Alex Cobb's Shutout Continues Tampa Bay Rays Dominance Following Perfect Game
Losing a perfect game has almost become a good luck charm for the Tampa Bay Rays.
The good fortune continued with Alex Cobb pitching a four-hit, complete-game shutout of the Oakland A’s on Thursday night.
Cobb’s shutout was the first complete-game shutout of his career. For a team with postseason aspirations, a shutout from your fifth starter is a great sign of the quality pitching on the team.
The Rays have a 7-1 record since losing the perfect game to Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners on August 15.
In that span they swept the Angels in Anaheim with impressive wins against their strong pitching staff including Jared Weaver, Zack Greinke and Dan Haren. The offense came alive in Anaheim scoring 37 runs in four games.
They looked very different from the team that just lost a perfect game. However, the team has played with the same level of dominance as they had following their previous two perfect game losses.
After Mark Buehrle’s perfect game with the Chicago White Sox against the Rays in 2009, they won eight of their next 12 games. Likewise following Dallas Braden’t perfect game for the Oakland A’s, the Rays won 10 of their next 13 games.
As odd as it is for a team to be on the losing side of perfection, it is even more peculiar to see such a positive winning trend to follow.
A lot of the credit has to go to Joe Maddon and the leadership of the team for not focusing on the losses and understanding that the season truly is a marathon, not a sprint. After all, perfect games still only count as one loss in the standings.
Jamal Wilburg is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report.
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