I’m not one of these people who can remember every aspect of a game and frankly I don’t feel like going and looking up exactly what inning everything happened in last night’s game. I just want to talk about why I think Joe Maddon did the right thing in leaving David Price in as long as he did last night.
We played the Twins in Minnesota. It was the second game of a four game series and we had taken the first game. It was a tight game. Evan Longoria drove in Carl Crawford for our one and only run of the game. Any game that has you winning 1-0 is a nail biter. You just pray for some insurance runs and you pray your pitcher can keep the other team at nill.
David Price did that for most of the game. He did awesome. I have to give props to the crazy catch Ben zobrist made in center field to save some runs. He’s filling in for BJ Upton who has a “sore leg” and hasn’t been playing. Zobrist had to make a flying catch and tumble back down to end the inning and keep the score 1-0. So exciting!
Price ended up giving up two runs, I think in the seventh. But he remained in the game. His pitch count had gotten over a hundred, and Randy Choat was warming. At one point the Twins got a base runner and the announcers wondered if Choat would come in to face the next batter. I said out loud, “not Choat, not Choat”. He just hasn’t been pitching all that well. Price was kept in and got out of the inning.
Unfortunately, the offense couldn’t get Price the win and we lost 2-1. Ouch.
So a caller calls the post game and asks Rich why Maddon kept Price in the game. I was thinking that Maddon probably hoped the offense might just come back to win and if they did, Price would get his twelfth win. If Price came out of the game and we won, he might not get that win recorded. Rich didn’t mimic my opinion, but I still think that’s why Maddon left Price in along with the fact that he was still throwing 96 mph fastballs. I really didn’t see any reason for him to come out, just because he had given up the lead. It’s not his fault we lost. We just couldn’t score any more. It’s disappointing, but hey, it can’t rain all the time.
So this got me thinking about a discussion Dave Wills and Andy Freid had. They’re the announcers on my radio broadcasts. They were talking about pitch count, how back in the day there was no pitch count, so pitchers stayed in the game until they started sucking. But these days we’ve got this hundred pitch thing going on. Oh no, he’s at a hundred pitches, better take him out. It’s like this new magic number. Often pitchers are taken out because they’ve pitched a lot, even though they’re still doing well. And if your bullpen sucks, you’re screwed. Lucky for the Rays, the bullpen is pretty damn good. Except for Choat lately…but hopefully that’ll fix itself.
Think about the no hitter we had thrown against us by the D-backs. The pitcher’s name escapes me, but he threw 148 I think, pitches to get that no hitter. Arizona’s bullpen sucks, so that was a good choice to keep him in.
Rich pointed out that he gets a lot of callers asking why a pitcher was taken out so early, so it was funny that this guy called to ask why Price was left in. Geez, it’s not like he gave up five runs. And David Price is just awesome. Dave and Andy hope he gets an Allstar bid.
I didn’t vote for the Allstar game this year. I did last year, but this year I decided I didn’t want to be part of it. I’m worried my guys will get hurt in the game. And I know it’s really hectic for them and they don’t get a break. I also know it’s really cool for them to go, but I just didn’t feel right participating this year. Call me a bad fan if you will, but I certainly wasn’t going to vote for Crawford while he’s been nursing a shoulder injury. I know he really wants to go, but I don’t necessarily think it’s the smartest thing to do when you’ve got an injury and you’re one of our key guys. Evan is going for sure and I just hope nothing happens to him. Maybe I’m selfish for wanting the team’s season to come ahead of the Allstar game, but oh well. And if Price goes, how will that affect our pitching rotation? His next start is scheduled against the Red Sox right before the Allstar break. If he’s selected for the game, he probably won’t pitch that game against the Sox. I just don’t like it. I’ll be happy for him if he goes, don’t get me wrong.
B gets ESPN magazine and they do these articles written by ‘Player X’. You don’t know who he is, but he writes the truth about whatever topic. So this last one was about the Allstar game. Pretty interesting. Fans actually almost voted in a retired player. Um, duh fans. If you really want your league to win home field advantage in the WS, you’d better really do your homework. Really its all a popularity contest and I have to wonder if a lot of fans don’t think about the purpose of the game. Last year, I was one of them. I wanted to vote for Longoria, but I didn’t do research about the other guys. Obviously I wanted the AL to win so if the Rays made the WS, they’d have home field advantage. But i didn’t have enough information about the rest of the players to vote. So I guess that’s partly why I didn’t vote this year.
Ok, rambling over. It’ll be interesting to see the selections today.
Good luck today Rays!