Forget about tonight’s incredibly satisfying 4-3 win against the hated Yankees for a moment, for Joe it was truly special when Hideki Matsui was yanked with a bad hamstring just before his first at-bat and Jeff Keppinger popped off the bench and drilled a first-pitch fastball for a base hit.
What a pro Keppinger is. Can we please actually play him, our best hitter, every day? Is that too much to ask?
That written, it was a glorious night for Matt Moore, whose growing maturity is obvious. Earlier in the season teams were getting to him late in games, now it’s been more the other way around. Clearly Moore is adjusting. And it had to be a great confidence booster for the kid when he walked a guy in the seventh inning with his 100th pitch of the night but wasn’t pulled. Every TV viewer saw Moore looking around for the hook, but it didn’t come and he finished the inning and got the win.
Huge tying and winning runs, courtesy of crappy defense, went in the Rays’ favor in the bottom of the seventh before Joel Peralta and Crooked Cap closed it out.
The Rays keep chugging along playing good baseball against the AL East. Maybe that will continue and save the season. As July wins go, this one was huge.