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News » Tampa Bay Rays Inside Pitch 2009-04-16

Tampa Bay Rays Inside Pitch 2009-04-16

Tampa Bay Rays Inside Pitch 2009-04-16
The bullpen that was such a strength for the Rays last season has been a problem so far this season.

The numbers are ugly, with two losses, a blown save, a 5.63 ERA and 36 baserunners in 24 innings. Troy Percival has a 10.80 ERA, Dan Wheeler 12.00 and Grant Balfour 21.60.

Manager Joe Maddon said there is no reason to worry because the relievers are healthy and have a track record of success.

"My biggest concern is always health," Maddon said. "If somebody is not healthy and they're struggling, it's a different issue. If they are healthy and struggling a bit, it just depends on your confidence level. Or maybe you just need more work. So these guys are gonna be just fine."

One possible issue is the extended workload of last season. Another could be the compensating slow pace the team had the relievers on this spring.

"I don't know that there's really a reason so far," Percival said. "You get into a funk sometimes, just like you get on a roll."

YANKEES 4, RAYS 3: Derek Jeter scored the tying run after an eighth-inning double, then singled in the winning run in the ninth to hand the Rays a second consecutive series loss. The Rays took a lead into the eighth despite playing without slugger Evan Longoria, but the bullpen cost them for the second straight night.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 16, 2009

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