THE GOOD: Jake McGee. It was just 3 batters (2 flyouts, 1 single), but the good part was seeing the zip return on his fastball. McGee was consistently in the mid-90s with more than one fastball reaching 96.
THE BAD: Defense. The Twins had it (running catches in the outfield robbed the Rays of two extra-base hits) and the Rays did not. In the 5th inning and one run already in, the Twins scored a second run when Kelly Shoppach’s throw on a steal attempt went into center field. That was followed by another run when Ben Zobrist turning a single into a triple when he slid and the ball got by him…Even The Good Goes Bad. You know it is just not your day when on Johnny Damon’s RBI single, Sam Fuld was thrown out at 3rd base. And then Damon, one of the Rays’ hottest bats, had to be removed from the game after taking a pitch off his finger during a bunt attempt.
THE TELLING: Joe Maddon did not start Matt Joyce against the lefty even though Joyce had 4 multi-hit games in his last 5 starts. Joyce did replace Johnny Damon when he was removed from the game. Joyce went 0-2…Sam Fuld took the day off from the field, serving as DH.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Johnny Damon is day-to-day with a finger bruise. [The Heater]
- Marc Topkin says to not expect the Rays to add another bat anytime soon. One issue could be money. Topkin points out that Felipe Lopez and Casey Kotchman combined ($1.75M plus incentives) make nearly as much as Manny Ramirez saved the Rays (~$2M) by retiring. [TampaBay.com]
- Is it a coincidence that only days after Wade Davis signed his extension with the Rays that Jeff Niemann has switched agents? Probably. Right? [MLB Trade Rumors]
- Carl Crawford will be featured on ESPN’s “E:60” series tomorrow night at 7pm.
- Andrew Friedman on Jeremy Hellickson: “Nothing bothers him. That’s what we love about him. His makeup is off the charts.” [ESPN.com]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Gwinnett 18, DURHAM 7: Rough night for Bulls pitchers. Starter Brian Baker gave up 4 runs (2 earned) in 3.1 innings and reliever Paul Phillips was a sacrificial lamb, giving up 10 runs (8 earned) in 1 inning of work. He gave up 2 home runs that inning, including a grand slam. It got so bad, catcher Craig Albernaz pitched the last 2 innings…RF Desmond Jennings singled, walked and stole his 4th base…C Jose Lobaton was 2-3 with his second home run and 2 walks.
- MONTGOMERY 13, Tennessee 3: Shane Dyer gave up 2 runs in 4.2 innings, striking out 2 and walking 2…SS Tim Beckham was 2-5 and hit his second home run of the season, one of 5 home runs hit by the Biscuits…3B Daniel Mayora (1), 1B Matt Sweeney (3), CF John Shelby (1), and 2B Cole Figueroa also homered.
- Palm Beach 3, CHARLOTTE 2: Jake Thompson tossed 4 shutout innings, striking out 6 and giving up just 2 hits and 2 walks…2B Tyler Bortnick was dropped to the second spot in the order and went 1-4 with a strikeout…SS Hak-Ju Lee made his debut in the Rays orgniazation after starting the season on the DL with Chicken Pox. He led off and went 2-5 with a stolen base.
- BOWLING GREEN 7, Lake County 6: 1B Phil Wunderlich’s second home run of the season, a 2-run shot in the 7th put the Hot Rods ahead to stay. He also doubled and drove in 3 runs…CJ Riefenhauser allowed 2 home runs and gave up 5 runs in 5.2 innings…LF Cody Rogers hit his first home run of the year.