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Tampa Bay Rays News and Links: SO MANY 1 RUN GAMES!

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Also: Johnny Field finally gets his chance at the Show.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Chicago White Sox
We know the feeling, Yonny
Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

These 1 run games are adding a lot of grey to my already salt and pepper hair. The Rays have been in 1 run contests in 8 out of 12 games, going 2-6 on the season, most recently failing to best James Shields who is a very different pitcher now.

Did you know: James Shields is now (kind of) a sidearmer?

The Rays were given a lot of opportunities by old friend Big Game James Shields. 5 walks in the first two innings lead to 0 runs, thanks in large part to a very careless Malex Smith wandering too far off the bag at 3rd base and Shields catching him napping.

Shields looked like Yields early, but he bent but didn’t break. The Rays started to look silly as Shields got his beautiful curve working. While it wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t the James Shields we remember, he was able to grind out innings and keep the game close.

Of course on the Rays side, Yonny Chirinos had another very encouraging start and his spot in the rotation seems all but locked in at this point. Yonny has still yet to give up an earned run on the season, and his low walk, pitch to contact approach offers a different type of look to the Rays rotation than Archer or Snell’s more K heavy approach.

While the bullpen was not able to hold on to the 1-0 lead and the Rays came up short on this 1 run game, the Rays still won the series and now head home to face old friend Gabe Kapler and his Phillies.

Rays Links:

  • OF Johnny Field, the 80 grade baseball name, if finally getting his call to the majors:

Important Rays Read

  • Lastly, on the Rays side, Jared Diamond for the Wall Street Journal has a great, evenhanded article on the Rays 3-man rotation, bullpen days, and the process behind the “weirdness”. There’s been a lot written about the Rays strange bullpen plans, but this one is well worth the read. He also got this money quote:

“If we occupy the wake of both the Yankees and Boston and our behavior is aligned with theirs, we’re never going to step out and pass them—ever,” one high-ranking Rays official said. “Never, ever, ever will we ever step out and pass them short of some incredible run of luck and good fortune.”

Jared seems to have gotten great access to the Rays front office for this piece, and it offers us some important insight into the strategy behind building the 2018 Rays.

Around the League: AKA Brawl Center

  • There was a BIG benches clearing brawl in Colorado today: