The Giants get their first real taste of The Opener today as Ryne (pronounced RHINE) Stanek takes the mound — but only for the first couple of innings. Coincidentally, I heard an interview with Rays’ manager Kevin Cash yesterday afternoon and he went over their plan for the next couple of days:
The Rays' plan with their opener over the weekend is to (hopefully) get two clean innings out of them before double switching out -- plan is to make sure the pitcher doesn't have to hit. Something to keep an eye on if you're wondering what Giants baseball will look like later.— McCovey Chronicles (@McCoveyChron) April 5, 2019
Stanek appeared in 59 games last season and opened 29 of them (he also finished 10 games). He pitched a maximum of two innings nine times. He’s struck out 5 in 4 innings and has yet to allow a run this season. Statcast shows that he has a four pitch arsenal: 4-seam FB, slider, split finger, and cutter. He throws that 4-seamer the most and averaged 97 with it.
He’ll lead this bunch against Jeff Samardzija:
Samardzija didn’t look sharp in his season debut, striking out just two while walking four. The Rays are opportunistic and have probably scouted the Giants better than they’ve ever been scouted, so, it could very well be another long afternoon. The Giants will counter with their “A” lineup: