RAYS 4, Yankees 3 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: James Shields. Defensively, the Rays tried to give this game away. But thanks to a workmanlike performance from James Shields, the Rays are now 8-5 against the mighty Yankees this season. And like he has done in recent starts, Shields went heavy on the fastball (well, heavy for him). Of his 121 pitches, 55 were fastballs. And of those, 6 were swinging strikes, which is huge considering it is not a very good fastball and considering how good the Yankees are offensively…Chris Gimenez. Of course the new guy did something big. And not only did he single home the first run in the second inning. But he capped off the biggest game of his young big league career with the go-ahead RBI single in the 8th.
THE BAD: Shouldn’t Have Been This Close. Neither was ruled an actual error, but both were mental errors. With one out in the 4th, Ben Francisco dove for a ball in the gap, missing it by several feet and allowing A-Rod to score all the way from first base and allowing Raul Ibanez to go all the way to third. He’s gotta know the runners and keep the ball in front of him. It was an unnecessary risk taken too early in the game. Then, the very next batter hits a ball between first and second fielded by Jeff Keppinger. He looked at Ibanez on third who froze, but did not head back. So when Keppinger then decided to run back to first base, Ibanez broke for home and scored. And to make matters worse, Keppinger didn’t even get the runner at first base, diving in late. On those two plays, the Yankees went from trailing 2-1 to up 3-2.
THE TELLING: Evan Longoria was pulled early, but says the move was precautionary. A day game after traveling the night before probably played a factor in the decision…Joe Maddon was ejected for the 3rd time this season. You have to go frame-by-frame, but Rich Thompson was out. And you can always tell when Maddon is going to get kicked out when he does this move…Mark Topkin says catcher Stephen Vogt and RP Dane de la Rosa will be added to the roster on Wednesday, and that Chris Archer could join them…The two players placed on waivers this week, Will Rhymes and Albert Suarez, cleared waivers and will remain in the Rays organization…The Rays are now 2.5 behind the Yankees (3 in loss column) and 1.5 games behind the Orioles for 2nd Wild Card.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Jeff Niemann has inflammation in his shoulder and is out indefinitely. He is hoping a couple days rest will help, but there is also the possibility that he will be shut down for the year. Based on the rotation and a Monday off-day next week, Niemann wouldn’t pitch before next Tuesday anyways. And even then, Alex Cobb will be available on extra rest. [TampaBay.com]
- Joe Maddon acknowledged after the game that umpire Bob Davidson got the call right on Rich Thompson’s slide at second base. [TampaBay.com]
- However, Joe Maddon says that he “didn’t say anything bad.” However, a closer look at the replay suggests that Maddon dropped several F-bombs, including a “you f***ing blew it Bob!” [MLB Video]
- Sean Rodriguez sounds confident that he will be back this season. [TBO.com]
- Did Mark Dominik know what he was doing this offseason? Kinda looks like it. [JoeBucsFan]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
Charlotte 5, DURHAM 3. Lance Pendleton gave up 5 runs in 3.2 innings on 6 hits and a walk…SS Tim Beckham went 2-4 and RF Stephen Vogt was 2-3 to raise his average to .272.
Huntsville @ MONTGOMERY. cancelled
CHARLOTTE. season over
BOWLING GREEN 5, Fort Wayne 4 (gm 1). C Alejandro Segovia hit his 15th home run and 3B Cameron Seitzer was 1-2 with a walk and 2 RBI.
Fort Wayne 5, BOWLING GREEN 2 (gm 2). Drew Vettleson went 1-2 with a walk. He’s hitting .275.
HUDSON VALLEY 2, Tri-City 1 (11). Taylor Guerrieri tossed 5 shutout innings on 2 hits and 3 walks. He struck out 4 and finished the season with a 1.04 ERA.
PRINCETON. season over