RAYS 8, Rangers 4 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Popcorn? This team will never cease to amaze me. This time it is apparently a gigantic bag of popcorn that was provided by George Hendrick. And every time somebody scored a run, the bag of popcorn greeted the player as he returned to the dugout, and the player scoring the run gave the bag of popcorn a high-five or six. And of course, the Rays scored a bunch of runs, so now I assume we will see a gigantic bag of popcorn every game until things start sucking again…The Bullpen. Alex Cobb couldn’t complete 5 innings, so Joe Maddon had to lean on the bullpen more than he’d like and they didn’t disappoint. Rangers hitters went just 1-14 against the ‘pen in 4.1 innings. And the lone hit was just a hard hit groundball in the 9th that Carlos Pena probably would have snagged…Evan Longoria. You would think that Longo owns Rangers ballpark. While 6 home runs in 21 games does translate to 49 over 162 games, he is hitting just .256. Meanwhile, with 9 home runs, he is just 7 behind Carlos Pena for the team lead, despite missing half the season.
THE BAD: Alex Cobb vs The Rangers. The Rangers are just too good offensively for a guy like Cobb who is only throwing 88-90. So maybe I should have put him in the good considering he only gave up 4 runs (3 earned). But no matter how good the bullpen is, you don’t want them throwing 4.1 innings. Seven innings is ideal. 6 innings is ok. Anything less is a failure no matter who the opponent is.
THE TELLING: Joe Maddon is hoping Matt Joyce will return to action on Friday…Chris Archer was pulled after just 1 inning. The Rays apparently want him to stay fresh in case they need him in the next week…The Rays’ single-A affiliate Charlotte Stone Crabs had a perfect game thrown against them. Apparently it’s like parent club, like affiliate…The Rays are now 71-59, a half-game behind the Orioles for the 2nd Wild Card spot and 1.5 games in front of the Tigers…
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- David Price forgot his passport and had to fly back to Tampa before traveling to Toronto. Oops. [TampaBay.com]
- Joe Maddon spoke about what he thinks Carlos Pena needs to work on. [TBO.com]
- Melky Cabrera is suddenly going to be a lot cheaper. Anybody think he would make a good DH for the Rays in 2013? [BI Sports]
- Surprise, surprise! The Rays are not among the teams that have donated the most money to the presidential election. [BI Sports]
- The Red Sox never recovered from “The Collapse.” [CHART OF THE DAY]
- I’m rooting for Tiquan Underwood because of his hair. [JoeBucsFan]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
Norfolk 1, DURHAM 0 (gm 1). The Bulls managed just 2 hits (6 in the double-header)…Tim Beckham was 0-5 in the 2 games…
Norfolk 3, DURHAM 0 (gm 2). Lance Pendleton struck out 7 and walked just 1 in 6 innings, but allowed 3 runs on 5 hits…CF Rich Thompson had 2 of the Bulls’ 4 hits. He’s now hitting .313, second in the IL (Leslie Anderson is now 3rd at .311).
MONTGOMERY. No game scheduled
Palm Beach 8, CHARLOTTE 0. The Stone Crabs had zero baserunners. That’s right, a perfect game.
Lake County 7, BOWLING GREEN 2. RF Drew Vettleson hit his 15th home run.
Brooklyn 7, HUDSON VALLEY 4. Taylor Guerrieri struck out 4 and allowed just 2 baserunners (double, error) in 5 shutout innings. His ERA is now 1.15 with 41 strikeouts and 2 walks. That’s a 20.5 K-to-BB ratio. Typically 3.0 is pretty good at any level.
PRINCETON. No game scheduled