THE GOOD: John Jaso. It has been a rough season for Jaso, who only had 5 hits coming into this game. But one missed pitch by Phillip Humber later and Jaso just about put a hole in the back wall at the Trop with his 2-run home run in the second. AJ Pierzynski wanted the pitch about 6 inches off the plate away, but Humber threw it inside. Good hitters punish mistakes. And sometimes that is all it takes to get a hitter going. Let’s hope that is the case with Jaso…Wade Davis. Typical Big Dub. Nothing about this performance screamed “wow.” And yet, when he was pulled, he had allowed only 1 run in 7 innings. It took him 27 pitches to get through the first. He only struck out 2, but did have 7 swinging strikes after getting just 12 whiffs in his first 3 starts combined…Bullpen. Six up, six down. And now, the unit that was supposed to be this team’s weakness has the second-best ERA in the AL (2.57)…Matty Joyce. Two more hits, a walk and an RBI. That’s his sixth multi-hit game in his last 8 starts. All of the sudden, Joyce is hitting a cool .321.
THE BAD: Unbalanced. Anybody else sick of seeing teams from the AL Central?
THE TELLING: Johnny Damon did not play, but was available to pinch-hit if needed…After starting 1-8, we would have been happy if the Rays were back at .500 by the All-Star break. Who knew it would only take 9 games?…The Rays face a righty (Gavin Floyd) tomorrow. But on Friday, the Blue Jays will send lefty JoJo Reyes to the mound. It will be interesting to see if Matt Joyce is in the lineup.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- JP Howell will make the first of ten (scheduled) rehab appearances on Friday. [TampaBay.com]
- Michael Lortz makes his debut at MiLB.com. It’s about the Tampa Yankees, but we can forgive him for that. [MiLB]
- David Price and DJ Kitty. Yep. [The Heater]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Charlotte 8, DURHAM 3: Edgar Gonzalez allowed 6 runs (4 earned) in 5 innings…Dane de la Rosa tossed 2 scoreless innings of relief. He has given up just 1 run on 6 hits in 9 innings. He does have 6 walks to go with the 8 Ks…RF Desmond Jennings was 1-4…LF Justin Ruggiano walked 3 times. He has been on base 22 times in 12 games…CF Brandon Guyer was 2-4 with a double and C Robinson Chirinos was 1-4 with an RBI.
- MONTGOMERY 11, Jackson 10: Chris Archer was pounded for 10 hits and 5 runs in just 4 innings. He struck out 5…C Nevin Ashley hit his second home run…3B Henry Wrigley was 3-5 with a pair of doubles and 2 RBI…SS Tim Beckham was 0-4 with a walk. He did commit 2 errors. The good news is those were his first two errors of the season, ending a streak of 12 straight errorless games to start the year.
- St. Lucie 7, CHARLOTTE 6: Merrill Kelly gave up 3 runs in 5 innings…SS Hak-Ju Lee was 1-5 with his first home run of the season…3B Greg Sexton was 3-4 with a double and 2 RBI.
- Dayton 4, BOWLING GREEN 1: Braulio Lara walked 5 batters in just 3.1 innings, and added 2 wild pitches. He gave up 3 runs in 3.1 innings…3B Robby Price had 2 of the Hot Rods 5 hits…SS Derek Dietrich went 1-4 and is 13-37 (.351) on the season.
Matt Joyce after the game (via TampaBay.com)
We’ve been bitching about this for years