Red sox 5, RAYS 1 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Alex Cobb. Cobb gave up some runs, that’s going to happen. But what is great is that he struck out 5 and walked just 1, continuing his mastery of the strikezone this spring. In 5 starts, Cobb now has 23 strikeouts and just 2 walks for an out-of-this-world 11.5-to-1 K-to-walk ratio. Obviously he won’t keep that up all season, but we usually think of a 3-to-1 ratio being good. And Cobb hasn’t been the only pitcher dominating the strikezone. David Price has 10 strikeouts and just 1 walk. And Jeremy Hellickson has 7 Ks with just 1 walk…Desmond Jennings. Flash continues his hot spring. He didn’t play yesterday, but he now has 10 hits and 7 walks in 36 plate appearances this spring. And more amazingly, he has struck out just 2 times.
THE BAD: Another Near Perfect. How often do the Rays get no-hit? When they failed to put any runners on base in the first 8 innings of yesterday’s game, many fans joked about getting this year’s perfecto out of the way in spring training. You could also tell that at least some players were uptight about the near no-no when Jose Lobaton argued a called third strike in the 8th inning. Of course, in the grand scheme of things, having the “regulars” no-hit for 5-6 innings in the spring means little. But this is an offense that is going to struggle at times. And nobody is going to be surprised if the Rays are no-hit at some point this season.
THE TELLING: As we projected last week, Roberto Hernandez did start on Saturday keeping him on pace to start the fourth game of the season…Ben Zobrist has returned to the Rays after his stint with Team USA…David Price will start in another minor league game today to keep him on schedule to start opening day on normal rest…Sam Fuld (whose return has been pushed back several times already) is expected to return later this week and be ready for opening day…David Price might be on the regional cover of Sports Illustrated’s Baseball Preview issue.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Braulio Lara who was selected by the Marlins in the Rule 5 draft, has been returned to the Rays after making four spring appearances for the Marlins. [Palm Beach Post]
- Peter Gammons says the Rays are one of several teams looking for “experienced catching.” [Peter Gammons]
- Desmond Jennings says he is working on bouncing back from last season by shrinking his strikezone. He also says he feels more comfortable in center field. [TampaBay.com]
- Chris Wise, who writes about the Durham Bulls over at Watching Durham Bulls Baseball made his first trip to The Trop. Here is how a first-timer views The Trop. [WDBB]
- Evan Longoria talks about the expectations he must live up to with his $100 million contract. [TampaBay.com]
- Any Lionel Messi fans out there? [BI Sports]
- Are the Bucs going to land Darrelle Revis or not? [JoeBucsFan]