RAYS 5, Astros 2 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Evan Longoria. 3 more hits on Sunday and Longo now has 11 hits, including 5 extra-base hits in his last 9 games. He also has just 5 Ks with 3 walks over that span…Joel Peralta. Peralta picked up his first save since May of last year. He has only allowed a run once in his last 19 appearances. His ERA has gone from 7.07 to 3.58 over that span…Jake McGee. Sticking to his word, Joe Maddon used Grant Balfour in the 7th inning and then turned to Jake McGee in the 8th inning to face the middle of the Astros order. So while Peralta did a good job in the 9th inning and gets the save, he only had to face two pinch-hitters and the leadoff hitter…Thank goodness for the Astros. The Rays have suddenly won 7 of their last 11 including 5 of 7 against the Astros. During those 7 games against the Astros, Rays pitchers had an ERA of 1.60.
THE BAD: Jose Molina. Molina is now hitting .148 which is 38 points less than the worst batting average in the AL for qualified batters (Chris Carter, .186). But that is not nearly as bad as his .191 OBP, his .160 wOBA, or his .339 OPS. The lowest OBP in the AL is .270 and the worst OPS is .592…Desmond Jennings’ Pants. Jennings tried to steal home when the Astros started to get a little lazy on their throws back to the mound. Unfortunately for the Rays, Jennings was out (Joe Maddon’s challenge did not overturn the call). Unfortunately for Jennings, he had a wardrobe malfunction (see image above).
THE TELLING: The Rays are now 31-46, 4.5 games behind the Red Sox for 4th place in the East. The Rays still have the worst record in baseball, but are actually one game ahead of the Diamondbacks in the loss column…If you do the Twitter, there is a complete list of Twitter accounts for Rays draft picks this year at the bottom of this post…Rays pitchers lead the majors with 669 strikeouts…The leadoff home run given up by Erik Bedard was the 5th time in franchise history a Rays pitcher gave up a home run on the first pitch of the game…Evan Longoria is now 4th in the AL All-Star voting for third basemen.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Mike Trout calls David Price the toughest pitcher to face in baseball. “I have a tough time picking his ball up” (thanks, Christopher). [FoxSports.com]
- No team is worse at “translating fan loyalty into revenues.” In other words, the Rays have fans, but they don’t go to games. [TampaBay.com]
- DOWN ON THE FARM [boxscores] Jeremy Hellickson gave up 6 runs (5 earned) but did last 5 innings with 7 strikeouts and no walks in his latest rehab start. Wilson Betemit had 2 of the Bulls’ 4 hits in their 9-0 shutout loss…Catcher Maxx Tisenbaum homered in his 2nd straight and has 3 home runs in the last 4 games after not hitting any in his first 36 games with Charlotte this season…Casey Gillaspie went 1-3 with a double and a walk for Hudson Valley.
Former Rays pitcher Alex Torres became the first pitcher to wear one of the new protective caps in a big league game. You can see video of his appearance at this link.
Our good pal, Davis Williams has put together a list of Twitter handles for this year’s draft picks. Click on the image for a larger view.