THE GOOD: Dan Johnson. He got good wood on his 2nd inning double. It is a little worrisome that the ball didn’t get out as he had a few of those this spring. But as long as he is making good contact, the power should come…Ben Zobrist. Thanks to a 9th inning solo home run by Zorilla, we are not left wondering when the Rays will score their first run.
THE BAD: Offensive. The Rays had just 2 baserunners in the first 7 innings and picked up just 3 hits and 1 walk off of Jeremy Guthrie in 8 innings. At one point, Guthrie retired 13 in a row…Offensive Defense. With the Rays trailing 1-0 in the 5th, Johnnt Damon played a 1-run double into a 2-run triple. And then Brian Roberts scored on a sac fly when he should have been on second base. With the way Guthrie was tossing, the game was essentially over at that point…BJ Being BJ. The Rays finally got 2 runners on in the 8th. But trailing by 4, that is not the time to try to get both runners in scoring position. The Rays needed more than 2 runs. But Upton got caught leaning and was picked off. And yes, the umpire blew an obvious interference call, but BJ shouldn’t have been in that position. That killed the rally and any hope of a comeback.
THE TELLING: Lefty Brian Matusz, who beat the Rays twice last year, will not start today as originally scheduled. Tomorrow’s starter (Chris Tillman) will be moved up, and Zach Britton will be called up from the minors on Sunday…Yesterday was Don Zimmer’s 52nd opening day. And it was Manny Ramirez’18st consecutive start on opening day, second-best among active players…Joe Maddon said he will use Sam Fuld as a late-inning defensive replacement for Johnny Damon to ease Damon’s workload…Former Devil Rays Randy Winn has retired.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- David Price was hard on himself following the game. [TampaBay.com]
- The “Boo [Governor] Rick Scott” movement at the Trop was actually quite large. [WTSP.com]
Drew Vettleson, the Rays second pick in the 2010 draft, is moving from the outfield to the mound. This is significant because Vettleson was a) drafted as an outfielder and has yet to play a minor league game; and b) he was a switch-pitcher in high school. See comments [Rays Prospects]
- DJ Jones, the Rays 11th round pick in 2007 has been cut. Also Jonah Bayliss is now a free agent after failing to make the Rays roster. He was invited to spring training on a minor league deal. [Rays Prospects]
- Tim Beckham isn’t worried about what the critics say. [Montgomery Advertiser]
- In an upset, Dewon Brazelton was not the worst opening day starting pitcher of the last 30 years. He was only the third worst. [Wall Street Journal]
Joe Maddon before the game (via TampaBay.com)
David Price after the game (via TampaBay.com)