Orioles 6, RAYS 2 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Longo Is Closer. That picture at right is from the Durham Bulls and shows Evan Longoria playing in a real-live baseball game. In 4 plate appearances, he walked, hit a flyball to center, and popped up to the infield twice. Interestingly, Longo chose to go with the minor league double-flapped Gazoo batting helmet as opposed to bringing along his own helmet, as Luke Scott recently did. As a side note, the good news lost in all this, is that the injury was to Longo’s left hammy. He might have trouble even swinging the bat if it had been on the right leg, which is the pivot leg during his swing.
THE BAD: James Shields. Interestingly, of Shields 108 pitches yesterday, only 17 (15.7%) were changeups. That is way down, as he was averaging 30.4% prior to this start (which we wondered if it was too much). He also threw 33 (30.6%) fastballs, which is consistent with previous starts. The big difference was the 30 curveballs. However, that pitch was working with 20 strikes and 8 swing-and-misses. But he still got shelled…Carlos Pena. In the 2nd inning, after Ryan Roberts had drawn a lead-off walk, Pena hit a rocket right to first base. Pena may have assumed that Mark Reynolds would just step on first base, so Pena lollygagged out of the box. Instead, Reynolds went to second, and the O’s easily turned two. I hate playing the “if it had been BJ Upton” card, but man, if it had been, Upton would have trouble coming back to the Trop. Then again, BJ has a history, and Pena does not.
THE TELLING: The Rays are now 51-48, 2.5 games behind the A’s for the second wild card.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Add the Rangers and Dodgers to the list of teams that have made offers for James Shields. [MLBTR] And we can also add the Indians and Cardinals to the list of teams that have called about James Shields. [ESPN]
- And the Angels may also have interest in Wade Davis. [Fox Sports]
- The Rays are one team showing interest in middle infielder Marco Scutaro of the Rockies. [DenverPost]
- Cute story about the Luke Scott-Jose Lobaton-Ice Cream scene. Turns out Scott has been on Lobatron to stop eating ice cream and stay in shape. So the ice cream was a reward. [TBO.com]
- Fenway Park converted to a soccer field? Yep. [BI Sports]
- Here is a fun look into the life of a pitching coach: “I go out there. I say it. I get off [the mound]. There ain’t no conversation. It’s what I see, what I know, and what we better do to fix it.” [MiLB]
- Can’t say I am sorry to see Brian Price go. [JoeBucsFan]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
Gwinnett 8, DURHAM 1. Cear Ramos filled in as a starter and went 5 innings giving up 2 runs. He struck out 3…1B Henry Wrigley was 1-4 with his 10th home run…SS Tim Beckham went 1-4 and 2B Reid Brignac was 1-3 with a walk.
Jackson 5, MONTGOMERY 2. Jake Thompson allowed 5 runs in 5 innings, including 2 home runs…His ERA is now 5.23…1B Michael Sheridan hit his 7th home run…SS Hak-Ju Lee went 1-4 with a double…RF Mikie Mahtook was 0-4 with 3 strikeouts.
CHARLOTTE 3, Dunedin 1. Victor Mateo gave up just 1 unearned run in 5 innings striking out 6 and walking 2…RF Todd Glaesmann hit his 2nd home run of the year.
BOWLING GREEN 6, Lansing 3. RF Drew Vettleson went 3-5 to raise his average to .294…CF Kes Carter played in his first game since April 13 and hit his first home run of the year.
Tri-City @ HUDSON VALLEY. postponed
Bluefield 9, PRINCETON 2. SS Brandon Martin went 1-5 and is hitting .242.