Padres 7, Devil Rays 1.
JP Howell did his job. After a shaky first in which he gave up an unearned run on 1 hit and 2 walks, Howell settled down and faced only one over the minimum over the next 6 innings. Unfortunately, as soon as Gary Glover allowed the first run in the 8th, and the Rays fell behind 2-0, you sensed the game was probably over.
Despite the loss, Howell has now solidified his spot in the rotation for the near future.
Tonight it is James Shields turn. One of the roles of an ace is to be the team’s stopper. The Rays have now lost two straight and it is Shields job to keep this from becoming a losing streak. Shields needs to be careful. Pitching in Coors Field is never an easy task, even since they started using the humidor to weigh down the baseballs. Despite a sinking change-up as his best pitch, Shields has more flyball outs than groundball outs on the season (107 to 100). He is also prone to the long ball, having allowed 12 in 13 starts. That’s tied for 10th in the AL. However, Colorado is only 28th in the majors in home runs. As a team they have hit 45 (The Devil Rays have hit 75).
DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA…
- And the Lugo era in Tampa Bay comes to an end. First the Rays shipped Julio Lugo to the Dodgers. Then the Rays designated Ruddy Lugo for assignment. Yesterday he was claimed off of waivers by the A’s. We won’t miss his pitching. If only he could pitch as well as he could read…oh wait. Our advice to Oakland area parents. If the A’s decide to have a promotion for local school children in which a member of the A’s will “read” to the kids. GRAB YOUR CHILDREN AND RUN.
- James Shields is only the second pitcher in the last 25 years to leave each of his first 13 starts with his team tied or ahead.
- Joe Maddon calls James Shields the “poster child for proper development.”
- Who is this Rocco Baldelli that you speak of? Nobody here by that name. The name is familiar. Sounds like a guy that used to play one of the outfield positions back in ’03 or ’04. If we remember correctly, he was a pretty decent prospect.
- Armchair GM calls Carl Crawford one of the six most underrated players in all of sports.
- There’s another new site in the Blogosphere dedicated to Tampa Bay area sports. [Tampa Sports Review]