Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Shoppach gets the call for Game 5
Posted Oct 12, 2010 by Roger Mooney
Updated Oct 12, 2010 at 03:51 PM
ST. PETERSBURG— In a move that will please no one in Rays Nation, Joe Maddon is sticking with Kelly Shoppach as his catcher tonight against Rangers lefty Cliff Lee in this deciding Game 5 of the ALDS.
Maddon said Monday he didn’t want to play John Jaso against Lee because Jaso hasn’t faced many left-handers this season.
Jaso had just 47 at-bats against lefties this season and hit .191. Plus, Lee doesn’t walk many, and Jaso’s game plan is working counts.
Shoppach, whom the Rays acquired in the offseason to hit left-handers, hit .261 against lefties.
Shoppach was hitless during the first two games of this series, including an 0-for-3 with a strikeout against Lee in Game 1.
Maddon did go with Dan Johnson at DH over Willy Aybar, because Johnson can hit lefties. It also keeps the switch-hitting Aybar on the bench for late-inning pinch-hitting duties if the need arises.
Here is the rest of the Rays lineup: