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Archive for May, 2010

Could the Rays Have Three 20-game Winners?

May 15, 2010 Leave a comment

I am a complete nerd when it comes to reading statistics. I’ve been known to sit in front of my MacBook for hours looking at numbers. I noticed something pretty incredible a few days ago.

I was perusing through Rays pitching stats on ESPN.com. While ESPN doesn’t have the most impressive or in-depth stat sheets available (for that I go to baseball-reference.com), one thing I do like is their projections.

As of today, James Shields is projected to win 19 games. Matt Garza and David Price are projected to win 24 games each.

Could the Rays possibly have three 20-game winners? If they do, it would be the first time since 1973 when Ken Holtzman, Jim Hunter and Vida Blue each won 20+ games for the Oakland Athletics. Oh yeah, they won the World Series that year, too.

Read more…

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Categories: Rays Talk

Wade Davis is Pretty Good, Too

May 4, 2010 Leave a comment

In his second start of 2010, he shined against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

Five days later, he shut down the White Sox in Chicago.

After that, he beat the hot Oakland A’s.

But his best start came two days ago.

Yes, I’m talking about Wade Davis.

Going into Sunday’s game, the Rays had lost two of the first three games against Kansas City. Fans were afraid that the Royals would deliver another loss behind the arm of the defending Cy Young award winner Zack Greinke.

It was a good thing Davis was up to the challenge once again.

The Rays No. 5 starter out-dueled Greinke, as Evan Longoria’s solo home run was all he needed to seal a 1-0 victory and a series split. He went seven strong, striking out five and allowing only six base-runners.

Davis is pitching well. That’s not what’s impressing me. I expected him to pitch just as well as the other Rays starters.

Here’s what is impressing me.

In his five starts this season, Davis has faced (in order): C.C. Sabathia, Josh Beckett, Mark Buehrle, Ben Sheets and Zack Greinke. What do they have in common?

They’re all aces. Talk about a raw deal.

But Davis had delivered, beating Buehrle, Sheets, Greinke, and matching Beckett pitch for pitch in a no-decision.

His only shaky start was his first of the season against the Yankees when he pitched 6 innings, giving up 4 runs. A shaky start, but I’ll take that against the Yanks.

Davis is not only beating good teams, he’s beating their best pitchers. His composure and his will to win make his future extremely bright. Not to mention his top of the rotation stuff.

But it’s easy to forget about Davis in a pool with names like Shields, Garza, Niemann and Price. They have been dominant as well. The five man tandem the Rays possess may be the best in baseball. And the rest of the league is taking notice. They combine for a 14-3 record and a 2.64 Earned Run Average.

The Rays are the only team in baseball that can make the case for having five aces for starters. The guy they actually call their ace, James Shields, may be their worst pitcher (not to say that’s a bad thing).

The fact is that this team is built for the present and for the future. They are one of the few teams that can out-pitch and out-slug any team in the majors. You’d be hard pressed to convince me that this team can’t win for years to come.

Categories: Rays Talk

On Philly Fan Getting Tasered

May 4, 2010 Leave a comment

Think about this. You’re at a ballgame. You’re cheering on your favorite team. Everything is going well as you’re enjoying your experience.

Then, a fan decides to run onto the field. At first, you laugh. Maybe you encourage the unruly fan as he runs around the field, eluding security.

After a few seconds of nonsense you expect security to take him down and walk him off the field.

But wait. instead of the typical tackle and escort. Security pulls out the taser.

[record scratch]

Cheers quickly turned into boos as this series of events is precisely what happened at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.

Check out the video here

At first, many cried foul.

To be honest, it isn’t the kind of history a sports team wants to make.

But I have three words: It’s about time.

It is definitely hard to sound unbiased here, especially since Philadelphia’s sports fans already have a bad reputation, but the fact that it happened there is simply a matter of unfortunate coincidence.

Frankly, this should have started happening a long time ago. There is no doubt in my mind that this event will cause a paradigm shift when it comes to trespassing fans.

The fan, a 17-year-old high school student, was not under the influence.

His intentions, like other fans who decide to run onto the field, were probably not malicious. But one thing is for sure, it is better to be proactive than reactive.

Categories: Around the league