THE GOOD: Defense. It is easy to take the Rays defense for granted when all they do is make routine plays. All. The. Time. But when the Rays play a team that make 5 errors in one game, it suddenly hits home: The Rays, with only 17 errors in 43 games, will rarely lose a game because of their defense…Joel Peralta. He is getting closer and closer to being this year’s Joaquin Benoit. Let Kyle Farnsworth get the love for all the saves. But it is Peralta getting the big outs. With the tying run on base in the 7th, Peralta got Aaron Hill to fly out and end the inning. Then he came back in the 8th and retired the Jays 1-2-3…Elliot Johnson. Funny think about Elliot Johnson. Every time we look up, it seems like he is getting an extra-base hit. Something Reid Brignac apparently can’t do…Matt Joyce. The Rays best hitter right now? Oh yeah, and he made a nice running grab to end the 7th inning with the tying run on base.
THE BAD: Sam Fuld. Please Joe Maddon, we are begging you. Stop having Fuld lead off. Second, can we start fining Fuld every time he hits a ball in the air? Better yet, why not just have Fuld bunt EVERY time? Swing away every once in a while to keep the defense honest. But just bunt more, please?...BJ Upton. Who knew that “B. J.” stood for Rasheed Wallace? If Upton is not careful, that is exactly the reputation he is going to have among umpires. Last night, Upton started jawing at the umpire over a called third strike that looked good. And if umpires start talking about how Upton will complain about good pitches, he will get even fewer calls than he is getting now. There is a right way and a wrong way to complain. Upton’s way is 100% wrong…Far, Far, Away.Long after the end of the Rays game, the Orioles and Yankees were in the 15th inning and the O’s reliever hit a Yankees batter. The pitcher was immediately ejected even though there was ZERO reason for the pitcher to hit the batter intentionally. He was also the O’s last relief pitcher. So today’s starting pitcher, Jeremy Guthrie had to come in to the game. Now the Yankees get a backup pitcher for today’s game. Unreal.
THE TELLING: The Rays 68% capacity on Monday night was 3rd best that night…Matt Joyce received his 4th intentional walk of the year. Prior to the season, he had 2 in his entire career…
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Joe Maddon: Not a fan of interleague play. [TampaBay.com]
- Tim Brown: “For pennies on the dollar, the Rays are again shaming a league that is designed for them to fail.” [Yahoo! Sports]
- Yesterday we looked at how the Rays former relievers were doing. Here is a look at all the former Rays from last year. [CBS Sports]
- Johnny Damon is swinging the bat a little more often than he probably should be. [MLB Dirt]
- The Rays are like Big Oil? [Shadow of the Stadium]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- DURHAM 7, Louisville 4: Alex Cobb held the Bats to 1 run in 7 innings. It was the 6th time in 7 triple-A starts that he held the opponent to less than 2 runs. He struck out 7 and walked 1. His ERA is now 1.31…C Jose Lobaton’s grand slam in the 2nd inning, his 4th home run, was the big blow for the Bulls. He also doubled home a run in the 8th after Louisville…CF Desmond Jennings was 1-4.
- MONTGOMERY 8, Birmingham 7: The Biscuits overcame a 7-4 deficit in the 9th inning, scoring 4 runs, all with 2 outs. The final 2 runs came on a Henry Wrigley double…Shane Dyer gave up 5 runs (4 earned) in just 4.1 innings…SS Tim Beckham was 2-5 with a double to raise his average to .306…3B Daniel Mayora was 2-4 and drove in 3.
- CHARLOTTE 6, Clearwater 1: Adam Libertore struck out 5 and walked 2, giving up 1 run in 4 innings…SS Hak-Ju Lee was 2-4 with a walk and stole his 8th base…2B Tyler Bortnick had 3 hits to raise his average to .302. He also stole his 8th base.
- West Michigan 6, BOWLING GREEN 5: Braulio Lara allowed 4 runs (3 earned) in 5 innings…3B Robby Price was 3-3 with 2 walks…SS Derek Dietrich was 2-5 with an RBI.
Matt Joyce (via TampaBay.com)