If Joe didn’t have to get up at 5 a.m. for that nasty four-letter word called “work,” he’d be raising an adult beverage to toast the Rays 3-2 win over the Red Sux Tuesday at the Fruitdome.
Trust Joe, he’s happy, but concerned. Once again the Rays showed they have arguably the best one-two punch to finish a game in the American League: Joaquin Benoit and Rafael Soriano, who is known in some circles as “MFIKY.”
Problem is, this duo needs a rest. Quite possibly the best chance for a breather was tonight with Jeff Niemann on the hill. Alas, he lasted just six innings and Merlot Joe had to go to his bullpen early.
Enter J.P. Howell. Remember last year the Rays bullpen had to bail out the starters time and again. Part of the reason Howell has his left wing in a sling (thank you Scott Kazmir) is that Merlot Joe absolutely fried him. Merlot Joe didn’t have much of a choice as the starters put in less work than the standing Vice President of the United States.
Now Rays lefty David Price starts Wedneday. It’s imperitive that Price go deep into the game if not finish his start so the pen, including the dynamic duo of Benoit (your 2011 closer) and MFIKY can rest their arms.
We’re at the midway point of the season. The Rays will sorely need those two to be fresh down the stretch.