Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Game Recap: My Shields & My Strength

June 30, 2008

Sox: 4

There were more Rays fans than Sox fans at the Trop. To the outside world that might not seem like a big deal, but to us (Rays fans) its a tear-jerkingly beautiful happening.

James Shields recorded his 6th win, allowing just 2 runs on 5 hits in 6 1/3, striking out 5 and walking one. Shields started the game on fire, but ran into some trouble in the 4th. He showed mental toughness and rebounded nicely; allowing just one run in the 4th and 1 in the 6th (a solo homer by JD Drew- that chased Shields from the game). James the Greater (as the good folks over at Rays Index have dubbed him) threw 104 pitches, 66 of which were strikes.

BJ Upton went yard on the first pitch of the night (for the Rays) and set the tempo for the game.

Gabe Gross went 2 for 2 with a homerun. He also walked twice. Gross continues to be, (in my opinion) far and away, the best choice for RF day in and day out, but apparently Mr. Maddon doesn't agree.


The top half of the lineup (Upton, Crawford, Aybar, Pena, Dirtbag) went a combined 3 for 16. I understand that occassionallly a pitcher is going to have a good game and that's just part of baseball, but what I left out above is that the 6 and 7 batters (Hinske and Navi (and later Gomes as a pinch hitter)) combined for an amazing 0 for 6- that's the one thru seven batters going a combined 3 for 22 against a pitcher who wasn't looking especially nasty. The Rays can't have off days offensively against a beefed-up lineup like Boston and expect to win.

Troy Percival hurt his hammy again. I love Percy as much as the next guy, but what good is he if we have to wheel him out with his walker everytime he takes the hill, and then he's only healthy enough to pitch once a month... pure frustration.

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