McClanahan’s arm argues he should start

by Gary Shelton on July 14, 2022

in general

Thursday, 4 a.m.

Were you watching, Dusty? Were you impressed? Was it enough for you to bypass Justin?

Shane McClanahan, instant star, continued to dominate Major League Baseball Wednesday night, overpowering the Boston Red Sox on his way to a 4-1 victory. He is now 10-3 on the season and waiting to hear from American League (and Houston Astros) manager Dusty Baker if he will start the game or if Baker will go with Houston star Justin Verlander.

As closing arguments go, this one was pretty good.

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McClanahan went 6 1/3 innings, allowing just three hits and one run in the victory.

"Borderline perfection," is the way teammate Taylor Walls puts it. "I don’t know of anyone else who’s done it better this year. When he’s on the mound, we almost feel untouchable "

Said Rays' manager Kevin Cash: "I think it’s  the best first half of pitching performance that I’ve witnessed. "

McClanah had just one hiccup, the fifth, when Boston had runners on first and third with no one out. McClanahan got a double-play ball to get out of the inning.

"It seems like he gets better when guys get on base," Cash said. "You’re going to pitch with guys on base in the American League, whether it's the Yankees, the Red Sox, the Blue Jays. He’s shown the ability to take a deep breath and make big pitches. "

The Rays got only five hits on the night, but with McClanahan, the Rays don't need many. Ji-Man Choi and Harold Ramirez singled in runs in the third inning, and Walls homered in the fourth. In the seventh, Josh Lowe took advantage of a lazy toss into the infield to score the Rays' final run.

Tampa Bay will play against Boston for the fourth straight day tonight at 7:10 p.m. at Tropicana Field. Drew Rasmussen will start for Tampa Bay. Boston has not announced its starter.

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