Blue Jays 8, RAYS 7 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Evan Longoria. Where would the Rays be without Longo’s bat right now? He is 15-39 (.385) over the last 9 games with 5 multi-hit games. And his grand slam was his 7th home run of the year, which places him among the top ten in the AL.
THE BAD: Joe Maddon. Joe Maddon freely admitted that Fernando Rodney wasn’t used to throwing more than an inning. We all know Rodney was overused in the spring. We all know Rodney has struggled early on this season. And yet Maddon brought Rodney in for a 5-out save. It was a move that smelled of desperation. A little too much desperation in early May. And it backfired. But the problem is, who do we trust in the bullpen right now? Not Jake McGee. Not Kyle Farnsworth. Joel Peralta might be the only reliever we should trust in a big situation. And he can’t pitch 4 innings when Jeremy Hellickson can only work 5 innings. Speaking of which…Jeremy Hellickson. Immediately after being given a 7-0 lead in the fourth inning, Hellickson came out and had a 39-pitch 4th inning. The result was that Hellickson couldn’t work past the 5th inning. And that meant Jake McGee was needed for the 6th inning. Speaking of which…Jake McGee. McGee threw 17 pitches. And surprise! All 17 were fastballs. And Mark DeRosa, a guy hitting near .200, who couldn’t hit a breaking ball to save his life, catches up to a fastball and hits a 2-run home run. Does anybody miss BJ Upton more than Jake McGee right now? It’s to the point that I fully expect somebody to write a story saying Rays fans only hate Jake McGee because he is black…Yunel Escobar. What exactly happened between the 1st inning and the 6th inning that suddenly made Escobar ready to play? With his left hand wrapped, he came into the game in the 6th inning. Well, if he was healthy enough to play 4 innings, why wasn’t he healthy enough to play 9 innings? Instead, he came into the game cold and booted everything. In fact, I’m pretty sure he went home after the game and booted about three glasses just trying to get a glass of water.
THE TELLING: The Rays blew yet another lead, this time a 7-0 lead. It was the largest blown lead ever at home…Ben Zobrist was away from the team to attend the funeral of his grandmother. He is expected to be back today…9,952 paid attendance was the smallest crowd for a divisional foe since April, 2008 (also the Jays)…The Rays are now 14-17, 6.5 games behind the Red Sox.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Chris Archer was pulled from his start in Durham due to a bruise from a come-backer in his last start. Rain may have also been a factor. [Adam Sobsey]
- This Bryce Harper ejection reminded me a lot of the run-in between David Price and an umpire recently. [BI Sports]
- If you missed it yesterday, James Shields is selling his Clearwater home. Here are some pictures. [RaysIndex]
- About that Josh Hamilton contract with the Angels: Not so good so far. [BI Sports]
- Ronde Barber says his decision on whether to return to the Bucs in 2013 is “imminent.” [Joe Bucs Fan]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
Syracuse 5, DURHAM 0. Wil Myers went 1-4 with 2 strikeouts. He is hitting .275…Leslie Anderson was 1-3 with a double and a walk. He’s hitting .314.
MONTGOMERY. no game scheduled
Brevard County 4, CHARLOTTE 2. Richie Shaffer was 1-3 with an RBI…Drew Vettleson went 0-3 with a walk.
BOWLING GREEN 4, Bowling Green 2. Jeff Ames tossed 6 shutout innings with 4 Ks and just 1 walk. Ames has now allowed either 1 or 0 runs in 5 of his 6 starts…CF Andrew Toles had a double and a triple and is now hitting .328.