Well our losing streak is over and its back to Rays baseball. The Rays still hold the best record in baseball (23-10) as well as the best road record (14-4). It’s just too bad we had to knock one of our former players around Scott Kazmir, to end the streak. “It was a little strange,” Kazmir said. “But once the game started, it didn’t affect me at all. There was the first at-bat with [Upton] where he was smiling at me, but I just took a step back and looked into on the stands and refocused. Everything was fine.” I can remember when I played and faced against good friends, I could never stop smiling and actually hit a few in the back while pitching. Im just glad we got the much needed victory, winning 7-2.
This was only our second win against the Angels in Anaheim since Maddon has taken over the team in 15 games. Well, thanks to Evan Longoria who homered and drove in 4 runs, it was possible to get this rare win in Anaheim. Longoria is hitting .328 with 8 hr’s and has 29 RBI’s for the season.
Jeff Neimann started a little rough in the game but eventually chilled out and got his command back lasting 7.1 innings. He allowed two earned runs and struck out four. I think he could have pitched a complete game. His pitch count was not too high and our bullpen could use a rest, since Maddon loves to throw every pitcher out there during the last three innings of every game. Maddon used 3 pitchers in just the 7th inning, which to me is really ridiculous. Neimann could have easily finished out the inning and if I was a starting pitcher on this staff, I would become annoyed of his tactics of taking out the starting pitcher way too soon. Neimann is 3-0 with a 2.27 ERA.
If you listen to sports radio around here, most of the topics are about how Joe Maddon’s managerial tactics are computer generated. Meaning, he looks too deep in matchups and statistical situations to finish the game. Maddon is a great manager but it is getting out of hand with his matchups. Just think about it. What other team uses as many releif pitchers as the Rays do? We see our whole pitching staff every night, winning or losing. Most fans dont even know who their relief pitchers are because they dont see them every single game. And the only one they probably know is their closer, who we see the least of. Sorry for that little rant but its getting annoying. Especially, when Balfour comes in every game and can’t ever keep a hold like he is supposed to. I cant even remember when his last hold was. Maybe in the 2008 playoffs??? Dan Wheeler has been our most dominant relief pitcher, lets see him out there more. He has an ERA of 1.64 in 11 innings and is much better than Randy Choate and Grant Balfour. Forget about the matchups. These are major league pitchers and should be able to pitch to both left and right handed batters.