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Rays’ Game 5 starter not set in stone

Posted Oct 14, 2008 by Marc Lancaster

Updated Oct 14, 2008 at 05:32 PM

BOSTON—Joe Maddon said again today something he had acknowledged earlier, that the Rays may not start James Shields in Game 5 on Thursday. The likely alternative would be bringing back Scott Kazmir that day and saving Shields for Game 6 at the Trop.

That would make sense given there is about seven runs’ difference in the two pitchers’ ERA at Fenway Park, with Kazmir traditionally pitching very well here and Shields getting lit up over a smaller sample size. I don’t know that I’d go that route, though, given that I’d say Shields is the guy you probably want on the mound over everyone else on the staff when it comes to a clinch-type situation.

Anyway, Maddon said the decision would be made and/or announced following tonight’s game, so stay tuned on that.

In other news, the Rays’ lineup is as expected—leaning right-handed against the knuckleballer Tim Wakefield. All of the Rays’ switch-hitters will bat from the right side tonight, as they did in hammering Wakefield on Sept. 17 at the Trop.

The full lineup:

Iwamura 2B
Upton CF
Pena 1B
Longoria 3B
Crawford LF
Aybar DH
Navarro C
Perez RF
Bartlett SS
Sonnanstine P

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