Sunday, February 18, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Cardinals turn to unfazed rookie Wacha again in NLCS Game 6

ST. LOUIS — For four straight starts, Michael Wacha has been all but untouchable and appeared oblivious to the stakes.

The Cardinals need one more like that from the pressure-proof rookie to get to the World Series for the second time in three years.

Wacha outpitched NL Cy Young frontrunner Clayton Kershaw in Game 2 and the Cardinals won 1-0 on an unearned run to take a 2-0 series lead. They're matched again tonight, the precocious right-hander and the lefty who would be at the top of anyone's list to work a must-win.

This time, the Cardinals lead the Dodgers 3-2 in the NLCS.

"I just expect Michael to go out and do what he's done, just like the rest of our guys," manager Mike Matheny said. "Stick with what you've done all along the way and don't ignore and don't deny the excitement."

The Dodgers extended the series by muscling up on offense, with Adrian Gonzalez hitting two of their four homers in a 6-4 victory Wednesday. Manager Don Mattingly was hopeful that Hanley Ramirez (ribs) and Andre Ethier (ankle) would benefit from the travel day and be in the lineup.

Wacha is 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA in the postseason, allowing just six hits in 14 innings with 17 strikeouts. Counting his last start of the regular season, when he was one out shy of a no-hitter, make it 3-0 with an 0.42 ERA.

Slim leads have been of no concern, with the Cardinals totaling five runs in those games.

"Just this whole postseason ride has been amazing," Wacha said. "Hopefully we can just keep it going."

Kershaw is the majors' ERA leader three years running and worked the division series clincher against Atlanta on three days' rest. He gave up just two hits in six innings of Game 1.

"I don't really think about the what-ifs," Kershaw said. "I always assumed I was going to pitch Game 6."

Comments
What were Rays thinking in ditching Odorizzi, Dickerson, adding Cron?

What were Rays thinking in ditching Odorizzi, Dickerson, adding Cron?

PORT CHARLOTTE – Rays officials insisted Sunday they made the best deals they could in a bad market, trading No. 2 starter Jake Odorizzi for an unheralded Class A shortstop prospect and DFA-ing 2017 All-Star Corey Dickerson in essentially a swa...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Donít like Rays moves? Youíve got company in Longo

Donít like Rays moves? Youíve got company in Longo

Evan Longoria has said pretty much all the right things since the Rays traded him in December to the Giants.But the former franchise cornerstone felt strongly the Rays made the wrong move in designating for assignment Corey Dickerson and spoke out on...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rays Journal: Early off-days lead to four-man rotation, Andriese in bullpen

Rays Journal: Early off-days lead to four-man rotation, Andriese in bullpen

PORT CHARLOTTE – Among many reasons the Rays decided to trade RHP Jake Odorizzi was that they didn't really need him. Or at least didn't need five experienced starters.Manager Kevin Cash confirmed Sunday a plan to use only a four-man rotation f...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Ellsbury ready to play, but where?

Ellsbury ready to play, but where?

By ROGER MOONEYTimes Staff WriterTAMPA – Jacoby Ellsbury reported Sunday and said all the right things when he faced the Yankees media for the first time this spring.He is excited to begin spring training. He worked hard this offseason. He is e...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Morning after comments on Raysí busy Saturday, dealing Odorizzi, Dickerson; adding Cron

Morning after comments on Raysí busy Saturday, dealing Odorizzi, Dickerson; adding Cron

Here are some of the comments from Rays camp this morning after the Rays' busy Saturday night in which they traded RHP Jake Odorizzi to the Twins for Class A SS prospect Jermaine Palacios, designated for assignment 2017 All-Star DH/OF Corey Dickerson...
Published: 02/18/18
ĎBabe Ruth of Japaní already talks the talk of an MLB pitcher

ĎBabe Ruth of Japaní already talks the talk of an MLB pitcher

TEMPE, Ariz. – Major league pitchers nowadays emerge from the womb, or at the very least arrive at the end of their minor-league apprenticeships, already knowing that the only proper answer to any question pertaining to your first stint on a mo...
Published: 02/18/18
Rays trade Odorizzi to Twins, acquire Cron from Angels, DFA All-Star Dickerson

Rays trade Odorizzi to Twins, acquire Cron from Angels, DFA All-Star Dickerson

The order from ownership to cut payroll stymied by the same market freeze that has stalled transactions throughout the game, the Rays on Saturday night burst into action with a series of somewhat confusing moves that saved them around $10 million.The...
Published: 02/17/18
Updated: 02/18/18
Who was right in Archer-Honeywell exchange? How about both?

Who was right in Archer-Honeywell exchange? How about both?

ROSTER REPORTFirst of our weekly semi-educated guesses at the makeup of the 25-man opening day roster, projecting that Jake Odorizzi and Denard Span will be traded:PITCHERS (12): Jose Alvarado, Matt Andriese, Chris Archer, Alex Colome, Nathan Eovaldi...
Published: 02/17/18
For Rays Wilson Ramos, horrors of 2011 kidnapping remain

For Rays Wilson Ramos, horrors of 2011 kidnapping remain

PORT CHARLOTTE – Lying on the floor of a Venezuelan mountain hideout as his kidnappers and would-be rescuers exchanged gunfire for more than five minutes, Wilson Ramos, understandably, feared the worst."Everything I was thinking in that moment ...
Published: 02/17/18
Denard Span happy to be with Rays now, would be happier March 29

Denard Span happy to be with Rays now, would be happier March 29

PORT CHARLOTTE – OF Denard Span was truly happy to be here in Rays camp on Saturday.But the Tampa product said he'll be much happier – and more relaxed – if he actually makes it to the regular season with his hometown team.The Rays ...
Published: 02/17/18