Angels 6, RAYS 5 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Brandon Guyer. I don’t know how Joe Maddon can get Guyer more playing time with so many outfielders on the roster, but this guy needs it. Fantastic game last night with a home run, an RBI single, and a great catch. Not bad considering it was his first start in a week…Erik Bedard. As we discussed after his last start, there are reasons to be worried that Bedard is eventually going to come back to something a lot less dominating. But for now, he is pitching well, and getting lucky, and the results have been great.
THE BAD: Joe Maddon. When you do things that go against what most people will do, it is going to fail sometimes. And if we are going to praise Maddon when it works, he deserves just as much criticism when it doesn’t. I’m a big believer in pulling a closer the second he blows a save. But what is the point of having a 9th inning guy and paying him all that money if Maddon is going to pull him after 3 batters and the Rays still have the lead? Yes, Balfour looked bad, walking 2 and giving up a single. But you go out there. You insult his mom or his wife or something. You piss him off and then hope things work out. You don’t pull him for a rookie with one of the best hitters in baseball coming to the plate. I love Brad Boxberger. But is there anybody in the world that would want Boxberger over Balfour in that situation? Maddon did and it backfired. Trout hit that ball so well, Boxberger was walking to the dugout before Trout finished his swing…Brad Boxberger. When Boxberger struck out 3 batters on 9 pitches I praised him for not being afraid to start off with a changeup when the batter was clearly looking for a rookie to throw a fastball. Trout is a different creature. He may have been sitting fastball on the first pitch and sure enough Boxberger threw a change and Trout took it for a strike. The second pitch, just before the home run, was the big one. Boxberger went with a changeup again and kept it even lower seeing if he could get Trout to chase it. He did not, giving a faint check swing. That should have been a HUGE indicator that Trout was not only ready for the changeup, but he had it timed and was seeing it well. Boxberger should have never thrown a 3rd changeup. He did and Trout crushed it. Game over.
THE TELLING: Cole Figueroa took out the lineup card for his first big league game…Alex Cobb will make a rehab start on Saturday with Charlotte and could rejoin the rotation as early as next Thursday. Jeremy Hellickson is now targeting a late-June return.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Here is the positive side of this year’s Rays story. It might make you feel a little better. [Sports on Earth]
- DOWN ON THE FARM [boxscores] Both Durham and Charlotte were rained out.