RAYS 12, Orioles 7 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Matt Joyce. Sweet Swingin’ tied the franchise record with 5 hits and 12 total bases in what was his best game as a big leaguer. He had 2 singles, a double, and 2 home runs. He also drove in 4 and scored 3 times. It was his first 2-home run game since 2012…Ben Zobrist. It is easy to overlook the day Zobrist had, or more importantly, the week he had. Zobrist had 3 hits on Sunday and now has 8 in the past 5 games, including 5 extra-base hits. He also has 2 walks during that span and appears to be heating up nicely…Offense. This team is showing signs of coming to life offensively. But can they keep it up? They had 11 extra-base hits and hit 5 home runs. They also hit 5 home runs back in April against the Yankees and that didn’t “turn things around.”
THE BAD: Cesar Ramos. Joel Peralta only had to face one batter, but it was potentially a huge batter that should have never happened and could have a big impact on tonight’s game. Ramos came in and got the final 2 outs in the 8th inning and struck out the lead-off hitter in the 9th. But then he went single-walk-homer-double-groundout-walk before Joe Maddon finally made the switch and went to Peralta. While giving up that many baserunners is bad, what makes it worse is that Peralta had to be used. The Rays have to play the Yankees tonight and now Peralta may not be 100%. So far this season, Peralta has a 8.10 ERA (6.2 innings) when pitching on no rest and opponents have a .836 OPS. On 2 days rest, which is what it would have been if Peralta had not pitched Sunday, he has a 2.00 ERA (9.0 ip) and hitters have a .590 OPS…Winter is Coming. Joe Maddon wants to talk about being a team that can make a run. He wants to tell us that the effort is there and we are finally seeing results. But let’s face it, David Price is going to be traded whether they are making a run or not, and that will kill their momentum.
THE TELLING: The Rays are now 35-49, 4 games behind the Red Sox for 4th place in the East. The Rays are tied with Arizona for the worst record in baseball…Jeremy Hellickson had “minor discomfort” in his elbow during his last rehab start with Durham. He played catch without incident on Sunday and will throw a bullpen session today. If that goes well, speculation is he will make another rehab start later this week…The Rays will decide today if Yunel Escobar needs to go on the DL with a sore shoulder…If Chris Archer gets the win against the Yankees tonight, he would become the first pitcher since Walter Johnson in 1907-08 to go 5-0 in his first 5 starts against the Yankees.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Jon Heyman spoke with several executives that believe the farewell for David Price was probably premature and while he will likely be traded, it will probably happen closer to the deadline. [CBS Sports]
- In a story that is really about the high-price it would cost to trade for David Price among AL East clubs (really high) is this nugget from a “major league source” about former Rays pitcher Jason Hammel: “You could argue that Hammel is the most sought-after player, positional or pitcher, in the trade market right now.” [BostonGlobe]
- Joey Johnstone discusses the frustrations of slow baseball games this year, what’s causing it, and MLB’s concerns. [TBO.com]
- DOWN ON THE FARM [boxscores] Enny Romero gave up 6 runs in 4.2 innings including 3 home runs. His ERA is now 5.42. This latest implosion came after 3 straight solid starts in which he allowed just 3 earned runs in 18 innings. Mikie Mahtook hit his 7th home run and drove in 3…Richie Shaffer went 0-4 for Montgomery and is hitting just .207 this season with a .291 OBP and 8 home runs…Casey Gillaspie went 2-4 with 2 strikeouts and a walk for Hudson Valley…2013 first-round pitch catcher Nick Ciuffo is 6-29 to start the season with Princeton with 2 doubles and no home runs.