Don’t expect master string-puller Joe Maddon to do anything differently than what he already does. Wise men might say he shouldn’t. But even in victory, even with an 18-8 record, this Joe has to at least put something somewhat contrary out there.
Hopefully, maybe, Maddon files away Jake McGee’s perfect 2 1/3-inning performance today the next time he wants to yank a reliever after a flawless sixth, seventh or eighth inning. Sometimes it’s just OK to roll with it and throw the computer to the wind.
Yeah, it came almost out of necessity today with a drained bullpen, but Maddon deserves credit for sticking with McGee, and even Crooked Cap got his ninth inning — and ninth save — with plenty of recent mileage on his blessed arm.
The box score looks like a typical 4-3 Rays win, but there was seriously sloppy defense continuing out there with a shortage of clutch hitting. Amazingly, it’s just not mattering with different guys stepping up daily, with Jeff Keppinger and Desmond Jennings stroking all four RBIs today.
These are really glorious days for Rays fans and, as Joe’s written before, banking all these wins early will make all the difference come September.