Indians 86, RAYS 0 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Big Crowd. Friday’s attendance was a little weak (16,019). And Sunday’s number could have been better (21,629). But Saturday night’s attendance was huge. The 32,217 tickets sold were short of a sellout. But that number would have been the fourth the largest attendance in 2012. And two of the three in 2012 that were bigger were the Yankees on opening night and the Yankees in game two (a Saturday night). It is a good sign early on…Alex Cobb. If you had to rank the Rays starting pitchers based on pure stuff, Cobb might have a tough time cracking the top 10 in the Rays’ organization. But at the same time, you can make an argument that he is the best “pitcher” in the organization. That is, Cobb knows how to pitch and work batters. And it came through on Saturday night with 7.1 shutout innings…Matt Moore. With David Price struggling, it is less of a concern with Cobb and Moore stepping up the way they did this weekend. Moore’s performance was especially important after he struggled in the spring. And 8 strikeouts with just 2 walks in 6 shutout innings was great. It did take him 100 pitches to get through 6, but that is par for the course with Moore.
THE BAD: David Price. Price gave up 8 runs in 5 innings on Sunday including 2 long home runs. The 8 runs were the most since 2009 and the 8 earned runs were a career high. And in two starts, Price has allowed 10 runs and 22 baserunners in just 11 innings with just 7 strikeouts. …Desmond Jennings. It was a rough weekend for Flash on the basepaths. He was thrown out at home on a nasty collision. He was thrown out at third on a groundball to the shortstop when he should have stayed at second. And he was thrown out at 2nd on Sunday when he inexplicably didn’t slide…Fernando Rodney. I’ve never been a big fan of closers in non-closing roles. As much as people want to say that nothing is different, there is something about how successful closers are able to feed off the adrenaline rush that comes with the game on the line. And when that rush isn’t there, there can be a let up. And on Sunday, with Rodney needing to get some work in, he faced 5 batters and gave up 2 runs on 3 hits including a home run. So let’s just hope that was more about letting up and less about the WBC. After the game, Joe Maddon said the situation was not ideal but that Rodney “needed the work”…Getting Run In. At one point early on Saturday night, the Rays were in the midst of what may have been the most Raysian performance ever. They were being no-hit and were winning the game. But while they were up 1-0 and would go on to win the game. It masked a bigger problem. In the first 3 innings, they had 8 baserunners but scored only 1 run. If they just get 1 or 2 hits, that game would have been over much earlier. And one huge problem is that the Rays are now 0-9 with the bases loaded this season. In just the last two games, the Rays loaded the bases in 5 different innings and score just 1 run. And that came on a bases loaded walk.
THE TELLING: The 13-0 loss was the biggest shutout loss since 2004 and the first time they lost by 13 or more since 2007…In just 6 games, Kelly Johnson has already started a game at 4 different positions (1B, 2B, LF, DH)…The Rays have not committed an error in 2013…Ben Zobrist and Evan Longoria are doing their share offensively, having combined for 16 hits and 4 walks in 6 games…David Price re-received his Cy Young Award this weekend (and Andrew Friedman made a funny face) and Jeremy Hellickson received his Gold Glove award…The Rays play 20 of their next 26 on the road, including a pair of 10-game road trips.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- “I don’t care what Maddon says, we weren’t throwing at [Evan Longoria].” [Cleveland.com]
- Now we know why the Rays always showed the David Price giveaway figurine from the side or behind. [RI Facebook]
- It sounds like there were even a bunch of people within the Rays organization that were troubled by Evan Longoria’s recent comments in which he suggested James Shields and BJ Upton had a losing mentality. [TampaBay.com]
- The Tampa Bay Timeshas put together their look at the Rays all-time team. [TampaBay.com]
- Josh Hamilton did not receive a warm reception in his return to Texas. [BI Sports]
- The 20 highest-paid players in baseball. [BI Sports]
- On Saturday night, BJ Upton hit a game-tying home run in the 9th inning and then his brother hit the walk-off home run. [Big League Stew]
- Fan catches a home run while holding a baby. [BI Sports]
- The Darrelle Revis saga has taken a minor turn. [JoeBucsFan]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
DURHAM 3, Norfolk 2 (7, game 1). Mike Montgomery gave up 2 runs in 3.2 innings He struck out 4 and walked 3…RF Wil Myers was 1-4 with a double…DH Chris Gimenez had 2 hits, including a double. He also walked once…SS Tim Beckham went 1-3 with a strikeout.
Norfolk 4, Durham 3 (7, game 2). RF Brandon Guyer had 3 hits including a double and his 1st home run of the season…1B Leslie Anderson was 1-3…2B Tim Beckham went 0-3 hitting 8th and SS Hak-Ju Lee was 2-2 with a walk hitting 9th.
Birmingham 8, MONTGOMERY 4. DH Mikie Mahtook went 1-4 with 2 strikeouts. He was also 0-1 stealing bases.
Palm Beach 8, CHARLOTTE 1. Drew Vettleson was 1-4…3B Richie Shaffer went 2-4.
BOWLING GREEN 5, South Bend 0. Sean Beirman, a 10th round pick in 2012, pitched 5 shutout innings, allowing just 1 hit. He struck out 1 and walked 1.