Devil Rays 6, Twinkies 4.
Let us paint you a picture. Rays up 5-1 in the 5th and the Twins have the bases loaded. No outs and due up are two of the best hitters in baseball including the AL batting leader. What is the BEST case scenario? 2 runs and a 5-3 lead? Worst case scenario? Flood gates open and the Rays are suddenly down 6-5? That would be the likely scenario for another incarnation of the Rays. But not for James Shields. Shields got Joe Mauer on strikes and Justin Morneau on the pitcher’s best friend…The GIDP. Inning over. No runs. Lead secure. And that folks is why James Shields is an ace. A stopper. A WINNER. Embrace it. Shields is not only the best pitcher on the rays staff. He is one of the best pitchers in baseball right now. He is 3-0 (should be 4-0). And is tied for the league lead with 45 Ks. Tell me how many pitchers in the AL you would take over shields right now. 2? 3? That’s it. And thanks to James the Greater the rays are now tied for second in the AL East and only 1 game behind The Charlie Hough Line (.500).
DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA…
- People are all in a tizzy with the Rays in second place. Calm down folks. The Rays are still below .500. Being in second is more an indictment against the rest of the AL East. Our goal right now is the Charlie Hough Line. Get to .500 and then we can discuss the Rays place in the standings.
- Akinori Iwamura talks about his rehab at the Rays minor league complex. He also says that he is still 2-3 weeks away from returning.
- BJ Upton is now leading the AL in hitting after going 2-3. He is now at .381.
- Jonny Gomes got his first start of the season in the field, with Delmon Young, getting his first non-start. Young did come in late in the game for defensive purposes.
- Joe Maddon hopes that winning two in a row will not lead to a lackadaisical attitude in the clubhouse before their series opener against the A’s. One thing we have learned in baseball is that momentum is only as good as tomorrow’s starting pitcher. Tonight? Casey Fossum. *blood pressure rising*
- Another night at the Trop and another runner trips over his own feet.
- The A’s come to the Trop for three games starting tonight. They are 13-14 and 2 games behind the Angels in the AL West after splitting a 2-game set with the Red Sox.
- The A’s will be without Mike Piazza, who went on the DL this week.
- The A’s have the lowest ERA in the AL (3.22), and tonight’s starter, Danny Haren, is the AL leader at 1.60.