Rangers 5, RAYS 4 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: James Loney. Outside of Ben Zobrist, the one player that was most visibly upset with the call on the final pitch was James Loney. And that is not to knock the other players. But it is saying something that a new guy is already that invested in the team. And it says something about how quickly this team builds clubhouse camaraderie…Dave Wills. I believe this is Wills first time in the GBT and really he should be an honorary member. But he earned his stripes again last night on the final pitch. Wills is not one to overreact. And yet, he didn’t hold back, giving a perfect call. He conveyed the emotion of the moment and still managed to describe the scene perfectly. He also wasn’t afraid to say what every Rays fan was thinking by calling for the umpire to be admonished…First Road Theme Of The Year. Check out those Rays lettermen jackets at right (via Todd Kalas). That is the first themed roadtrip attire of the year. And based on how they are arranged in the locker room, it looks like it may have been a surprise for the players after the game. In the meantime, I need to figure out how to get my hands on one.
THE BAD: You Want Bad? You can start with the strikezone plot for the last pitch of the game which showed just how horrible the called strike was. And then you can go to the quotes from Joe Maddon, Joe Nathan, and the umpire, who all agreed that the call was bad. And then go watch the video in which we added the audio from the Rays’ radio broadcast. In the end, the call was so bad that it was actually a little funny. Or at least that is how I am trying to keep from being so angry…Sam Fuld. Super Sammy has made so many great defensive plays that it feels wrong to rip on him for a defensive lapse in judgment. But his ill-conceived dive missed a dropping flyball and it wasn’t even close. That led to the Rangers’ first run in a game in which the Rays would lose by one. You can see a super painful super slo-mo of the dive below.
THE TELLING: Let’s hope the Rays don’t miss the playoffs by one game…The Rays’ team bus was involved in a “very minor fender bender” on the way to the game…Ben Zobrist committed the Rays’ first error of the year…Evan Longoria has 10 hits in the first 7 games (.417), but they are all singles. On the other hand, Kelly Johnson does have a home run, but only 2 hits in 6 games (.125)…Chris Davis of the Orioles was named AL player of the week thanks in large part to the Rays pitching.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- After getting a second opinion, Jeff Niemann will have surgery. His season is “most likely” over. [Marc Topkin]
- Here’s video of Joe Maddon discussing the call after the game. [TampaBay.com]
- The Rays are not the only team with attendance problems. [Shadow of the Stadium]
- If you enjoy boneheaded plays, you’ve got to see this slide from the Reds-Cards game. [BI Sports]
- Here is more on the Rays (lack of) catching depth. [TampaBay.com]
- Are the Rays good at framing or are umpires just missing calls? Kinda ironic after last night, no? [Fangraphs]
- Here’s an adorable image of a World Series ring on the fingers of a 4-month-old. [BI Sports]
- And the Darrelle Revis saga marches on. [JoeBucsFan]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
DURHAM 2, Gwinnett 1. Jake Odorizzi struck out 8 and walked 2 in 6.2 shutout innings…Wil Myers was 1-4 with a strikeout…DH Leslie Anderson went 1-3 with a walk and a strikeout…LF Brandon Guyer went 0-4 with 2 Ks and SS Hak-Ju Lee was 0-1 with 2 walks.
MONTGOMERY 5, Birmingham 1. Jacob Thompson struck out 7 and walked none in 6 innings. He allowed just 1 unearned run…Mikie Mahtook and Todd Glaesmann had their first home runs of the year.
CHARLOTTE. no game scheduled
BOWLING GREEN 4, Lansing 3. Taylor Guerrieri threw 3 shutout innings with 4 Ks and no walks.