Devil Rays 2, Red Sox 1.
The Devil Rays struck out 9 times last night. How unusual is that? Not at all. The Rays lead the AL with 986 strikeouts. The AL record was set by the 1996 Detroit Tigers who whiffed an amazing 1,266 times. They are averaging 7.8 Ks per game. At the current pace, the Rays would go down on strikes 1,268 times, breaking the previous record.

There are some that would argue that a strikeout is not necessarily a bad way to get out. After all it is still just one out. Obviously a double-play is worse. Still, for all the ways a batter can make one out, the K may be the worst.

A strikeout is a rally killer. With runners on base (except for a double-play) a strikeout is the worst thing a batter can do. It does nothing except move the other team closer to getting out of a jam. A strikeout does not move runners. A strikeout does not force the defense to make a play. A strikeout pumps up a team. It rallies a road stadium or it deflates the home field.

A good pitcher doesn’t necessarily pitch for strikeouts as a large number of Ks translates to a large number of pitches. But there are clearly times when a pitcher needs a strikeout with runners on base and all-too-often the Devil Rays kindly oblige.

Rays on record strikeout pace; Bedard dominant [USA Today]

DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA

  • The Devil Rays are now 3-1 against Boston in games in which Daisuke Matsuzaka is the starting pitcher. They are 0-9 in all other games against the Red Sox. [tampabay.com]
  • BJ Upton has batted cleanup before last night, he just doesn’t remember when. Upton took to the new role as well as can be expected hitting a home run and driving in both runs. [TBO]
  • Sure sounds like we can expect to see Jeff Niemann added as a sixth starter in September. [TBO]

“If the whole group feels that it’s appropriate to bring him here, I could see value in that,” Maddon said. “No question about it. A lot of times a guy will come up in September like that, and that one month of experience really can catapult you into the next year.”

  • Grading any draft immediately after it happens is rediculous, but even more so in baseball where most prospects require 3-4 years of development and most first round picks will never make a significant impact. So please tell us why in hell the Hardball Times feels the need to give out “The DRAFTYs:The 2007 MLB draft awards”. [The Hardball Times]
  • Carlos Pena is having a career year, having bested his previous career-best with his 28th home runs. He is now six home runs shy of Aubrey Huff for the franchis record. [Devil Rays]
  • Don Zimmer will have to change his number next season to #60 as he is planning on returning to the Rays for his 60th season in major league baseball. [MLB News Blog]
 
 

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