McGee confident despite taking loss in opener

McGee confident despite taking loss in opener

ST. PETERSBURG -- A short memory is a key to being a quality reliever.

Jake McGee, who took the loss in Tuesday's opener against the Orioles, said he exceeded Rays manager Joe Maddon's rule about letting go of a loss -- or a win -- 30 minutes after the game.

"Last night lasted a little longer than the other ones," McGee said. "Some games when you give up a hit here or there, 30 minutes would be about right."

Despite taking the loss, McGee said he still has a lot of confidence in himself, particularly since his velocity is up at an early point of the season. The left-hander touched 98 mph Tuesday.

"Last year I wasn't throwing that hard the first couple of weeks until we went to Detroit, and then I was hitting 97 and I kind of got it," McGee said. "And even that game I gave up a couple of hits to [Miguel] Cabrera and Prince Fielder and we lost the game. I was like, 'If I have better location with [the 97 mph fastball], I'm going to get results.'"

And he did, putting together a superlative season in 2012.

Maddon was impressed with McGee on Tuesday, noting that "he threw the ball really well yesterday."

"Jake has been so consistent for us you really expect something good to happen when he's pitching," Maddon said. "And I expected it again yesterday. He was literally one pitch away from making that happen. They had a couple of ground-ball base hits and [Adam] Jones just had himself a good day. Jake just needs to be able to file that quickly. He just got beat yesterday. We got beat by a good at-bat by a very good baseball player."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.