Game 1: RAYS 3, Phillies 2 (boxscore)
Game 2: RAYS 7, Phillies 3 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: 112. As in 112 pitches from David Price in the first game leaving just 2 innings for the bullpen..Working Overtime. Cesar Ramos, Wade Davis, and Brandon Gomes pitched the first 8 innings of the second game, meaning Joe Maddon only had to use 4 pitchers in the nightcap…Rays Magic. Because of course the Rays claim Brooks Conrad who had just 3 hits with the Brewers and yet he steps right in and delivers a big hit on Saturday and then starts game 2 yesterday and drives in 4 runs with 2 hits. Of course, now he will go back to not being able to hit. But for one weekend, he was huge…Carlos Pena. Game 1 had one of those ugly feels to it. The kind of feeling where you just assume nothing good will happen. And nothing good did happen with the bats in the first 7 innings. But then 2 walks and a Pena big fly later, the Rays were suddenly up 3-1 and the beer tasted just a little better.
THE BAD: Thin Bullpen. The Rays are going to need Alex Cobb (especially) and Chris Archer to work deep today and tomorrow in Kansas City. With Joel Peralta suspended and 3 different relievers throwing at least 35 pitches, that leaves the Rays with just 4 available relievers Today and possibly tomorrow. And all 4 of those guys pitched yesterday, and 2 (JP Howell, Jake McGee) pitched on Saturday. So they will have strict pitch counts today…Why Not Use Torres. Alex Torres was called up for the extra spot now available during double-headers. And considering how limited the bullpen will be today, it is strange Torres wasn’t used once the Rays stretched their lead to 4. That would have helped with the availability of the pitchers that are still here. The downside is Torres struggles with his control and you don’t want him to come in and walk 2 batters and let the Phillies back in the game. So maybe it was the right call. But if Cobb is knocked out early tonight, we can look back at this non-move.
THE TELLING: The Durham Bulls game at noon today will be televised live on the MLB Network…Tim Beckham has been reinstated from his 50-game suspension…Triple-A reliever Dane de la Rosa is on the 40-man roster and did not pitch on Saturday or Sunday. You can bet he has been told to keep his cell phone charged in case he is needed today or tomorrow…The Rays are 40-32, 3.5 games behind the Yankees and 1 game behind the Orioles.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Both Luke Scott and Kyle Farnsworth could return to the Rays at the end of the week. [TampaBay.com]
- Drew Sutton was claimed off waivers by the Pirates. [MLBTR]
- According to Nick Cafardo, “about six teams” are interested in trading for Matt Garza, including the Red Sox. [Boston.com]
- Former Rays outfielder Justin Ruggiano had himself a helluva web gem this weekend. [TheBigLead]
- Defense and speed are supposed to be the most dependable things in baseball. The Rays are testing that theory this season. [TBO.com]
- Brandon Allen is doing some good things in Durham. [WDBB]
- Jonathan Papelbon may have paid Jim Thome $5,000 for the walk-off home run on Saturday. [NYDailyNews]
- The Rays have signed 9 of their top 11 draft picks. However, top pick Richie Shaffer is still unsigned. [RaysProspects]
- Bullpen Banter reviewed and graded the Rays’ draft. [BullpenBanter]
- Jose Molina is on pace for the busiest season in his career. Of course, that’s assuming Jose Lobaton doesn’t start taking away some of Molina’s starts. [MLB.com]
- Here is a look back at the other “cheating” moments in Rays history. [TampaBay.com]
- Here is the story of the trip made by one Rays fan to Cooperstown. [The Laughorist]
- Earnest Graham is still a man without a team. [JoeBucsFan]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
DURHAM 4, Buffalo 3. Matt Buschmann was called up from double-A to make the start for the Bulls. He gave up 2 runs in 5.1 innings, striking out 5…CF Rich Thompson went 3-4 with a triple…DH Brandon Allen was 1-3 with a walk…Tim Beckham came back from his suspension and played second base, going 0-3 with a walk and 2 Ks.
MONTGOMERY 5, Mobile 2. Joseph Cruz tossed 6 shutout innings, but did walk 6 batters with just 3 strikeouts…SS Hak-Ju Lee went 1-5 with 2 strikeouts…DH Ryan Garko had 3 hits including a double. He’s hitting .319.
CHARLOTTE @ Brevard County. postponed
BOWLING GREEN 3, Dayton 2. RF Drew Vettleson was 1-4 and LF Josh Sale went 0-3 with a walk…DH Jeff Malm had a double and his 8th home run.
PRINCETON 5, Pulaski 4. Blake Snell, one of the Rays first-round picks last year, a lefty, started and retired all 11 batters he faced, striking out 6.