NEW YORK - The guessing game manager Joe Maddon was hoping to play with the Red Sox concerning the starter for Monday's makeup game at Fenway Park was dashed Friday when LHP David Price announced that he was starting the game.
That can be filed under "D" for "Duh."
"It is an obvious decision," Maddon said. "It's just the way it worked out. The rainout popped and that permits him to pitch another game up there. He did pretty good the last time out. Hopefully he's going to be able to maintain that kind of success he had at that ballpark. It's just one of those coincidences that happened there. Hopefully it's going to work in our favor."
Price tossed his third complete game in his past four starts Wednesday when he needed only 97 pitches in a 5-1 victory. Now he's scheduled to face that same Red Sox lineup in his very next start.
"I'm just going to have to be a little different because it's still going to be extremely fresh on their minds what happened (Wednesday), and they're going to remember how I got them out," Price said. "They're going to remember the balls they hit hard and the pitches I threw in certain counts and stuff like that. So I'll just have to watch what I did then and keep that in the back of my mind and use it however I need too. . I'm not going to pitch the same way I did the other day. I'd love to have the same results. They'll make adjustments, and so will I."
Maddon said he doesn't feel Price has to make too many changes to his approach.
"What he did the other day works again," Maddon said.
Price stayed away from the middle of the plate, pitched on the edges and threw all four of his pitches for strikes. The Red Sox tried to drive up his pitch count but couldn't, because Price was getting ahead in the count.
"Does the other team have an advantage because they'd just seen him? I don't know," Maddon said. "I think if the pitcher continues to have good stuff and throws the ball where he wants to, the advantage still stays with the pitcher."
RHP Chris Archer will do something today that he has done a hundred times - pitch at Yankee Stadium.
Physically, he has pitched in the Bronx once. That was on June 23 when he allowed six hits and one run in six innings in the Rays' 3-1 victory.
But Archer believes in visualization, and he has been doing it for a long time.
"It's just the stage you always dream to be on," Archer said. "I say this all the time, but it's true, last time I felt comfortable because I've seen myself there many times as a child, not that specific stadium, but Yankee Stadium. The time of the year it is right now, every game is important. Going out and battling the guys in the pinstripes is going to be a lot of fun."
Rest now, play later
The Rays might have lost an off day with Monday's makeup, but Thursday's off day is the first of five during the first 22 days of August. They balance that with only one off day in September, and Maddon is fine with that.
Given his choice, Maddon said he would rather more off days in August when the weather is hot and the players tend to easily tire.
"They call it the dog days of August for a reason," Maddon said. "September comes up you got extra players, and if you're in the hunt, man, I'll tell you, the weather is cooling off and there's really an adrenalin flow about the day and you really don't want days off, so I think if you need to regroup, get strong, replenish, I prefer doing that conceptually in August."
RHP Brandon Gomes (right lat strain) allowed two hits in 12?3 innings Friday during a rehab start for Class-A Charlotte. . The Rays will promo the Aug. 3 Joe Maddon Gnome giveaway at 8:30 this morning when a large sand sculpture of the Joe Gnome will be constructed at St. Pete Beach near Guy Harvey Outpost, 6000 Gulf Blvd. . Former Ray and Yankee Hideki Matsui will sign a one-day contract with the Yankees on Sunday and retire during a pregame ceremony. . Monday's makeup will not count as part of this week's series in Boston, meaning the Rays have now won eight straight series. The franchise record is nine. Monday's game will be counted as a separate one-game series.