Every once and a while the Devil Rays are capable of putting together a complete game. Last night’s 6-5 win over the Rangers was far from perfect, but we could see the signs. The offense is going to score runs. This will not be a problem on most nights for the 2007 Devil Rays. If the Rays are going to win games this season they will need to pitch. They don’t need to be perfect, but the pitching staff needs to do their jobs. While a lot of attention has been focused on the failures of the bullpen, the starting pitchers have failed at their jobs also. Last night, James Shields did his job. He did give up 5 runs, 4 runs when the flood gates opened a bit in the 6th inning, but he worked 7 innings and gave the Rays a chance to win. Too many times Rays starters pitch well but have to be removed after 5 innings. Shields pitched well enough to get the team a lead after seven innings when Joe Maddon could hand the ball over to the Brian Stokes and Al Reyes. The bullpen deserves their share of blame, but if they have to pitch 4 innings every night, they are going to lose some games. Last night’s win was the way it is supposed to be done.
- The Devil Rays lead the major leagues in home runs and stolen bases. They are 6th in runs scored and batting average.
- Carl Crawford and Rocco Baldelli swapped spots in the lineup with Rocco in center field. Elijah Dukes will be back in center field tonight. Crawford “felt like a new man” in the #3 spot where he is more comfortable.
- Delmon Young (.375) and Aki Iwamura (.444) both have hit in all 8 games this season.
- Jonny Gomes is not playing but he is not going to dwell on it. He is working harder than ever and vows to be prepared when his number is called.
- MLB Trade Rumors weighs in on the Brad Lidge rumors. They don’t see it as a real possibility. Too much salary and too many question marks. We agree. Much ado about nuthin’.
- ArmchairGM reports that the Red Sox may be trying to acquire Brad Lidge.
- Bill Chastain talks with Elijah Dukes about his first week in the majors and his first major league home runs.
- When Carl Crawford signed with the Devil Rays and spurned a football scholarship to Nebraska and a basketball scholarship to UCLA, a lot of people back in the Houston area were surprised. His closest friends were not. In retrospect, it looks like CC made the right decision as he is now one of the most exciting players in baseball.