Sometimes Merlot Joe’s mixing and matching works perfect. Sometimes it blows up in his face. Today was a little of both but more so the juggling of lineups like shuffling a deck of cards worked for the Rays skipper.
John Jaso sits for Kelly Shoppach. Boom! Two-run homer.
The immortal Elliot Johnson plays short for Briggy. Boom! Three-run homer.
The Legend of Sam Fuld pinch-hits for Justin Ruggiano and the Legend of Sam Fuld gets a hit and scores a run.
That was the good. Then there was the bad that almost looked like it might sink the Rays.
Fleet-footed Prince Fielder embarrassed the Rays and Merlot Joe after a Williams shift was staged with one out. Instead of pulling the ball, Fielder tapped it down the third base line for a single and the Brewers later loaded the bases on Goggles before scoring a run.
What’s the point of a shift with a four-run lead with only two outs to go to win the game? Even without the shift, Fielder is not much of a candidate to beat out an infield single. Strange call and it appeared was the opening to an awful comeback.
Overall, the mixing and matching worked. Today. This time.
This was a nice series win by the Rays. Beating a division-leading squad two out of three on the enemies’ home turf is a damn good thing.