10/01/11 7:33 PM EST
Moore's phenomenal outing sets records
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Moore is the first rookie starter to win his team's first game of the postseason since Jim Beattie of the Yankees defeated the Royals in the first game of the 1978 ALCS. Moore is also the fifth rookie all-time to turn the trick.
Finally, Moore is the first rookie in Major League history to pitch at least seven innings and allow no runs and two or fewer hits in a postseason game -- and the second youngest to do it behind Waite Hoyt (22 years, 27 days) in the 1921 World Series.
Price to start Game 3; Hellickson in Game 4
ARLINGTON -- Manager Joe Maddon announced prior to Game 2 of the American League Division Series that David Price will start Game 3 and Jeremy Hellickson will start Game 4, if necessary.
Despite the fact that Price did not win a game in September, Maddon said he felt good about having Price start Game 3.
"I know [that Price didn't have a good September], but David is a big part of our present and future. I have a lot of faith in him. He's not hurt. He's well. He's one of the better pitchers in baseball," said Maddon, who noted that Price finished second in the AL Cy Young Award voting last season. "If there was an injury involved, there would be more concern about it. I feel very good about it actually."
By having Price start Game 3, that would allow him to be ready for a Game 1 of the AL Championship Series if the Rays advance to the next round.
"It's awesome," said Price about starting Game 3. "Hopefully we can get a win tonight and get a chance to close it out on Monday night at home, and that would be good for our fans to see that. That would be a good game for me to step up and throw a good one for the Rays. ... Matt Moore stepped up for us last night, and that was huge for us, and I need to do the same Monday."
Price is coming off an outing Wednesday night against the Yankees when he allowed six runs (five earned) on six hits over four innings, but he has put that outing behind him.
"I got knocked down on Wednesday, get back up, go back at it," Price said.
Price smiled when asked if he had learned anything from watching Moore in Game 1.
"Strike one," Price said. "I mean, I didn't learn anything. I just watched him make pitches. That's what he did all day yesterday, and that was big. I think he walked two guys. He was ahead 0-2, 1-2, 0-1 a lot. That's what you have to do, especially against a team like this with a lot of free swingers. He did well."
Price said he didn't even know that he had not won a game in September "until somebody told me in an interview."
"But yeah, that is frustrating," he said. "I don't really look at all the numbers and stuff. ... I feel good right now. My body feels good. I felt good after my [bullpen session] yesterday. I need to come out Monday and give us a win."
After one-game hiatus, Jennings bats leadoff
ARLINGTON -- After not hitting in the leadoff spot Friday for the first time since he was promoted from Triple-A Durham at midseason, Desmond Jennings was atop the Rays' lineup for Game 2 of the American League Division Series.
"I wasn't really thinking about [not hitting leadoff]," Jennings said. "As long as I'm in the lineup, I'm not really worried about where I'm hitting at. I'm used to hitting leadoff, but it's exciting enough just playing."
Jennings did acknowledge that he has been in a little bit of an offensive funk, though.
"Sometimes I'm not getting hits and I'm getting walks, but I felt like I wasn't doing either," said Jennings, who entered Saturday's contest in a 1-for-29 skid. "I just didn't feel like I was right. We'll see how it goes today."
Manager Joe Maddon felt like Jennings looked better Friday.
"I thought he had better at-bats," Maddon said. "I thought he was more comfortable. So I am looking to put him back on the top because he truly is our leadoff hitter and I want to get him back into that spot."
Shoppach joins Berra in records book
ARLINGTON -- In Game 1 of the American League Division Series, Kelly Shoppach became the sixth catcher all-time to hit two home runs in a postseason game and just the second to do it while also catching a shutout. Yogi Berra did it in Game 7 of the 1956 World Series when he caught Johnny Kucks' two-hit shutout and homered twice off Brooklyn's Don Newcombe.
Rays senior advisor Don Zimmer saw both.
"I've been lucky. I've seen a lot of things," Zimmer said.
Shoppach is the seventh catcher to hit two homers in a postseason game, and the first since Mike Napoli of the Angels -- and now the Rangers -- did it in Game 3 of the 2008 ALDS against the Red Sox. Shoppach also become the third Tampa Bay player to hit two home runs in a postseason game, joining B.J. Upton and Evan Longoria, who both turned the trick during the 2008 ALDS against the White Sox. Shoppach's five RBIs tied the Rays' single-game postseason club record set by Willy Aybar in Game 4 of the 2008 AL Championship Series.
Tickets for Game 3 of the American League Division Series at Tropicana Field are sold out, but tickets remain available for a potential Game 4. A limited number of tickets for Game 3 may become available if other Major League teams return tickets. Fans should continue to check raysbaseball.com for ticket availability.
TBS' exclusive coverage of Friday's Rays-Rangers contest earned a 1.9 U.S. household rating and 2,866,000 total viewers according to Nielsen's Fast Nationals. That is up 19 percent and 28 percent, respectively, vs. the network's coverage of Game 1 last year between the same two teams.
The family of Hall of Fame defensive end Lee Roy Selmon will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Game 3 of the ALDS at Tropicana Field on Monday. Selmon, who played nine seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, died on Sept. 4.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.