Orioles 4, RAYS 3 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Cesar Ramos. That was exactly what you hope for from a guy that is supposed to be in the bullpen, 5.2 innings and 2 runs…Yunel Escobar. How good is this guy defensively? It’s nuts. He makes a gold glove-level play every night including a reaching grab on a line drive and a sweet turn on a double-play started by Ben Zobrist. But maybe my favorite part of his defense is his arm. 99% of his throws to first base hit James Loney smack dab in the middle of his chest. Remember how good Carlos Pena was at scooping bad throws? That was because we saw him do it all the time. With this infield, we almost never see a bad throw.
THE BAD: Brandon Gomes. We were a little surprised to see Gomes in high leverage situations early in the season and it seemed to indicate a new, bigger role for Gomes in the bullpen. But can Joe Maddon keep going to him in tied and 1-run games? In 3 of his last 11 appearances Gomes has allowed multiple runs and in another one he allowed an inherited runner to score. The problem is, Grant Balfour, Joel Peralta, and Jake McGee are already slated for innings 7-9. Josh Lueke is the White Flag pitcher and Brad Boxberger just got here and is probably not ready for regular appearances in big spots. That leaves Gomes and Juan Carlos Oviedo. So Maddon will have to keep going back to Gomes occasionally as long as starting pitchers continue to get knocked out early.
THE TELLING: The Rays have now lost 4 in a row at home…The loss was the Rays’ first 1-run loss since August 31 of last season.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Jake McGee recently had a pitch clocked at 101.7 mph. [TBO.com]
- Joe Maddon would like to see Joel Peralta get back to using his fastball more. [TampaBay.com]
- DOWN ON THE FARM [boxscores] Enny Romero was pounded for 5 runs in 5.2 innings for Durham as he struggled with his control, walking 6. Robby Price hit his first home run of the season and Mikie Mahtook went 2-5 with his 5th stolen base…Ryan Brett went 1-2 with a walk and stole his 7th base for Montgomery.
We are declaring a new nickname for Josh Lueke.
What a beautiful double-play.