RAYS 6, Twins 2 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Flash of Power. We call him Flash because of his speed (duh), but also because when the Rays needed some offense last summer, Desmond Jennings was called up and was saviour of the Rays universe just like Flash Gordon. And much of that offense was generated with some pop in his bat. While the rest of the Rays lineup yesterday was busy playing “my sac fly is prettier than your sac fly,” it was Jennings’ 2-run shot in the 5th inning that put the game away. And really, how pretty is this?…Jake McGee. With the bases loaded in the 6th, it was nice to see McGee come in and strike out Justin Morneau…Evan Longoria. We had a feeling Longo was about to go on a tear, and he appears to be on it. He has hit safely in six straight, and has 7 hits in the last 4 games, including 2 home runs…Jeff Niemann. The velocity is still not there, with the fastball averaging just 89. And that is a concern. But once again, the mix was there, with Niemann throwing 5 different pitches at last 11 times each…Rays Fans. 26,507 was the paid attendance yesterday, giving the Rays 58,281 combined for the Saturday and Sunday games. Last year, the biggest Sat/Sun was 53,991 for a Red Sox series in July.
THE BAD: Interfering Fans. If you haven’t seen it yet, here is video of former NBA player Matt Geiger interfering with a pop-up yesterday. One thing we rarely (if ever?) do around here is criticize fans. We sometimes come down hard on the team and players, but never the fans. Some of you might remember when Troy Percival got upset at a fan that did something similar. We vehemently took the side of the fan. Hey, we wish all fans would know better and be quick-thinking enough to stay out of the way. But fans get caught up in the moment. People love catching foul balls. Whatever. Move the fan. You can even give him some good-natured booing and heckling. But let’s not get carried away and start screaming obscenities and calling for the fan to be banned for life. Baseball’s problem, not seen in other sports, is that there is ZERO separation between the fans and the players. These things are part of the game…Interfering Catwalks. The Rays first hit of the game was also our first catwalk appearance of the season when Longoria doubled off one of the rings. Watching Longo argue for a home run was a bit humorous as either he a) didn’t see which ring the ball hit; b) doesn’t know the groundrules; or c) was trying to pull a fast one over on the umpires.
THE TELLING: The Rays have now won 4 of their last 5. And now all four teams at the top of the AL East are either 9-6 or 9-7…After Philip Humber’s perfect game and Jeff Niemann’s start yesterday, Rice’s “Big Three” starting pitchers now have 51 career wins, combined, since being drafted in 2004. And of course, Wade Townsend had none…Click “Read More…” below to see Fernando Rodney’s new commercial.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Martin Fennelly writes about Desmond Jennings and BJ Upton back together in the outfield…On a side note. Something we have wondered. Could Jennings and Upton cover the entire outfield if needed? For example, if the hitter is an extreme pull hitter or extreme groundball hitter. Just a thought. [TBO.com]
- Joe Maddon talks about why he was willing to stick with Jake McGee in a high leverage situation. [TampaBay.com]
- The NFL Draft is this week. Be sure to keep checking in with JBF for all the info you need. [JoeBucsFan]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
DURHAM @ Pawtucket. (postponed)
MONTGOMERY 7, Pensacola 3. Frank de los Santos gave up 2 runs in 5 innings. He struck out just 1…SS Hak-Ju Lee went 1-5 and stole his 3rd base. But he also committed his 5th error...CF Brad Coon hit his first home run.
Palm Beach 11, CHARLOTTE 1. Grayson Garvin was pounded for 6 runs in 3 innings on 8 hits and 2 walks…2B Derek Dietrich went 0-3 with a walk, and CF Mikie Mahtook had a single in 4 at bats.
BOWLING GREEN 4, Quad Cities 3. Felipe Rivero allowed 3 runs, but all were unearned, keeping his ERA at 0.00 in 4 starts, despite giving up 6 runs…1B Cameron Seitzer went 4-4, all singles…RF Todd Glaesmann hit his 2nd home run, a solo shot.
The Rays’ dancing groundskeepers…