THE GOOD: 5th Inning. In the first 4 innings, the Red Sox broke out to an early 1-0 lead and Jon Lester looked unbeatable. He had allowed just 2 singles and a walk. But then with 1 out in the 5th, the Rays strung together 3 straight singles to load the bases. Then the legend, Sam Fuld hit a dribbler to first base that scored Kelly Shoppach and Johnny Damon followed with a 2-run single. That was all the scoring David Price would need…David Price. King David worked into the 8th inning and was touching 97 as late as the 6th inning. He only struck out 3, but he held the Sox to 5 hits and 2 walks. And if he would have had just a slightly wider strikezone, he would have been nearly unhittable…Ben Zobrist’s D. He is not the prettiest defender, but he has sneaky speed and seems to catch everything that he gets to. Last night he ran a mile to cut off a ball in the gap and hold Pedroia to a double and in the 5th he made a nice sliding grab.
THE BAD: No Respect. We don’t necessarily think Price was getting squeezed last night. But Price is one of the best pitchers in baseball, and yet he doesn’t ever seem to get the benefit of the doubt other great pitchers get. There were a bunch of pitches that could have easily gone in Price’s favor and he seemed to be a little rattled a couple of times. One example was the 2-2 pitch to Jed Lowrie. Nobody would have complained if it was called a strike. It wasn’t. Price then missed his spot on the next pitch and Lowrie doubled home a run.
THE TELLING: Joe Maddon was fined $500 for ejecting the umpires on Sunday.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Playboy sent us a press release yesterday in which they outline their baseball predictions that will be in the April 15 issue. In the issue, Tracy Ringolsby predicts the Rays will be the AL Wild Card team, Joe Maddon will win AL Manager of the Year and David Price will be named AL Cy Young winner. Only one problem. Their AL MVP? “Carl Crawford, Tampa Bay Rays.”
- Johnny Damon on Manny Ramirez: “Manny’s in a better place now.” We also got a kick out of this line from ‘Duk: “a mega-trip to Spain beats spending a summer digging through Tropicana Field’s sofas for $2 million…” [Big League Stew]
- Aneury Rodriguez, the prospect the Rays lost in the Rule 5 draft has been suspended for his part in a recent beanball-fest. [Biscuit Crumbs]
- So now winning the AL East two out of three years is classified as “flashes in the baseball pan”? [NBC Sports]
- Mike Lortz interviews Jim Donten from Claw Digest about the Charlotte Stone Crabs. [Bus Leagues Baseball]
- The Glazers hate Americans. Or at least Bucs season ticket holders. [Joe Bucs Fan]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- DURHAM 5, Charlotte 2: Richard de los Santos gave up 2 runs in 2 innings, walking 3 and striking out 1…Chris Bootcheck, Mike Ekstrom, Cory Wade and Brandon Gomes, four relievers that contended for big league spots this spring, combined for 7 shutout innings with 9 strikeouts and no walks…CF Desmond Jennings doubled and walked in 5 plate appearances…C Jose Lobaton was 3-4 with a double and a home run...Robinson Chirinos served as the DH and went 0-4. He is now 1-21 to start the year…RF Brandon Guyer hit his first home run of the year.
- MONTGOMERY: no game scheduled
- Palm Beach 10, CHARLOTTE 8: Frank de los Santos was pounded for 9 runs on 12 hits, including 3 home runs, in just 3 innings…2B Tyler Bortnick was 1-4 with a double…RF Brett Nommensen was 2-3 and drove in 3 runs. He has 10 hits in the first 6 games.
- Fort Wayne 4, BOWLING GREEN 0: CJ Riefenhauser made his first start of the year, striking out 7 in 5 innings with 2 walks. He allowed 3 hits and 1 run…LF Nick Schwaner had one of the Hot Rods 2 hits, a double.
David Price on how he got through 8th: “Peralta” (via TampaBay.com)
Kyle Farnsworth (via TampaBay.com)