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Joe Maddon: The Rays’ ‘Opener’ strategy would never work for the Cubs

The Tampa Bay Rays tried something different with pitchers this past weekend.

Last weekend, the Tampa Bay Rays tried something new with their pitching staff.

Instead of sending out the rotation starter who would ordinarily have taken his turn Saturday and Sunday, the Rays used reliever Sergio Romo in the first inning both days. Romo did his job, throwing a 1-2-3 inning Saturday (and striking out the side, three pretty good hitters, Zack Cozart, Mike Trout and Justin Upton) and getting four outs Sunday before being replaced.

Saturday, it worked well. Ryan Yarbrough threw 6⅓ innings and allowed just four hits and a run and the Rays won 5-3. Sunday, Matt Andriese got in trouble with wildness and the Rays were stymied by Shohei Ohtani and lost 5-2.

It should be noted that Yarbrough is a rookie, and perhaps the Rays want to bring him along slowly. But perhaps more importantly, could this strategy work for other teams, including the Cubs? Romo is a veteran reliever who had a very good year for the Rays in 2017, though his numbers are not as good this year. Often, the three first hitters …Read the Rest

Source:: Bleed Cubbie Blue

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