One Great Inning is Enough For Niemann
A game can’t really end much quicker than it did last night. The Rays put the game away early thanks to an eight run second against Erik Bedard and the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners didn’t lose 17 in a row for nothing. The M’s are pathetic right now. Against Bedard, the Rays were having very good at bats. After they waited him out for a few walks, they started hanging line drives all over the park. Bedard walked three straight hitters to force in a run. Johnny Damon singled in two more runs and that was it for Bedard. Aaron Laffey came into the mess and Zobrist cleaned up with an impressive show of power. His two-run homer to right made it 6-0. The Rays added two more runs in the inning.
After the Rays took the quick 8-0 lead, I was watching in and out and it didn’t seem like Niemann was pitching all that well. He was laboring a little but then I realized that he was shutting out the Mariners and had only only one hit through five innings.
I never thought I would say this at the beginning of the year, but Niemann would be my choice right now to pitch a big game. Throw him against the Yankees, Red Sox, whoever and I think he would beat them. Well, the offense would have to do their part, which obviously they did last night as opposed to Niemann’s start against Boston (16-inning scoreless game). Niemann set a new career high with 12 strikeouts over 6.2 innings. It was clear he was running out of gas in the seventh. He allowed two hits and had to be replaced. This time the Rays bullpen held strong and finished out thee 8-0 shutout.
Player of the Game: Jeff Niemann