Game 21 Lineups and Outlook
In last night’s contest it was readily apparent that Jake Odorizzi didn’t have his best stuff. He did, however, show off some of the tricks he has learned to become a veteran leader for this team. By absolutely refusing to make a mistake over the plate he forced the Orioles to get patient and defensive. It wasn’t pretty, but with the help of some phenomenal defense during the biggest moments he was able to wriggle off the hook and turn the ball over to the excellent bullpen arms with only one run allowed against his record. I was a little surprised he only threw two curveballs, per Brooks Baseball, but the pitch hasn’t been all that effective this year. It’s something he’s going to need to have confidence in. Much like Archer’s change, that third pitch can make all the difference.
Thanks to Buck getting greedy with his starter, Ubaldo Jimenez, the Rays were able to take the lead on the back of a Kevin Kiermaier two-run homer. Buck has avoided going to his excellent bullpen early in the two games so far this series. If the leverage is high in the middle innings tonight I would not expect a repeat.
Very tight matchup today as these teams square off for the final game of the set. The Rays look for the sweep, but it will not come easy. Vegas is dead on so I would stay away on this one. The Orioles lineup is much more boom or bust than the Rays so it will be important for Matty Moore to maintain focus throughout the game to limit mistakes or those lapses of command that seem to pop up each outing. He has done a great job making the adjustments necessary to get batters out two to three times a game, but against this lineup he will really need to be on his game tonight. The Orioles showed patience in the face of many borderline pitches yesterday it will be interesting if they amp up the aggressiveness against a guy that usually has little problem getting batters to expand their zone.