THE GOOD: Alex Cobb. The final line (4.1 ip, 4 runs, 4 hits, 4 walks, 3 Ks) wasn’t pretty. But in a few instances we saw why there is a lot to like about Cobb. His fastball (90-92) isn’t overpowering, but his changeup is big league caliber. And in this case, calling it a “changeup” isn’t very accurate. Thrown at 87-88, it is not far off his fastball in terms of speed and its action is more like a forkball or a split-fingered fastball.
THE BAD: Ben Zobrist. Uncharacteristically, Zobrist’s defensive decision-making has been horrible early in the season. There were a couple of ill-advised dives in the outfield. And yesterday, playing second base, he allowed himself to get duped, leading to the Angels’ go-ahead run. With 1 out and runners on the corners, Zobrist fielded a slow grounder. He went to tag the runner coming from first, but when the runner slowed, Zobrist was forced to throw to first. A rundown ensued and the runner on third scored before the third out was recorded. The smart play there is to get the out at second and look the runner back to third. Don’t worry if you can’t get the double-play…John Jaso. It is hard to go 2-4 and have a rough day, but Jaso did. A throwing error led to one run. Failing to block a wild pitch in the 8th put the eventual go-ahead run on third base. And grounding into a double-play killed the Rays last hope for a rally in the 8th.
THE TELLING: Alex Cobb was sent back to Durham following the game. No word yet on who will be called up to replace him…Reid Brignac now has 71 plate appearances without an extra-base hit. That is by-far the worst mark in baseball now that Will Rhymes has a double…Meanwhile, Sam Fuld ended an 0-18 skid with a double in the first inning.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Alex Cobb may have been tipping his pitches. [TampaBay.com]
- Sam Fuld returned to the lineup with a bruise on his eyelid. His concussion test came back negative. [TBO.com]
- Is there a risk of a letdown with the return of Evan Longoria? [BayNews9]
- Aneury Rodriguez, whom the Rays lost in the Rule 5 draft, is being moved into the Astros rotation. [NBC Sports]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- DURHAM 6, Indianapolis 1: Alex Torres gave up just 1 run in 5.2 innings striking out 4 and walking 3…DH Chris Carter had 3 hits, including 2 doubles, and now has 17 hits in the last 9 games…RF Brandon Guyer had a single, walk, and stolen base…CF Desmond Jennings had 2 hits and a walk.
- MONTGOMERY 9, Jacksonville 6: Joe Cruz was pounded for 6 runs in 5 innings. He now has an 11.14 ERA in 5 starts…Matt Bush struck out 4 in 2 scoreless innings…SS Tim Beckham was 1-4 with a walk…RF Reid Fronk hit a 3-run and added a double.
- Ft. Myers 5, CHARLOTTE 3: JP Howell made his latest rehab appearance, striking out 1 in a scoreless first inning. He gave up 1 hit and a walk…Alex Koronis pitched the next 4 innings, giving up 3 runs (1 earned)…SS Hak-Ju Lee was 2-5 with a double. He also committed an error for the second straight game.
- BOWLING GREEN 5, Dayton 2: Victor Mateo struck out 6 and walked none in 6 innings, giving up 2 runs (1 earned)…C Alejandro Torres doubled twice and drove in 2.
David Price taking BP