Rays Take Series as Price Dominates
June 22, 2011
A: Milwaukee Brewers
W: David Price (8-6) 3.51 ERA
L: Marco Estrada (1-5) 4.72 ERA
We all know that Joe Maddon likes to get creative and he’s certainly not afraid to try something. He employs some of the most extreme defensive shifts in baseball against the likes of David Ortiz or Prince Fielder. Maddon is also not afraid to have his hitters try something a little bit different. Shaun Marcum, starting today for the Brew Crew, is known as a reverse righty, meaning he does much better against left-handed batters than right-handed. Last year, righties hit nearly .300 against while lefties hit under .200. In 2011, the trend has been a bit different as he has righties to a much lower batting average than lefties. Maddon still decided, as he did last year when Marcum was with the Blue Jays, to have his switch-hitters batting right-handed. He also loaded his lineup with right-handed batters and it was kind of odd to think that once Marcum was out of the game, the Rays would start send up their lefties against the right-handed only bullpen.
The maneuverings ended up not actually mattering as Marcum, who has been nursing a sore hip lately, did not last long. He gave up a two-run homer to Kelly Shoppach in the second and then left after he aggravated his injury striking out in the third. Marco Estrada took over and pitched pretty well. In the sixth, the Rays took a 3-2 lead when B.J. Upton floated a single that scored Sean Rodriguez.
Tim Dillard took over for the Brewers in the seventh and immediately, the Rays’ bats went to work against the side-winding righty. Sam Fuld hit a pinch-hit double. Shoppach walked. Elliot Johnson came up with Dillard having no idea where his pitches were going. On a 1-0 pitch, a ball came down and in and Johnson swung over it. After another ball, a pitch came into the same spot and this time Johnson didn’t miss, hitting a three run homer to the gap in right.
David Price was back on form today. After allowing two runs in the first, he threw seven scoreless innings, striking out 10. He’s the reason this game wasn’t really in doubt once Shoppach tied the game as the Brewers had a very tough time getting runners on.
Player of the Game: David Price