[The Herald News]
L: Olsen (6-4)
S: Meadows (3)
How I Stacked Up
Here's what the '3 Up, 3 Down' you see on the sidebar (based strictly on my opinion) would have looked like had I gone with Win Probability...
2B Jorge Cantu: 22.6 WPA
SP Casey Fossum: 21.8 WPA
RP Jae Seo: 17.9 WPA
SS Julio Lugo: 12.9 WPA
RP Shawn Camp: 9.7 WPA
CF Rocco Baldelli: -12.1 WPA
3B Aubrey Huff: -8.0 WPA
LF Damon Hollins: -7.6 WPA
1B-RF Ty Wigginton: -4.0 WPA
Well, despite five walks from Casey Fossum, and just as many errors as runs scored in the game, the Rays were able to squeeze by the Marlins despite their lowest run output of the series.
Casey Fossum continued to struggle with his control, but was able to pitch out of the problems that he helped to create, which totaled up five walks and three hits. He struck out just two. Fossum's control problems continued, and these problems have contributed to a rather poor season from him. He has walked 35 and struck out just 29 this season. He has also struggled with the long ball this season as well, and opponents are hitting .275 off of him. Yet despite an outing comparable to others this season in which he has given up many more runs, Fossum was able to limit his damage and give up just one run over five innings, and that was enough to keep the Rays in the game.
Jae Seo got some work out of the bullpen which I saw part of. He pitched two full innings and walked two, while giving up a double, yet like Fossum, was able to pitch out of his messes. He didn't impress me, but it was only two innings, and it was mainly designed to just give him work, since his next start isn't until Sunday and he hadn't pitched since Friday with the Dodgers.
Shawn Camp was the only pitcher on the night to really be sound across the board, not allowing any baserunners in his inning of work, and Brian Meadows was able to keep up the illusion of being a good closer by saving the ballgame in the ninth. I would rant about Maddon continuing to foolishly use him as a closer, but with Tyler Walker due back soon, I am not that concerned.
The offense also came through tonight, although it scored all of one run past the first inning. Julio Lugo reached base five times, three of them on hits, and is hitting a very impressive .299/.365/.488 on the season. Now tell me that does not look appealing to a playoff contender.
Also, Jorge Cantu broke out of his recent double play and poor performance funk, going 2 for 3 on the night to help the offense, while Aubrey Huff also managed two hits, though neither involved a run. The rest of the offense managed three hits, though new addition Dioner Navarro did impress by walking twice and blocking the plate to prevent a Florida run from scoring.
Overall, this was not a well-played game. Fossum succeeded in spite of himself, succeeding at one point because the Rays were able to get a double play on an infield fly, Seo allowed a double and a walk, and still got out of an inning, while Meadows continued to keep up the mirage. Further, only two players on the offense really mattered at all. The performance in this game did not impress me, it just seemed like the Marlins played like the real team that they are and we got lucky. However, obviously, I will take it. The Rays won in South Florida for the first time in two years, and the Rays won the season series for just the third time in team history. But if we do keep playing like this, don't expect many wins. Luck had a lot to do with the Rays breaking a three game slide, and it could have been easily grown to four.
About Last Night...
St. Petersburg Times
The Tampa Tribune