the lineup. The Cubs might put Aramis Ramirez on the DL because of his gimpy left calf.
Padres at Dodgers, 10:10; Cardinals at Nationals, 7:05; D'Backs at Brewers, 8:05 All in all, it's a relatively slow and uninspiring Thursday night for the MLB docket — good time to rewatch last night's fantastic "Lost" episode, check out NBC or lose yourself in other sports playoff action if you're from a place like Chicago or Boston — so we'll just list the rest of the night's action here and let you decide what wins your attention.
A big BLS head nod goes to DB for writing that FLA-CHI capsule.