THE GOOD: BJ Upton. Bossman cometh. And Bossman’s single in the 6th inning scored 3 runs. But most importantly, Upton was into it. We don’t want to say BJ has never been intense before, because some players show emotion, and some don’t, and that’s fine (see Jeremy Hellickson). But after that hit in the 6th, we saw a BJ Upton we have never seen before (see the GIF below)…James Shields. This stat sums up James the Greater: The Rays are 12-3 in their last 15 games started by Shields…Honey Badger Time. Fernando Rodney faced 3 batters, striking out 2 and picking up his 5th save. He has now faced 23 batters this season and allowed just 2 hits and 2 walks.
THE BAD: Blocking Pitches. We have no idea if Jose Molina has always been this bad or if he just needs some time to get used to the Rays pitchers. But right now his mechanics behind the plate are just awful. He looks like a little leaguer. And ask any pitcher, the worst thing to have is a catcher that can’t block pitches. When that happens it changes how you pitch. All of a sudden, your pitching zone is raised a few inches because you are afraid to keep the pitch too far down leaving fastballs and change-ups up in the zone. And you are afraid to spin that breaking ball a little too hard. A pitcher has to have confidence in his catcher.
THE TELLING: The 4 teams at the top of the AL East all remain within 1 game of each other…Brandon Guyer had 3 more hits for Durham, one night after his 5-hit performance. His average is up to .313. Reid Brignac has not played yet for the Bulls. Alex Torres struggled with his control again, walking 5 in just 3.2 innings. He now has 19 walks in 16.1 innings, but does have 23 strikeouts.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- The Rays are always looking to improve their catching. But they might be more desperate now. [TampaBay.com]
- Is Brandon Allen the next Dan Johnson without the Great Pumpkin heroics? [TampaBay.com]
- Evan Longoria did a Q&A. [EagleTribune.com]
- Philip Humber threw the 21st perfect game in MLB history. Here’s the final out. [BI Sports]
- The Cardinals World Series trophy was nearly destroyed by a foul ball. [BI Sports]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
BJ Upton is pumped up…