RAYS 7, Marlins 6 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Desmond Jennings. Flash had 3 hits, a walk, including his second career walk-off hit…Yunel Escobar. Escobar’s night was just as big as Jennings, with 3 hits, including a 2-out game-tying single in the 8th inning…Fernando Rodney. It was the Marlins. And maybe that is just what Rodney needed. But he looked good, keeping the game tied with a 1-2-3 9th inning….Bottom of the Order. The bottom 4 hitters in the lineup combined to go 11-17 with 4 doubles and 5 batted in…Kelly Johnson. Johnson is hitting .358 with 7 HR, 25 RBI and a 1.107 OPS in May. That’s pretty good.
THE BAD: Jeremy Hellickson. The Marlins had a guy batting third that was not a top prospect and was in single-A a year ago. The Marlins are an awful team. And Hellickson gave up 5 runs in 5.1 innings, raising his ERA to 5.61. And his FIP of 4.66 is not much better. In fact, his FIP is nearly identical to his last two seasons (4.72, 4.44). Those FIPs suggested that Hellickson wasn’t as good as ERA suggested. I don’t think Hellickson is as bad as his ERA is now, but it might be closer to reality than the 3.00 ERAs he was posting…Matt Joyce. If you remember when the Rays first traded for Matt Joyce, it was expected that Joyce would bring both a good bat and a solid glove. The bat has been on and off. But the glove has been spectacularly mediocre. The biggest problem is that he is terrible on balls hit over his head. Joyce takes terrible angles leading to plays like last night where he is falling down on the warning track as the ball lands safely. Even the great Willie Mays-like catch Joyce made a few weeks ago, only happened after he took a bad angle on the ball…Ben Zobrist. With a runner on third and two outs in a tie game in the 8th inning, Ben Zobrist was forced at second to end the inning. But instead of sliding, Zo eased up to avoid contact, and ended up being out on a very close play. If he slides, he is probably safe and the Rays don’t need 9th inning heroics.
THE TELLING: Jake Odorizzi was demoted back to Durham after the game. A reliever is expected to be called up to take his place and a starting pitcher for the open spot in the rotation will be named later…Like last year, the Rays are wearing all-white for their trip to Miami (see above)…Wil Myers hit 2 home runs for the Durham Bulls last night…The Rays are now 27-24, 4 games behind the Red Sox…David Price threw again prior to yesterday’s game. Jim Hickey said Price “threw really well”…The Rays are expected to make an announcement today concerning the Josh Sale incident. If you are not familiar, this link will get you caught up.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- The Marlins are now on pace for 122 losses, which would be a modern record. And they have done that against the easiest schedule in baseball. [CBS Sports]
- More evidence that the Rays wearing their BP caps last night (and tonight, and tomorrow) was just a money grab by Major League Baseball. [Uni-Watch]
- Miguel Cabrera is pretty good at hitting a baseball. [BI Sports]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
DURHAM 9, Buffalo 8. Mike Montgomery allowed 5 runs (4 earned) in 5 innings. He struck out 6 and walked just 1 in his 3rd start for the Bulls…Wil Myers homered twice and drove in 4. He is now hitting .266 with 9 home runs…Vince Belnone had 3 hits and 2 walks, raising his average to .349, fourth in the IL.
MONTGOMERY 6, Mississippi 4. Matt Buschmann tossed 7 shutout innings with 3 Ks and 1 walk…Andrew Bellatti gave up 4 runs in just 0.2 innings of relief, raising his ERA to 7.66…Mikie Mahtook went 2-5 with a double.
CHARLOTTE 2, Palm Beach 1. Roberto Gomez allowed just 1 run on 1 hit and 1 walk in 7.1 innings…Drew Vettleson went 2-4. He’s hitting .258.
BOWLING GREEN @ Lake County. postponed