Alex Cobb: Jeremy Hellickson will be ‘lights out’ against Red Sox

Three straight elimination games. Three straight wins. The Tampa Bays Rays just aren’t ready to put the 2013 season to rest.

Monday night, Jose Lobaton belted a walk-off home run against arguably the league’s best relief pitcher this season, Koji Uehara, to force a fourth game with the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS. Tuesday, starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson and the Rays face another win-or-go-home matchup at the Trop.

Hellickson, the 2011 American League Rookie of the Year, was roughed up this season, finishing with a 12-10 record and a career-high 5.17 ERA. Still, on MLB Network Radio’s MLB Roundtrip, Monday’s starter Alex Cobb said the team has confidence in Hellickson.

Jeremy’s numbers don’t look great from this season if you put them on the back of his baseball card, but Jeremy was the main reason we got to the postseason. He had a 10-, 12-game stretch there where he was the best pitcher in baseball I feel like. You know, that gets overlooked a lot because there’s an inflated number next to his ERA. […] There’s no better guy that we want to have the ball tomorrow night. The fact that we can lean on a guy like him tomorrow is huge, you know he’s well rested, I think he’s going to be lights out tomorrow night.

In 10 starts between June 2 and July 26, Hellickson went 8-1 with a 3.17 ERA in 59 2/3 innings. That was offset by a rough 11-game stretch to finish the season, though, when Hellickson went 2-7 with a 7.15 ERA in 45 1/3 innings.

Listen to Rays feed Tuesday at 8:30 pm ET on Mad Dog Sports Radio, SiriusXM channel 86, the Red Sox feed on MLB Network Radio, Sirius channel 209 XM channel 89, and the national feed on SiriusXM channel 84.

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