Orioles 1, RAYS 0 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: James Shields. How good was James Shields? He had a career high (and club record) 15 strikeouts, walked none, and gave up just 2 hits. And according to ESPN, Shields’ start produced a game score of 94 (measures a pitchers performance). That is the highest ever for a losing pitcher in a 9-inning game in the Live Ball Era. EVER! And Shields was amped up last night. His fastball which is typically not a very good pitch, was dominant. He regularly hit 95-96, and even hit 95 on the gun in the 9th inning. And by the end of the night he had a whopping 10 swing-and-misses on his fastball alone. That is a huge number.
THE BAD: Just Imagine. Can you imagine what it would have felt like if this was the game that eliminated the Rays from the playoffs? Holy Cow! And yet, in some ways, it would have been perfect. A dominant pitching performance combined with an offense that did absolutely nothing.
THE TELLING: Fernando Rodney was named the Rays MVP in voting by the local chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association. Matt Moore was named the top rookie.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- James Shields called last night’s performance “probably the best game of my career.” And Joe Maddon called it a “sin” that Shields’ start was wasted. [TampaBay.com]
- Joe Maddon congratulated Buck Showalter with a bottle of wine. [MLB.com]
- Does Fernando Rodney prove that relievers are a crapshoot? [NESN]
- Another developer has come forward with plans to purchase land in the Channelside area and build a baseball stadium. This is the same land that Lightning owner Jeff Vinik is reportedly close to purchasing. Vinik also wants to build a baseball stadium. [TampaBay.com]
- Out of Florida State, Florida, and Miami, which do you think produces the most NFL players? [BI Chart]
- One Rays fan’s thoughts on the 2012 season. [Thoughts from TJ's Asylum]
- More on the Bucs’ running back situation. [JoeBucsFan]