Rays rotation poised to tie Major League record

Rays rotation poised to tie Major League record

Rays rotation poised to tie Major League record
OAKLAND -- Tampa Bay will tie a Major League record Tuesday night when it starts a pitcher under the age of 30 for the 704th consecutive game.

The 1913-1917 Washington Senators, led by Hall of Famer Walter Johnson, set the record.

"I think it's awesome," left-hander David Price said. "It's pretty special and good to be a part of something like that."

Jae Seo was the last pitcher 30 or older to start a game for the Rays when he did so against Seattle on his 30th birthday on May 24, 2007. Prior to that, the Rays had not started a pitcher 30 or older since 32-year-old Mark Hendrickson made a start against Atlanta on June 25, 2006.

In the 702 games since starting their streak, the Rays have used just 14 starters, which is the fewest in the Major Leagues. Each of the 14 was either drafted and developed by the Rays (eight) or acquired by trade (six).

James Shields has made the most starts during the streak with 142. Fittingly, the right-hander will be Wednesday night's starter when the Rays establish a new record.

"I think being in this organization, you're going to have a lot of young guys," Shields said. "But we've stuck to the same rotation pretty much throughout. Breaking a record like that is something pretty special. ... Being a part of it means a lot."

Shields made the point that not only have they put together a string of starts by young pitchers, they have won as a team for most of that stretch.

"This wouldn't mean as much to me if we lost 100 games every year," Shields said. "It wouldn't matter. But the fact that we've won two American League East titles and the fact we went to the World Series in 2008 in that span, it's pretty special. We have a special group of guys who have gone through this action."

On a lighter note, Price teased that since Shields turns 30 in December, the Rays should trade him. Shields smiled at the suggestion.

"I wouldn't go that far," Shields said. "I'm just glad to be here right now. I am 29 years old and hopefully I get to stop that streak next year."