RAYS 4, Yankees 1 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Jeff Niemann. Niemann’s best start of the season came at a great time, ending a 3-game skid by the Rays and keeping the team close enough to pull it out late. It was the deepest he worked all season, going 7 innings, striking out 5 and more importantly, he walked just 1…Matt Joyce. After just missing one on Tuesday night, Joyce gave his left foot to make sure the ball cleared the wall in the ninth inning last night (see below)…Honey Badger. It wasn’t a save situation (although the 9th inning was basically a save), Fernando Rodney gave Joe Maddon 2 shutout innings, striking out 2...Shifty. The Rays used the shift throughout the evening, but the big one came in the 8th inning when the Yankees had 2 on and just 1 out with Mark Teixeira up. He hit a groundball right into the shift for a double-play, keeping the Rays in the game.
THE BAD: Carlos Pena and Getting The Man In. Prior to Matt Joyce’s home run, the Rays were 0 for their last 20 with runners in scoring position. And just before BJ Upton’s sac fly and Joyce’s home run, it was Pena that once again struck out in the 9th inning, leaving the bases loaded…Michael Kay. We’ll have more on this in a little bit, but Kay is the classic example of an old school baseball insider that feels threatened by how the Rays play baseball. He never used the word fluke, but that is basically the tone of his comments about the Rays unconventional style of play.
THE TELLING: At 29.14 seconds, Matt Joyce’s home run “trot” was the longest in baseball this season, beating Chipper Jones by .17 seconds…Desmond Jennings pinch-hit in the 8th inning, flying out to left field…Hideki Matsui went 2-4 with a walk in an extended spring training game…Tonight is a battle of aces as David Price and CC Sabathia are going head-to-head.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- ESPN ran this pro-Rays graphic during the game. [@CorkGaines]
- If Hideki Matsui is called up, his salary will be $900,000 for the season. In the minors he is making $10,000 per month. [TampaBay.com]
- Jeff Keppinger missed yesterday’s game because of a divorce hearing. [TampaBay.com]
- Brandon Guyer admits that Matt Bush’s DUI case affected the way Guyer played early in the season. [TBO.com]
- Here’s how close Josh Hamilton came to hitting five home runs in one game. [BI Sports]
- Is Ronder Barber already a starting safety? On a tangental note, I always wondered if John Lynch could have played middle linebacker late in his career. He was a great tackler, and the Mike in the Tampa-2 is already sort of a third safety. But I digress. [JoeBucsFan]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
Syracuse 15, DURHAM 8. Alex Cobb was pounded for 7 runs (6 earned) in just 1.2 innings. He struck out 4 and walked 3…3B Matt Mangini hit his 2nd home run, a grand slam…SS Reid Brignac was 1-4 with a walk…1B Stephen Vogt went 2-5, but is still hitting just .190.
MONTGOMERY 9, Chattanooga 0. Kyle Lobstein struck out 7 and walked 5 in 5 shutout innings. He allowed 3 hits…1B Michael Sheridan went 3-5, all singles.
CHARLOTTE 5, Daytona 1. Enny Romero tossed 6.1 shutout innings, striking out 3 and walking 4…3B Riccio torrez hit his 3rd home run…RF Mikie Mahtook had 2 singles and a walk. He also stole a base, his 9th…CF Ty Morrison had 2 hits, a walk, and his 11th stolen base.
Lansing 7, BOWLING GREEN 3. RF Drew Vettleson went 1-3 with 2 walks and an RBI…DH Cameron Seitzer was 2-5 with a double.
Matt Joyce twists his ankle on a home run swing…