Yeah, this was a painful loss with plenty of blown opportunities (enough with the called third strikes with the bases loaded!), but it was damn good to see some old fashioned grit in the Rays again, battling back from two down in the ninth before Jim Thome drilled a Jake McGee fastball for an opposite field homer to beat the Rays 7-6.
What a beautiful thing it was to see a professional hitter put on the Tampa Bay uniform. It’s so soothing to see a guy who can go with a pitch and adjust regularly in the count.Welcome back, Jeff Keppinger, who went 5-for-5, including a key hit in the ninth-inning comeback. Joe had flashbacks of Johnny Damon watching Keppinger today.
Joe’s trying to be positive out of this one, and will ignore the plentiful negatives, particularly the painful Hedeki Matsui experiment — at the plate and in the field — and hopefully the Rays picked up at least a little confidence from the comeback.
J.P. Howell turning in a one-two-three sixth inning was a stunner, and maybe that offers a tingle of hope that he can resurrect his career. If nothing else, it means Rays fans are sure to see more of him soon. There’s no way Joe Maddon won’t look to build Howell’s confidence off that outing.
If slam-the-remote-control losses can ever be tolerable, this one was.