I tell you what, unless you actually make it out to any spring training games, unless they’re on the TV or the radio, dissecting any given game is a daunting task to say the least. Fortunately for those of you that have an MLB.TV subscription, you get to see the replay of today’s game vs. the Yankees tomorrow at 9:00 AM sharp.
In any case, I’ll try my darndest to sum up the game based on the line and box scores. First off, the Rays beat the Yankees 4-0 on a stellar four hit shut out by the pitching staff.
Shields, Badenhop, and Lueke went two innings a piece, giving up only two hits while striking out four. Both Lueke and Shields pitched perfect innings against some of the Yankees big boys including Swisher, Jeter, Granderson, and Cano. I know it’s only spring training, but taking care of business against those overpaid numbskulls is always fun. Sanchez, De La Rosa, and Colome rounded things out by going an inning a piece, giving up two hits while walking one, and striking out two.
To see Shields do well in his first spring training start is encouraging. It’s safe to say that the odds are against Big Game James to perform as well as he did last season. Most people feel as though Shields had a career season in 2011. However, seeing him pitch well, right out of the gate, is great. Even 75% of his 2011 effectiveness would find a very solid, dependable starter. I also like hearing that he’ll be taking the hill opening day Rays against the evil empire.
On the offensive side of things, Brignac, Keppinger, and Vogt had big days at the plate, collectively hitting five of the Rays 10 hits, and scoring three of the Rays four runs. Vogt drove in two of those four runs while Molina and Feliciano drove in the other two. Suffice to say, Keppinger, Brignac, and Rodriguez are making the battle for shortstop/middle infielder very interesting.
Check out an interview with “Big Game” James here, not to mention the video (below) of “Big Game” James talking about getting the opening day nod: