D-Rays 8, Baltimore 6. Scott “Kid K” Kazmir did not have his best stuff for the second straight start. He walked the first batter he faced. He then gave up a run in the first followed by 2 more in the 2nd. With the Rays trailing 3-2 at the end of two innings, a rain shower caused a delay of over an hour. Manager Joe Maddon made the correct decision and decided to not bring Kazmir back after the delay. The decision we have to question is starting Kazmir in the first place. Every forecast seemed to indicate that a rain delay for this game was inevitable and most likely they knew that it would be early in the game. With that in mind, why start your young ace if you know you probably won’t bring him back after a lengthy delay? You want and need your staff ace to work late into ballgames. So why not hold him back a day and start him on Friday? You give his arm an extra day of rest and the team is more likely to get 7+ innings. On the other hand, Maddon is a big believer of staying on exactly 4 days of rest for his top starters. On more than one occasion this season, Maddon has skipped a starter so that Kazmir can stay on his regular 4 days rest. In addition, the team came in to the game riding a 6 game losing streak. The job of ace is the “stopper”. It is Kid K’s duty to stop losing streaks, so maybe Maddon felt a little pressure to get Kazmir in the game last night.
There was a scary moment in the top of the 4th. With the Rays up 5-3, and two runners on, Carl Crawford hit a ball over left fielder Jeff Conine’s head. Conine then had trouble picking the ball up. Julio Lugo and Joey Gathright scored. Crawford tried for an inside-the-park home run, only to be thrown out at the plate. Oriole catcher Ramon Hernandez blocked the plate with his foot. Still, on replays it appeared that Crawford still skipped over the foot after being initially blocked, and touched the plate before Hernandez applied the tag. When he was called out, Crawford slammed his helmet and then jumped up in disgust. When he landed, his foot slid out from under him awkwardly, and he appeared to hyperextend his knee. Luckily, after a few tense commercial break moments, Crawford stayed in the game for one inning, but was pulled in the 5th. He is listed as day-to-day with a strained knee. Crawford finished the game 2-3 raising his average to .300.
Jonny Gomes hit his first home run since May 17th against the White Sox at the Trop, his 15th.
Detroit 7, New York 6. Detroit ended the Spankees 5 game winning streak and avoided getting swept in the process. Down 6-5 entering the 9th, Les Tigres scored two runs off their former closer, Kyle Farnsworth. Mariano Rivera was not available due to back spasms. Joe Torre has made a lot of smart decisions in his day, but pitching Rivera 3 innings on Tuesday night was not one of them. He only threw 25 pitches in those 3 innings, so maybe it is just a coincidence.