La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Postgame: Quick work of De Vries

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: August 10, 2012 - 11:44 PM

I usually come up with three thoughts. Not after this game.

One key for pitchers to survive in his league is making adjustments batter-to-batter and not inning-to-inning or start-to-start. Tampa Bay were aggressive early in the count against Cole De Vries and knocked him out in the second inning.

De Vries said he didn't have his best stuff or great location, which went into his struggles. He tried to bust Jeff Keppinger inside with a fastball but didn't get it in enough and watched it get hit for a double. That was a clue. 

"It just came on so quick and so fast, before I knew it, I was out of the game with eight runs on the board," he said. "There was no time to adjust. It just kind of spiraled out of control."

Tampa Bay has scored 26 runs in four games since Evan Longoria returned to the lineup. The Rays had scored 25 runs over the previous ten games. So their offense is coming around.

De Vries he was just going to forget about this game. But he's winless in his last seven starts. While a couple have been tough-luck outings, he still has to find a way to end the winless streak.


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