Joe Maddon explains quick hook for Jeremy Hellickson

Rob Bradford
October 08, 2013 - 11:12 pm

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. '€“ It was certainly not how anybody expected the night would go, not even Joe Maddon. After using nine pitchers '€“ the most for a nine-inning game in Tampa Bay history '€“ Maddon explained his thought process behind the wave of hurlers. It all started, of course, when the manager decided to remove starter Jeremy Hellickson with nobody out in the second inning after he had followed up a 12-pitch first inning by loading the bases. '€œNot necessarily according to plan,'€ said Maddon after his team'€™s 3-1, season-ending loss to the Red Sox Tuesday night at Tropicana Field. '€œBut originally I thought, or had hoped for [Hellickson] getting through the lineup one time and maybe through [Dustin] Pedroia and then turning it over at that point. The way it was working at the beginning there, I could see it was just not going to work and we had to do something differently. We became a little bit more extemporaneous at that point.'€ Maddon said he didn'€™t share his plan with Hellickson prior to the Game 4 start. '€œNo, I didn'€™t want to put anything in his head,'€ the manager said. '€œIf he got off really good, and stayed good, I would have let him go on farther. But I really thought that would be 12 batters, then here comes Ortiz, who has given him some problems. I thought at that point it would have been good to get back to Alex Torres. That was the game-plan, but that got blown up.'€ The Rays did manage to get out of the second-inning bases loaded jam when reliever Jamey Wright struck out Jarrod Saltalamacchia and induced an inning-ending double play line-out off the bat of Stephen Drew. After one inning of work, Wright was immediately followed by Matt Moore (2 IP, H), and Torres (2 IP, H). Then came Jake McGee, who was charged with a pair runs, followed by Joel Peralta. Peralta'€™s wild pitch on his very first offering that allowed the Sox to tie the game at 1-1. The reliever would then allow the go-ahead run to score on Shane Victorino'€™s infield hit. Closer Fernando Rodney didn'€™t allow for much relief in the ninth, getting pulled after walking a pair and ultimately being charged with the Sox'€™ third run. Chris Archer and Wesley Wright finished things up with Game 5 scheduled starter David Price ready to come on in the 10th if needed. '€œI did not plan on David, either,'€ Maddon said. '€œFernando was struggling so much in the ninth there, and I didn'€™t want them to get anymore runs because of [Red Sox closer Koji] Uehara. Stayed with him as long as I could and then here came [Archer]. '€¦ Throughout the entire game, it was an interesting game. Again, we needed to score more runs against their pitching. We'€™ve had a hard time with that, but I thought our bullpen was fabulous.'€