The Tampa Bay Rays won their ballgame last night with a 2-run shot by Pat Burrell in the 12th inning. Burrell has largely been a disappointment to the Rays since signing after the Phillies World Championship season in 2008. If he can come up with some big hits like this, that opinion may change.
Manager Joe Maddon had this to say:
“That’s great.” “He’s been swinging the bat better. We’ve been talking about it. To touch one off like that under these circumstances has got to help his confidence, I would have to believe. That was big for us.”
The home-run in the 12th inning came after the Rays were stuck in a bases loaded, no out jam in the 11th inning. They were on the road and facing defeat, and possibly a suspended game with the rain pouring down, when Joe Maddon made some very interesting moves to keep the game alive.
Maddon moved outfielder (and every other position player) Ben Zobrist in as a fifth infielder. David Ortiz grounded out where a force out was recorded at home-plate, and then Adrian Beltre hit into an inning ending double play to keep the Rays alive in a 1-1 tie.
Pitcher Lance Cormier got himself in and out of this trouble, and had this to say:
“I watched Carlos and I’m like, ‘Throw it! Throw it!’ and then I’m like, ‘Oh, no.” “Great play by Navvy. He picked it and made sure he stayed on the plate. He almost had to chest it up to pick it, and you know you’ve got a guy coming in who is going to take him out. … He stayed in there, kept his body in there, and he made a big play.”
The Rays are tied for first place with an 8-3 record in the American League East, and are looking strong on all ends. Their offense, defense, and pitching has all looked strong thus far, and the team is trying to make an early stand that they are the type of team that 2008 showed us.