If yesterday's game post was titled Jeff Niemann Dislikes The Royals then it's only fitting that today's be titled Rays Offense Dislikes James Shields.
Shields was fantastic today, no hitting the Royals through seven innings. However, 'fantastic' is not a word that could be used to describe the offense.
Here's a list of the American League pitchers who get worse run support than James Shields:
1. Edwin Jackson
2. No one
That's it. That's the list. Coming into today's game Shields was getting 3.63 runs of support. That's pathetic for an offense that ranks 4th in baseball in runs scored. In fact it's beyond pathetic. Brian Bannister is an interesting pitcher, but that's nearly entirely based on his knowledge of his own pitch f/x data. There's no reason a pitcher with 72Ks in 116IP should strike out 7 Ray's batters. Bannister pitched a good game, but there was no reason it should have been that good. The entire Rays offense should get together and send James Shields some I'm Sorry Balloons, a basket of apology kittens, or one of giant cookies with 'We're Sorry" written on it in icing. Something.
-We've been Pat Burrell's biggest supports all season long. That may have to change soon. It's getting harder and harder to defend Burrell as the season goes on. I'm pretty sure Burrell's baseball skills didn't magically vanish in a season, but for whatever reason he hasn't hit near what he is capable of. I know Burrell makes $7million this season, but it may be time that Willy Aybar starts to get consistant at bats in the DH hole.
-I'm not going to discuss the 8th inning. It was a disaster and talking about it is only going to make me more upset. Lets just move on.
-In poker, they say that you shouldn't chastise an opponent for making a bad play. You don't want your opponent to realize the error of his ways and start to play better. You want him to continue to make the same mistakes. With that said, maybe we should have all been quiet last week when Trey Hillman did not use Joakim Soria once in the Rays three game sweep of KC. The Rays came back in the 8th inning of each of the three games, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat while Soria failed to throw a pitch. In today's game the Royals were up two runs in the 8th inninng and Hillman brought in Soria for the six out save. Maybe Hillman's finally tired of constantly being made fun of.
-Shields is now 6-8 on the season while Jeff Niemann has 10 wins. Thus proving once again why pitcher won/loss records need to be ignored.
-The Rays had hoped to win 3 of the 4 games against KC, but with Zach Greinke on the hill tomorrow those odds just went way down. Hopefully Scott Kazmir can pitch the way he did against the Yankees earlier this week to give the Rays good momentum heading into the Boston series.