THE GOOD: Bullpen Depth. You gotta like where the bullpen is right now. With the return of Joel Peralta and Kyle Farnsworth, the ‘pen is now 7-deep. And we saw that yesterday. A team down 2 late might turn to a lesser reliever and just cross their fingers. The Rays used Jake McGee, Wade Davis, and Fernando Rodney, who combined for 3.2 shuout innings, striking out 5 and giving up just 2 hits and a walk. That depth will lead to more wins in close games than a typical team might get…Hideki Matsui. You could make an argument that Matsui is fighting for his career over the next couple of weeks. If he doesn’t start getting more hits, the Rays will find another cheap DH off the scrapheap before the trade deadline. So when he made his first start in 5 days, it was good for not only for him and the team that he got 2 hits. But if he fails with the Rays, his career might be over.
THE BAD: Alex Cobb. When Cobb shut out the Marlins over 7 innings on 2 hits and 10 strikeouts, we thought (hoped) he had turned the corner. But after giving up 5 runs (4 earned) in just 5.1 innings, Cobb has now allowed at least 4 runs in 5 of his last 6 starts. And now we are wondering if he has the “stuff.” He’s got a great changeup (6 swing-and-misses). But how effective can it be when he is throwing the change 84-86 and his fastball is just 89-91? And Cobb is just 24. In two years, his fastball is going to be 88 tops, and he will be a right-handed JP Howell, minus the plus-curveball.
THE TELLING: The Rays are now 41-38, 7.5 games behind the Yankees and in 4th place. The Rays are still just 1.5 games behind the Orioles and the Angels in the Wild Card.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- David Price is still expected to make his scheduled start on Wednesday. And Jeremy Hellickson is still “stiff” and we won’t know about his next start until after today’s bullpen session. [TampaBay.com]
- Matt Moore talks about facing the Yankees. [TBO.com]
- Here’s a good read on Brooks Conrad, including his unusual non-gloves approach to batting. [TampaBay.com]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
DURHAM 12, Buffalo 6. Matt Torra allowed 3 runs in 6 innings on 10 hits and 1 walk. He struck out 4…1B Henry Wrigley was 3-5 with a double and 3 RBI…SS Tim Beckham went 2-4 with a walk and 3 RBI…DH Reid Brignac was 1-4 with a walk.
Jackson 7, MONTGOMERY 2. Alex Colome allowed 5 runs in 5 innings. He struck out 3 and walked none, but did throw 2 wild pitches…SS Hak-Ju Lee was 1-4 with a triple.
CHARLOTTE 8, Bradenton 0 (gm 1). Enny Romero pitched 6 shutout innings, striking out 5 and walking 4…CF Mikie Mahtook was 2-4 with a triple…2B Derek Dietrich had 2 hits and his 4th stolen base.
Bradenton 5, CHARLOTTE 4 (gm 2). CF Mikie Mahtook went 1-4 with a double…SS Derek Dietrich had a single in 3 at bats.
BOWLING GREEN 20, Dayton 10. 1B Jeff Malm and C Alejandro Segovia each had a grand slam. Malm was 3-5…CF Todd Glaesmann went 4-4 and added his 12th home run and 5th steal…2B Ryan Brett had 4 hits and 3 stolen bases.
Brooklyn 3, HUDSON VALLEY 0. 2B Thomas Coyle was 3-4, all singles.
PRINCETON 6, Elizabethton 4. C Oscar Hernandez had 2 doubles and is hitting .342…SS Brandon Martin was 2-4 with a triple.