RAYS 4, Astros 3 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Jake McGee. McGee picked up his second career save with the final out coming on a nasty 99 mph swinging strike. It is a bit ironic that in the first season in which Joe Maddon named an official closer (Grant Balfour) that closer lost the job. It may be even more ironic if it turns out that Maddon says he is going to use a closer-by-committee even though most of the saves will likely go to one player (McGee). Because right now, who do you trust more in the 9th inning?…David Price. Once again, Price had one bad inning and looked nearly unhittable the rest of the game. The difference now is the offense is scoring some runs. Price gave up 2 home runs to the first 4 batters he faced. But after that he faced 25 batters, striking out 10, walking none, and allowing just 3 more hits…Yunel Escobar. Everybody will talk about Jerry Sands’ broken bat single in the 9th. But it was Escobar who was in the middle of all 4 runs. Escobar also had a bases-loaded walk to drive in the first run. He doubled home David DeJesus for the 2nd run. He had a 1-out single in the 6th and would later score the tying run on the overturned double-play. In the 8th, he took a hit-by-pitch to push Matt Joyce into scoring position just prior to Sands’ go-ahead single.
THE BAD: Logan Forsythe. His days are almost certainly numbered at this point. His .178 average and .212 wOBA are not going to cut it. Brandon Guyer is nearing his comeback and it is hard to imagine Forsythe won’t be the guy sent back to Durham.
THE TELLING: First-round pick Casey Gillaspie picked up his first professional hit, a 2-run home run for Hudson Valley…The Rays are now 27-43, 13.5 games behind the Blue Jays and 4.5 games behind the Red Sox for 4th place in the East. The Rays are also 2 games ahead of the Diamondbacks for the first pick in next year’s draft…Joe Maddon has challenged 24 plays. He has had 7 overturned, 9 were inconclusive and upheld, and he was wrong on 8…Jeremy Hellickson will make this third rehab start Tomorrow…Kevin Kiermaier now has 12 extra-base hits. That’s the most ever for a Rays player in his first 21 career games.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Joe Maddon calls replay a “work in progress,” noting that he would like to see it changed so that the manager does not lose his challenge if the replay is inconclusive. [TampaBay.com]
- Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com argues for trading David Price now and not waiting for the trade deadline. [MLB.com]
- Ken Rosenthal says Ben Zobrist will draw more interest in a potential trade than David Price, “especially in the NL” (because of versatility). [@Ken_Rosenthal]
- Peter Gammons says Ben Zobrist would be a “perfect acquisition” for a team like the Tigers, Giants, or Dodgers. [Gammons Daily]
- Evan Longoria is longer hitting inside pitches, something that used to be his strength. [Fangraphs.com]
- A family got kicked out of The Trop for not following the cowbells rules. It sounds like they received plenty of warning and then one of them got banned for the season for being a jerk after being kicked out. [TampaBay.com]
- DOWN ON THE FARM [boxscores] Alex Colome pitched 6 innings in the Bulls’ 12-2 win, giving up 1 run on a home run. It was just the 2nd run he has allowed in 26.2 innings (0.68 ERA). Bulls batters had 11 hits and 10 walks. Brandon Guyer had a double and 2 walks. Mikie Mahtook went 2-3 with 2 walks. His .325 average is 4th in the IL…Cameron Seitzer hit his 5th home run for Montgomery…Casey Gillaspie hit his first career home run, 2-run shot in the 6th inning for Hudson Valley.