THE GOOD: Johnny Damon. His 2-run home run in the 1st put the Rays in control in the first. Also important was his 7-pitch at bat in the 6th that got Brandon Morrow out of the game. Against the bullpen, the Rays started walk-HR turning a 2-2 tie into a 3-run lead…Ben Zobrist. His 4th home run was the game-winner…David Price. The bullpen needed a break and the Rays’ Ace delivered with 8 dominant innings…Sam Fuld. His diving grabs are almost expected at this point. Oh yeah, and he was on base 3 times, forcing Jays pitchers to throw 20 pitches.
THE BAD: Handling Bautista. In the 1st inning it was 2 fastballs, with the second ending up over the fence. Then in the 4th inning Price tried 5 straight off-speed pitches. The result was Bautista’s second home run of the game. In his next at, leading off the 7th, Price walked him on 4 pitches. So then why in the name of Sam Fuld is Price still in the game to face Bautista to lead off the 9th? Yes, he only had 95 pitches, and yes the bullpen needed a break, but Bautista was obviously comfortable facing Price, so why give him a shot to start a rally? In the meantime, can somebody please remind Bautista who the plate belongs to. He is a little too comfortable right now.
THE TELLING: Felipe Lopez was benched for Saturday’s game after failing to run hard on Friday…Joe Maddon said after the game that Jose Bautista “very reminiscent” of Barry Bonds in 2002. That certainly doesn’t help quell the steroid speculation…The Lightning pulled within 3 games to 2, with an 8-2 win over the Penguins. We are pretty sure Sam Fuld had a hat trick.
RANDOM THOUGHTS: Hey, in this era, if you used to be a 170-pound, 10-HR guy, and were longtime teammates with the only guy that has ever tested positive for steroids 3 times in Major League Baseball, it might not be a good idea to flex your 18″ biceps in a Rays team photo when you are 37-years old.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- The Rays are in favor of expanded playoffs. [TampaBay.com]
- The average cost for a family to attend a Durham Bulls game is $48.50, well-below the triple-A average of $68.00. [Durham Bulls]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- DURHAM 6, Norfolk 4 (14): C Robinson Chirinos put the Bulls ahead in the top of the 14th with an RBI-single. He finished the game 2-6 with a walk…CF Desmond Jennings was 0-6 with 2 walks…LF Brandon Guyer, who was part of the Matt Garza trade, went 4-7 with his 4th home run and 1st stolen base. He has 24 hits in the first 17 games and is hitting (.358).
- Mississippi 7, MONTGOMERY 4: Nick Barnese only struck out 2, but held Mississippi to 2 runs in 5 innings…SS Tim Beckham had 3 hits, but was picked off twice and committed his 3rd error of the season…C Stephen Vogt drove in 2 with 3 hits including a triple.
- Ft. Myers 4, CHARLOTTE 2: Alex Colome gave up 4 runs in 5 innings, striking out 3 and walking 2…SS Hak-Ju Lee tripled and DH Mark Thomas hit his first HR of the year.
- BOWLING GREEN 1, Lake County 0: In game 1 of the double-header, CJ Riefenhauser took a no-hitter into the 7th inning, but lost it when he gave up a 1-out single…CF Kevin Kiermaier’s RBI-double in the 2nd was all the scoring the Hot Rods needed…SS Derek Dietrich was 1-3.
- Lake County 14, BOWLING GREEN 4: As good as Riefenhauser was in game 1, Enny Romero was that bad in the nightcap. He gave up 7 hits, 3 walks and 9 runs. He was pulled after the first 7 batters of the 2nd inning all reached base…SS Derek Dietrich was 2-3 with a double and RF Todd Glaesmann had a 3-run double.
David Price (via TampaBay.com)