Looking Backward While Moving Forward: Shields, Royals Blank Rays, 6-0

I tried bargaining with the baseball gods, ahead of the series opener last night. My bargain: Allow Tampa Bay to win a close game, and let James Shields to walk away from The Trop with a quality seven inning, no-decision under his belt. The plan seemed like a win/win to me. However, neither the baseball gods nor James Shields accepted my very reasonable bargain. In the end, despite the very good start by Jake Odorizzi, Big Game James was downright dominant in his seven inning homecoming, slashing 7 IP/3 H/0 R/1 BB/10 K on 103 pitches (64 strikes). Truth be told, with a pair of winnable games remaining in the series, I’m not that broken up over the loss — well, with the exception of Juan-Carlos Oviedo’s fart-on-a-snare-drum worthy two innings of work.

Looking Backward While Moving Forward: Alex Cobb Prognosis Good, Etc

A Preface Saturday’s ball game at the Trop signified another tragic injury inducing line drive come-backer event, one where another pitcher had to be carried off the field on a stretcher. And though these events seem to be happening with greater frequency, they never get any easier to watch — nor should they. Thankfully — …

Looking Backward While Moving Forward: The “A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words” Edition

A preface

Jeremy Hellickson was sailing along — pitching five innings of two hit, no run, ball. Then in sixth inning after throwing 70 pitches…

Looking Backward While Moving Forward: “The Great Unraveling” Edition

Last night was James Shields’ night, plain and simple. Forget the fanfare surrounding the three players who returned to the lineup Tuesday — including Luke Scott who was playing his first game of the 2013 season. And forget that Alex Cobb seemed like a reasonable replacement for Big Game James. No, this was all Shields.

Rays 4/30/13 Starting Lineup, Etc

The Rays look to split the first full month of the 2013 season tonight, in the first game of a three game set against the Kansas City Royals. Expect a few familiar faces in the Royals lineup tonight — James Shields will get the start on the mound while Elliot Johnson will be playing second and hitting ninth.