RAYS 2, Angels 0 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Hellboy. Jeremy Hellickson had a stomach bug that caused him to throw up several times during the game, but still tossed 6 shutout innings, giving up just 2 hits and no walks…Controlling Pujols. Albert Pujols had 3 hits on Friday. But in the final two games of the series, he went 0-7, and came up empty in several big spots. On Sunday, Hellickson struck out Pujols in the 4th with a runner on 2nd base. And then, in the bottom of the 9th, with 1 out and the tying runs on base, he grounded into a 6-4-3 double-play to end the game. This came after he pooped up (spelling intentional) in the 5th inning on Saturday with the bases loaded…Taking Down the Rally Monkey. Fernando Rodney vowed to shoot the Rally Monkey this weekend, and he did, twice. And if you haven’t yet seen his description of said killing, go here.
THE BAD: Jose Molina. OK. We’ve all had some fun at Jose Molina’s expense because he can’t catch (even though that is his job title), and he is somewhat large, and very slow. And yes, I was a catcher, so I completely understand the grueling nature and the need to rest the body at every opportunity. But on Saturday night, Molina hit a groundball to second base, and basically walked to first base. This exact thing got both BJ Upton and Delmon Young benched in years past. WATCH MOLINA “RUNNING” HERE.
THE TELLING: The Rays threw back-to-back shutouts for the first time since May, 2008, against, you guessed it, the Angels…The Los Angeles Angels translates to The The Angels Angels…Brandon Allen was sold to the Kukuoka Softbank Hawks in Japan…The Rays are now 53-49, 2 games behind the Angels for the second wild card spot and 1 game behind the Tigers.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Evan Longoria was sore after playing back-to-back games as the DH. But he did not see it as a setback. [TampaBay.com]
- Do the Rays play better on the road when they wear blue? Apparently. At first I wondered if this was a day/night split (the Rays most often wear Navy during day games). But the Rays’ day/night split is pretty even. [BleacherReport]
- Jeff Keppinger has a hitting philosophy that clearly no other Rays follow. [TampaBay.com]
- Is Hideki Matsui just the latest star player to finish his career with the Rays? [TampaBay.com]
- The Rays Laura McKeeman (AKA Miss Florida) threw out the first pitch for the Marlins this weekend. [YouTube]
- Rich Thompson reflects back on his cup of coffee with the Rays and finally picking up career hit number one. [NewsObserver.com]
- My youngest (I call her Nugget 2) channels her inner-Dikembe Mutombo. [Dirty Diaper Chic]
- Joe spoke with The Commish at Bucs camp. Give it a watch. [JoeBucsFan]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
Norfolk 8, DURHAM 7. Alex Torres didn’t even survive the first inning, giving up 3 hits, 3 walks, and a hit batter on the 9 batters he faced. Six of those seven base runners would score…CF Rich Thompson went 3-4 with a walk and his 19th steal. He’s hitting .320…DH Evan Longoria went 1-3 with a walk and an RBI…2B Tim Beckham was 1-5 and is now hitting .257…RF Leslie Anderson went 2-5 with a double and 1B Henry Wrigley was 0-5…SS Reid Brignac went 3-5 but is still hitting just .230.
MONTGOMERY 5, Mississippi 2. Alex Colome tossed a complete game, giving up 2 runs on 6 hits and now walks. He struck out 6…SS Hak-Ju Lee went 1-4 with a double and a walk…RF Mikie Mahtook went 2-4 with 2 doubles and 2 RBI…2B Derek Dietrich went 0-4 in his double-A debut.
Dunedin 8, CHARLOTTE 2. Albert Suarez gave up 6 runs in just 4 innings, including 3 home runs. His ERA is now 4.17.
BOWLING GREEN 5, West Michigan 4. RF Drew Vettleson hit his 10th home run and has his average up to .290…LF Josh Sale went 0-3.
HUDSON VALLEY 9, Williamsport 2. DH Justin O’Connor went 2-5 with his 3rd home run, a 3-run shot…3B Richie Shaffer went 2-3 with a double and is now 5-16 in his first 5 games.
Burlington 5, PRINCETON 4. DH Ariel Soriano was 2-4 with a double and 2 RBI.