THE GOOD: Matt Moore. It was weird night for Double-Nickel. At no point did I think that Moore had his best stuff, but next think I know, I look up and Moore has struck out 8 and and allowed just 1 hit in 7 shutout innings. His fastball is still too high in the strikezone but he is getting better about keeping his secondary pitches down. One concern is maintaining velocity. In the early innings, he was 96-97 (fastball), 87 (changeup), 83-84 (slider). By the sixth and seventh innings, his fastball was down to 94-95 (not terrible), but his slider was only 79-81 (that’s a big drop). And meanwhile his changeup was unchanged at 86-87…Lobotron! If Joe Loboton can show anythign with the bat it is a bonus considering he is the Rays best defensive catcher. His double in the 2nd inning drove in the first run. He also had a walk and scored twice. Since he has come off the DL, Lobaton has made 8 starts and has been on base 11 times.
THE BAD: Hideki Matsui. It is still very early, but so far, half of every ball Matsui hits is a flyball. Matsui has always been more of a linedrive hitter that happens to hit a lot of home runs. In fact. in 5 of his last 8 seasons, he hit more groundballs than flyballs. And this is especially concerning considering we have seen a number of his balls die at or near the warning track. Again, it is early. And he has hit a few balls very hard. But something is not quite right yet. And at his age, there is the concern that it won’t get right.
THE TELLING: The Rays are still 2.5 games behind the Yankees and 1.5 games behind the Orioles…Hideki Matsui is taking grounders at first base, just in case of emergency.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Here’s some great news. Jeff Keppinger could be back middle of next week! Oh yeah, and some fella named Evan Longoria may also be back in 4-5 days. Also, Kyle Farnsworth hopes to be back with the team at the end of the month. [TampaBay.com]
- No no-hitter for RA Dickey, but we already knew that. [TampaBay.com]
- Should anybody be worried that Kellen Winslow is blasting Greg Schiano? [JoeBucsFan]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
CHARLOTTE. no game scheduled