Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays’ 1-0 win Wednesday over Marlins

Costly baserunning mistakes, bullpen flexibility, shift strategies.
Opener Ryne Stanek throws during the first inning against the Marlins on Wednesday. [LYNNE SLADKY  |   Associated Press]
Opener Ryne Stanek throws during the first inning against the Marlins on Wednesday. [LYNNE SLADKY | Associated Press]
Published May 15

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays 1-0 win over Marlins:

• The line between being aggressive and making mistakes on bases is getting finer. The Rays made two costly outs Wednesday. Yandy Diaz getting caught rounding third was somewhat explainable, given a great defensive play. Austin Meadows thrown out at home after Tommy Pham broke for second on a delayed double steal that ended the seventh not as much.

• With days off on each side of the two-game series with the Marlins, and Charlie Morton going six strong innings Tuesday, the Rays had plenty of bullpen flexibility Wednesday. Manager Kevin Cash took full advantage, admittedly getting “aggressive” in using six relievers after opener Ryne Stanek.

• The Rays employ shifts based on a hitter’s past record of where he usually hits the ball, not just recent performance. That explains why they used a four-man outfield alignment against Marlins leadoff man Curtis Granderson, who went in hitting .176.

Contact Marc Topkin at [email protected]. Follow @TBTimes_Rays.

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