Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Maddon gears Rays for road, second half

Manager Joe Maddon tells his team that its overall play, not necessarily the quality of its recent opponents, was most important during its hot streak.

EDMUND D. FOUNTAIN | Times

Manager Joe Maddon tells his team that its overall play, not necessarily the quality of its recent opponents, was most important during its hot streak.

ST. PETERSBURG — Manager Joe Maddon spent the All-Star break with his wife, Jaye, traveling in their recreational vehicle from St. Augustine to Daytona Beach. So nobody was better prepared than Maddon to address his team about its 10-game road swing against American League East rivals that begins tonight at Toronto.

In a meeting Thursday at Tropicana Field before a voluntary workout, Maddon told his players where he thought they were headed in the second half of the season and how they were going to get there. "It was just primarily about how we got to this particular moment and how proud I am of how they finished up and also regarding all the different things that were said about us winning at the end of the break," Maddon said. "I said it had nothing to do with the schedule. It had everything to do with how well we played the game."

Riding a 17-4 streak into the All-Star break, the Rays are 2½ games behind the East-leading Red Sox. That the Rays got hot at the expense of the teams with the worst records in the AL — the Astros, White Sox and Twins — matters not to Maddon.

"We caught it well, we pitched it well, we had great at-bats, probably the best at-bats I've seen us have here regarding pitch selection and not expanding our pitch selection," Maddon told his team. "I wanted them to understand if we play that game, it doesn't matter what it says on the front of (an opponent's) uniform, we'll be just fine."

Twenty-one players attended the workout. Because the Trop is hosting a home show, they were limited to hitting in the cages, throwing and taking infield.

Moore praise: Count Maddon and LHP David Price among those impressed with the All-Star performance of LHP Matt Moore, who needed only nine pitches to work a perfect fifth inning Tuesday.

"That's another check mark on the list of tremendous accomplishments, and I think when he comes back here to play, he will have more calmness and confidence about him," Maddon said. "It benefits him and us."

Price cheered Moore from home: "You want him to put up a zero, but to have him look as comfortable and as confident as he did was great."

ROTATION plan: Price will start tonight against the Blue Jays and be followed by RHP Jeremy Hellickson, RHP Chris Archer, Moore and RHP Roberto Hernandez. "That's not to be looked into too deeply," Maddon said. "A lot of that has to do with what's going to happen after that, also."

Arm action: RHP Alex Cobb (concussion) threw a four-inning simulated game at Port Charlotte. … RHP Brandon Gomes (lat strain) threw one scoreless inning Wednesday for the Gulf Coast League Rays. He is set to appear Saturday for Class A Charlotte.

Maddon gears Rays for road, second half 07/18/13 [Last modified: Thursday, July 18, 2013 11:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Want elite college football athletes? Recruit Tampa Bay

    Blogs

    Now that college football watch list season is over (I think), here's one takeaway you probably already knew: Tampa Bay produces a lot of great athletes.

    Robinson High produuct Byron Pringle has gone from this performance in a high school all-star game to all-Big 12 at Kansas State.
  2. 'Ready to win, and win big:' Dick Vitale sees Bucs going 10-6

    Blogs

    ESPN's Dick Vitale, whose love and optimism for Tampa Bay sports teams goes far beyond basketball, has high hopes for the Bucs in 2017.

    ESPN's Dick Vitale, shown at One Buc Place last year when he announced a Bucs draft pick, has high hopes for Tampa Bay this fall, predicting a 10-6 record for the Bucs.
  3. Rays beat Orioles, but tough stretch looms that could change their plans (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tuesday was a step back in the right direction for the Rays, who halted a season-high five-game losing streak by hanging on — and we mean that pretty much literally — for a 5-4 win over the Orioles.

    The Rays’ Tim Beckham celebrates with Mallex Smith after hitting a three-run homer in the second inning for a 5-0 lead.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    Rookie RHP Jake Faria had his lucky rubber duck — OG, the original one he has had since high school — with him, and the Rays had nothing to worry about as he put his rocky Wednesday outing well behind him, working into the eighth while scattering seven hits.