Sunday, August 9, 2009

Rays shake off Saturday morning loss Saturday night

One sign of a good team is the ability to shake off a rough loss and come back and get 'em the next night. That's exactly what the Rays did last night at Safeco Field in Seattle. Instead of dwelling on "what could of been" the night before, the Rays took care of their own business and, thanks to the New York Yankees, got themselves within 1 1/2 games of the wild card lead. 

"Big Game" James Shields finally got some run support, gave it up, and then got some more... before turning it over to the bullpen to finish the job. The offense even tacked on some late runs to make sure that the Mariners didn't have any thoughts of another comeback.

Here are some things I noticed in the Rays 10-4 victory over the Mariners:

  • Big Game and his runs. Run support has been a major problem for Shields this year. In fact, until last night, he hadn't won a game in 8 starts. While I understand the frustration, I still think Shields has some responsibility in his struggles. He still has a tendency to give up sloppy innings here and there... innings that come back to haunt him.  He gave up a couple of sloppy innings last night, but the offense picked him up.
  • Longo/Pena combo.  Maybe it's just me, but these two are starting to get a little "toasty."  Nothing but good can follow when they're hitting homers in the same inning.
  • More arms. The Rays are playing with an extra bullpen arm instead of a bench of a position player.  I really don't think it will be a problem unless someone gets a minor injury. The fact is, Joe Maddon hasn't used Joe Dillionaire much at all. Might as well use his roster spot for a pitcher.
  • 4pm game. I, for one, am happy today's game goes down at 4.  These late night games can play havoc on my sleeping schedule.

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