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The Rays Tank: Team chilled, Cobb hot

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Pregame DJs, magicians, cockatoos and penguins during every homestand?

J. Meric

Joe Maddon was hoping that some penguins would cause the Rays to "chill out a little bit" and wrap up their homestand with a win, and that they did, beating the Yankees 3-0 in another stellar performance from Alex Cobb.

Catch Steve Slowinski's full postgame recap here.

Preseason numerous predictions were made, and hopes voiced, that Cobb would fill James Shields' role as the workhorse of the rotation, and thus far he has proven that apparent.

Cobb has pitched 29.2 innings this season, giving up only six earned runs and striking out 22, bestowing him a 3-1 record with a 1.82 ERA. Last night he went eight-and-a-third, allowing only four hits to the Yankees lineup and giving up zero runs. In his last 15 starts, since August 1st, 2013, he's 10-2 with a 2.70 ERA, and an American League leading 10 wins.

During this past homestand...

- The Rays went 5-1, sweeping the Athletics and taking the series from the Yankees, outscoring their opponents 28-9 over the six games.

- The rotation went 44.1 innings pitched, giving up 28 hits but only eight earned runs, nine walks, and recording 37 strikeouts. Average ERA? 1.62.

- The final three games of the series were only the second time in franchise history that Rays starters have pitched eight plus innings in three consecutive games.

Today the team begins a three-city, 11 day 10 game road trip, with a 2-7 record on the road thus far. Jeremy Hellickson leads it off against Josh Sale and the White Sox tonight at 8:10 p.m. ET.

A pitchers duel is likely, as Hellickson has worked seven innings and allowed just three hits in each of his last two starts, while Sale has completed seven innings and allowed three earned runs or fewer in three of his last four starts.

After this four-game set in Chicago the Rays head on to Kansas City and the Royals, then wrap it up in Denver against the Rockies.

Links:

- The worst at-bat of 2013?

- Carl Crawford said that he didn't smile the entire time he was in Boston and "was just frowning...growing grey hairs on [his] face from the stress."

- Jeff Passan took a look at whether Justin Verlander losing zip on fastball is a keep-an-eye-on-him suggestion or a sky-is-falling proclamation.

- Non-baseball related link, but a very comprehensive look at Derrick Rose's current situation with the Bulls; if it's a matter of health or pride as to why he has yet to return to the court. Makes you wonder about injured athletes, in any sport...