Rangers 6, RAYS 5 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Longo’s Mojo. After being openly concerned about his lack of power coming off the disabled list, Evan Longoria hit a home run last night on a sinker that he actually got fooled on. It was an ugly swing. You could see he was geared up for the fastball and got caught out on his front foot a bit. But the bat speed was there. And even though he had to reach a little for the pitch, and he was a little early, he was strong enough to keep the ball fair and hit a home run off the foul pole. That’s a good sign that Longoria still has good pop in his bat even though he is not 100%…BJ Upton. This is the roller coaster we ride with the Rays. When Upton tripled in the 5th, a hit that essentially tied the game (since Upton was on 3rd with no outs and was pretty close to a guaranteed run), I am sure I wasn’t alone in thinking there was no way the Rays were losing this game.
THE BAD: David Price. King David didn’t do anything to help his Cy Young chances, and maybe we can blame the ballpark. In four career starts in Rangers Ballpark, Price now has allowed 19 runs in 16.2 innings (10.26 ERA). And while he may have been the favorite for the Cy Young yesterday, Price might only be the 3rd pick now, behind Felix Hernandez and Justin Verlander. But that also tells us that this race is far from over, and how each pitcher performs in September will ultimately decide the award.
THE TELLING: Alex Cobb will start tomorrow after some thought to bumping him back a day…Don’t look now, but the Rays are not only 4 games behind the Yankees, but they are behind both the O’s and A’s in the Wild Card, trailing both by a half-game (1 in the loss column).
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Jeff Niemann feels fine after being hit in the hand with a linedrive. And Joe Maddon reiterates that Alex Cobb will remain in the rotation even when Niemann returns. Again, it looks like the Rays are going to use six starting pitchers, but not necessarily a 6-man rotation. Some guys (David Price, James Shields) will likely remain on 4-days rest with the rest of the guys shuffled around them. [TampaBay.com]
- Evan Longoria joins President Barack Obama, Jeremy Lin, David Beckham, and others in a anti-dating commercial. [BI Sports]
- If you could trade Evan Longoria for anybody in baseball, would you? And who would you pick (see right column). And I can see 2 or 3 guys on that list I would take. [BRaysball Talk]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
DURHAM. no game scheduled.
Jacksonville 1, MONTGOMERY 0. Matt Buschmann went 1-2-3 in 7 of the 8 innings he pitched. Unfortunately, in the other inning, he walked 2 and then gave up a 2-out single and lost 1-0…LF Omar Luna was 3-4 with a triple and is hitting .305…RF Mikie Mahtook was 0-4 with 2 strikeouts and is hitting .250.
Palm Beach @ CHARLOTTE. postponed
BOWLING GREEN 11, South Bend 5. Jake Floethe was knocked out before the end of the second inning, giving up 4 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks. His ERA is now 3.31…C Alejandro Segovia went 3-5 with a double and drove in 3…RF Taylor Motter hit his 5th home run.
Staten Island 8, HUDSON VALLEY 3. DH Richie Shaffer went 0-4 and is now hitting .300 in his first 25 pro games.
PRINCETON 4 Elizabethton 3. SS Brandon Martin went 0-4 with a walk.