Orioles 7, RAYS 4 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Evan Longoria. Boy he looks healthy. Just 1 hit, but three outstanding diving stops, twice throwing a player out from his knees, and once from his butt…Sam Fuld. Little Sammy Fuld was all over the place. If it weren’t for Longoria and Fuld, the Orioles would have scored 12 runs…Ben Zobrist. The swing ain’t pretty, but it just keeps on producing runs. We’ll miss that guy someday.
THE BAD: David Price. Price wasn’t bad, but he wasn’t dominant. He struggled with too many pitches (23 in the 1st, 75 in the first 4 innings). He never seemed to find a rhythm with his fastball (66 of his 100 pitches were fastballs). And the result was that he was out of the game after just six innings. And that will be a problem this year without James Shields pitching the next day. The bullpen needs Price to go deep…Jake McGee. In 2012, only one relief pitcher (Dane De La Rosa) gave up 5 runs in a single appearance. Jake McGee did it on opening day. And yes, McGee was just one strike away from closing out the 7th inning. But he was already struggling at that point having given up 2 hits to the first 3 batters he faced. And because of that, it was more difficult for him to waste a pitch with the 0-2 count on Adam Jones, who ended up doubling and driving in 2. Two batters later Chris Davis, a first-pitch fastball hitter, took a first-pitch fastball and went deep and the game was over.
THE TELLING: Joe Maddon used Ryan Roberts to pinch hit for Matt Joyce late in the game, pushing Ben Zobrist to the RF and Sam Fuld over to LF. Maddon also pinch-hit for James Loney with Shelley Duncan when the Rays needed runs. When Luke Scott returns, that will probably be Sean Rodriguez’ job, god help us all…
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Yu Darvish just missed a perfect game. Here’s video of how close he came. [BI Sports]
- Stuart Sternberg met with the media before the game. Here are some of his quotes. [TampaBay.com]
- Stuart Sternberg also spoke briefly with St. Pete mayor Bill Foster. [TampaBay.com]
- It was “Opening Week” on the field for the Rays. But not all teams follow the same pattern. Here are some examples. [BI Sports]
- The largest contracts for pitchers in baseball history. [BI Sports]
- JoeBucsFanTV. [JoeBucsFan]