THE GOOD: BJ Upton. You gotta like what you see right now from Bossman Junior. In the first 4 games, Upton has 5 of the Rays 17 hits including 2 doubles and his first home run last night…Sean Rodriguez. Getting his first start versus a righty with Evan Longoria on the shelf, Rodriguez made an impression with a walk and a solo home run. He also moved to LF late in the game as a defensive replacement for Johnny Damon.
THE BAD: Bad Start. Jeff Niemann put his teammates in a hole with his 35-pitch, 3-run first inning. It was an uphill battle after that in which there was little hope with the way the bats have been going…Where’s The Beef? BJ Upton’s 2-run HR masked what was yet another anemic hitting performance with just 5 hits. That is 17 hits in 4 games.
THE TELLING: This team needs a slump-buster in a bad way. Got any ideas?…Johnny Damon was back in the lineup after missing Sunday’s game with a sore calf…Grant Balfour blew a 1-run lead in the 10th for the A’s when he gave up a 2-run walk-off HR without recording an out…Meanwhile, Rafael Soriano gave up 4 runs in just two-thirds of an inning, walking 3. After the game, he was nowhere to be found…
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Don’t forget, if you want some immediate game reaction, or a place to discuss the Rays after the game, check out our “Postgame Shot of Joe.” [Rays Index]
- Joe Maddon and BJ Upton came to the defense of Manny Ramirez who was booed last night…Our thought is, if you pay money to go to the game, you have the right to boo. We don’t agree with it, but that is your right. Besides, Manny is a very wealthy man in his late-30s. He should be able to handle it. [TampaBay.com]
- JB Long writes about Jeremy Hellickson’s calm approach and what Joe Maddon expects in the kid’s first start of the year. [BayNews9.com]
- Bud Selig says Major League Baseball has not discussed contraction. [The Heater]
- $95 million over 7 years for David Price? That’s what MLB Trade Rumors calculated as the going rate for if Price were to sign an extension. [MLBTR]
- Yet another post explaining why contraction won’t happen. [ESPN]
- Andddd another. [Hardball Talk]
- MLB Trade Rumors takes a look back at the Jason Hammel trade. [MLBTR]
- Joel Poiley had a Q&A with Matt Joyce. [BrandonPatch]
- Just how bad were the living conditions for David Price and Evan Longoria this spring? [Onion Sports Network]
Rays post game (via TampaBay.com)