Rays pitchers throw second straight shutout

by Gary Shelton on August 21, 2018 · 0 comments

in general

Yarbrough picked up his 12th win of the season./JEFFREY S. KING

Yarbrough picked up his 12th win of the season./JEFFREY S. KING

Tuesday, 4 a.m.

As victories go, it didn't feel as if it was from the future. But maybe it was.

It involved a big of technology -- a replay call that was reversed in favor of the Tampa Bay Rays.

It involved a big of outside-the-box thinking -- another "bullpen" day that held up in a 1-0 victory over Kansas City. It was the Rays' second straight shutout (after a 2-0 win against Boston), and it left the team with a 23-inning scoreless streak. Only nine times in 20 years have the Rays won back-to-back shutouts.

For the Rays, Hunter Wood, Ryan Yarbrough, Ryne Stanek and Jose Alvarado combined for the shutout. If you're counting, the Rays have used nine pitchers in their two shutouts.

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Winston had one of his better quarters./CARMEN MANDATO

Winston had one of his better quarters./CARMEN MANDATO

5 Observations

1. Yes, Jameis Winston has been as sharp as he's been in two weeks before. It hasn't happened often, because Winston has run up ratings of 99.4 and a career-high 151.8 in the last two weeks for a combined rating of 116.1 . But he's had consecutive ratings of more than 100 in two straight games in each of his first three seasons. He had a 126.6 last year against Atlanta and Carolina. As. a rookie, he had a 125.9 against Jacksonville and Washington. In his second season, he had a 108.8 against Atlanta and Chicago.

2. After two weeks, I'm convinced that the toughest position to trim for the Bucs will be wide receiver. Tampa Bay has four locks to make the roster in Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Chris Godwin and Adam Humphries. That leaves Justin Watson, Sergio Bailey, Bobo Wilson and Freddie Martino competing for one job, maybe two (plus developtmental squad). If you're looking for an early prediction, I think Watson has the most upside.

3. Isn't life good when the kicker is perfect?

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Romo collected his 100th save in the Rays' win./JEFFREY S. KING

Romo collected his 100th save in the Rays' win./JEFFREY S. KING

Monday, 3 a.m.

One hundred times, he has slammed the door.

One hundred times, he has taken away the last hope of an opponent.

Other men have done it more. Other men have done it better. But there is something to a skill that you have repeated 100 times. There is something to walking a tightrope. There is something to turning out the lights.

Sergio Romo notched the 100th save of his career Sunday afternoon in a 2-0 victory over the Boston Red Sox. One game after blowing up the previous Thursday night against the Yankees (two hits and a walk), Romo retired three Red Sox hitters in a row, including two by strikeout.

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Sunday, 4 a.m.

Granted, the schedule is tough, and granted, Jameis Winston will miss three games. But the Sporting News says the Bucs will go 1-15 this year. Which means that Dirk Koetter's seat won't just be hot, it will burst into flames.

-- When the Rays' Chris Gomez flipped a baseball to a female fan with his number on it, as reported by the New York Post, I wonder if said number was his .217 average.

-- That'll teach him. Cleveland coach Hue "1-31" Jackson punished former Florida player Antonio Callaway for his marijuana possession by, get this, making him play more snaps in the team's first preseason game. Personally, I think Callaway should be drug tested weekly. Jackson, too.

-- Todd Gurley says he hates dogs. That's a little odd for a back who went to the University of Georgia. Then again, Uga is kind of ugly.

-- The world of quarterbacks according to Jalen Ramsey: "Josh Allen is trash, Joe Flacco sucks, Big Ben (Roethlisberger) is decent and Matt Ryan is overrated." I wonder what Ramsey really thinks of Blake Bortles, his own quarterback.

-- Leonard Fournette keeps $100 in his pads for 100 yards a game and "because I'm 100 percent real. Funny, Doug Martin did the same thing last year. He kept a quarter and four pennies  in his pads to pay tribute to the 2.9 yards per game he gained.

-- A headline in the Bleacher Report that was written in a hurry. "Allen silences the haters." After two preseason games? Trust me, the haters will hang around longer than that.

-- With the sixth pick in the 2019 NFL draft, Yardbarke.com says the Bucs will take Missouri quarterback Drew Lock.

-- TheSportingNews.com says the Rays' biggest mistake was taking Tim Beckham over Buster Posey. And that was awful, all right. But how about Dwayne Brazelton over Mark Teixeira?

-- Ohio State should bring in former assistant Zach Smith and fire him all over again. Evidently, Smith had $2,200 worth of sex toys and took photos of his privates while at the White House.

-- Do you think Donald Trump thinks that's wrong?

-- Serena Williams may be the best tennis player who ever lived, but she's lousy as a quarterback analyst. She says that Colin Kaepernick, if signed, would win the Super Bowl. One, he's never done it. Two,  he won three games his last two seasons. I repeat: I have nothing against him kneeling. Just playing.

-- I liked a piece written by the sportsdrop.com, talking about which players were the NFL's best one-hit wonders. Former Bucs' receiver Michael Clayton was on that list. But where was Josh Freeman? In 2010, Freeman threw 25 touchdowns with just six interceptions in a 10-win season. The next two seasons, he threw 39 picks. After 2010, he won just 12 games.

-- If that isn't a one-hit wonder, the Electric Prunes should have a greatest hits album.

-- I read that Tiger Woods' caddy, Joe LaCava, says he had a fan ejected after the fan heckled Tiger Woods. One fan. In an entire gallery. Well, aren't golfers precious? Try shooting a free throw or kicking a field goal. Or, in the case of Philadelphia, breathing.

-- A repeat story. In the old Vet in Philly, the wife of a friend of mine was with her friend attending a game. The friend, after a while, said "I don't know why everyone complains. The 700 level isn't that bad." And my friend's wife said "Don't look now, but a guy is licking your shoes." True story.

-- Monday night football won't be airing the National Anthem. With Hank Williams Jr., the guy who ripped Barrack Obama, there simply wasn't time.

-- Besides great music, Aretha Franklin left us with this. She invented the cliche. Without her "R-E-S-P-E-C-T," whatever would football teams whine they do not get?

-- Thebiglead.com says that the Bucs have the fourth-worst quarterback situation in the NFL. According to the site, the only worse ones are Denver's, Cincinnati's and Miami's.

-- It's staggering to me how many umpire's calls are flat-out wrong. And it's staggering that umps don't get some help on borderline strikes. And it's staggering that no one asks "why not?"

-- Chris Berman could be back, back, back. Which means it may be time to turn our television sound down, down, down.

-- Yardbarker.com ranked the top 50 quarterbacks of all time. I dropped my coffee when I saw that Vinny Testaverde was 49th. First thought: I wonder what Ray Perkins thought when he read it. Was Perkins in the top 5,000?

-- Testaverde's rating seems inflated enough until you consider this. Lee Roy Selmon was the 48th best defensive player. Warren Sapp was 32nd. And Derrick Brooks, strangely, didn't make the list at all.

-- On Yardbarker's list of the 50 top running backs, Warick Dunn reaches No. 33.

-- And, of course, there are the wide receivers. Keyshawn Johnson was 43rd, which is about 200 slots higher than he deserved.

-- Bobby Petrino predicts his Louisville Cardinals will upset Alabama in the season opener. Do you think Nick Saban smiled when he saw that? That ought to bring focus to the Tide.

-- The Sporting News ranked the top 50 college football quarterbacks. No one was from FSU. No one was from Florida. No one was from Miami. UCF's quarterback, and FAU's, were listed, but none from the big three.




Price, Sox teach Glasnow a thing or two

August 19, 2018 general

Sunday, 3 a.m. Everywhere, there were lessons for young Tyler Glasnow. There was the Boston Red Sox, baseball’s best offense. There was former Tampa Bay Ray David Price, dealing once again. There was the scoreboard, which seemed as if it might fall over and flatten Glasnow before he could begin. And, in the end, it […]

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Bucs’ Winston sizzles in preseason win over Titans

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Sunday, 4 a.m. This, the Tampa Bay Bucs will miss. This type of play, when the quarterback is precise and dangerous and creative, when he leads his team downfield like he’s leading a parade, will  make the Bucs wince to be without him. It will make his teammates — at least privately — look forlornly […]

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Ask Gary: Is Jacksonville the state’s best team?

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Each week, the readers take over GarySheltonsports.com and play Ask Gary. They send in a question, or a couple, on Thursday night or Friday morning and we all talk about the world of sports. Think of it as a radio show where you don’t have to be on hold. Join us and ask a question, […]

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Red Sox flex their muscles against Tampa Bay

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Saturday, 3 a.m Oh. So that’s why the Boston Red Sox are baseball’s equivalent to Attila and his backup band, the Huns. Because they hit like that. And they pitch like that. And they field like that. Yeah, the Red Sox — 51 games over .500 — put on a show for the Tampa Bay […]

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Once again, Bucs hope their line can perform

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Saturday, 2 a.m. Just asking, but is an offensive line supposed to be this offensive? All these years, and the Bucs continue to search. Historically, they are Paul Gruber and the Pips, a battered bunch holding on for dear life. Even in their Super Bowl-winning season — a long time ago — they were made […]

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Rays look to Kolarek (yeah, him) for the rescue

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Thursday, 4 a.m. Sometimes, even the guy in charge of the saves needs saving. Sometimes, he needs it from the least likely source on the roster. Moments after Sergio Romo — who leads the team in saves with 14 — blew up and seemed determined to blow the Rays’ latest game against the New York […]

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