THE GOOD: Evan Longoria. Somebody recently described watching Dirtbag play defense as a “religious experience.” To that we say, “Amen.” Last night, with the shift on, Longoria started at shortstop and ran down a ball in foul territory, sliding for, oh hell, just watch it here…Let’s Not Get Greedy. OK, we always want to beat the Yankees. But a split and maintaining a two-game lead is just fine. Not perfect. But it works.
THE BAD: When Ks Kill. Next time somebody tells you a strikeout is no worse than any other out, point to last night’s 6th inning. With the Rays still trailing by just 1 in the 6th, the Rays loaded the bases with just 1 out. The Yankees took out Ivan Nova who promptly struck out both BJ Upton and Casey Kotchman. Just about any contact by Upton scores at least 1 run in that spot. The Yanks would score twice in the next half-inning, effectively ending the game…Return of the Long Ball. We all know James Shields is susceptible to the home run. And last night, Alex Rodriguez went deep off of Shields twice. Both were solo shots. But with the offense only picking up 4 hits in the first 7 innings, it was 2 runs too much…Failed Replay. OK, the Rays were still going to lose the game, but Kelly Shoppach was robbed of a home run when the umpiring crew went to the replay and for some reason failed to overturn his flyball out that clearly hit the catwalk.
THE TELLING: The Rays were not expected to land in Toronto until 4am…Joe Maddon confirmed that Andy Sonnanstine will start Friday’s game.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- We knew this was coming…Elliot Johnson will be seeing more starts at shortstop moving forward. [TampaBay.com]
- A mock draft by Keith Law has
the Rays taking RHP Joe Ross (high school), SS Levi Michael (U of North Carolina), and OF Brandon Nimmo (high school) in the first round of this year’s draft. [ESPN Insider]
- Check out our very own Jordi Scrubbings (wearing glasses) in the background of this Rays commercial. [MLB]
- Joaquin Benoit is no longer the set-up man in Detroit. Well, that was $16.5 million well-spent. [mlive.com]
- The top home runs hitters since the start of the 2010 season. [Business Insider]
- A Sports Illustrated players poll ranks Johnny Damon among the nicest in baseball. [Rays Report]
- Two of the Rays minor league affiliates ranked in the top 25 for merchandise sales in Minor League Baseball. [Rays Prospects]
- Evan Longoria, Yoga Instructor. [MLB]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Louisville 11, DURHAM 8 (11): The Bulls blew an 8-3 lead, including a 3-run lead in the 9th off Mike Ekstrom. Dane de la Rosa then allowed 3 runs in the top of the 10th for the loss…Edgar Gonzalez started, and was pulled after 3.2 innings that included returning after a 2 hour rain delay. He gave up 3 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks…CF Desmond Jennings singled and walked in 6 plate appearances….LF Justin Ruggiano was 0-6 with 3 strikeouts…DH Chris Carter drove in 4 with a pair of doubles…C Robinson Chirinos was 1-4 with a walk. He is hitting .200.
- MONTGOMERY 14, Birmingham 5: Joe Cruz struck out 6 and walked 2 in 6 innings. He allowed 3 runs on 8 hits…C Stephen Vogt had a triple and a home run, his 7th. He added 2 walks and drove in 3. He is now hitting .329…CF John Shelbyhad a 3-run double and a 2-run double…Tim Beckham did not play.
- Lakeland 10, CHARLOTTE 1: JP Howell faced 6 batters in his final rehab stint, striking out 2 and allowing 2 hits…Alex Koronis was pounded for 9 runs (8 earned) in 5.2 innings. He gave up 3 home runs…SS Hak-Ju Lee was 1-4.
- West Michigan 6, BOWLING GREEN 3: Victor Mateo gave up 4 runs (2 earned) in 5.2 innings…SS Derek Dietrich had 2 doubles and a single in 5 at bats…3B Robby Price had a single and 2 walks…LF Cody Rogers hit his 6th home run.
James Shields (via TampaBay.com)