RAYS 7, A’s 3 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Jeremy Hellickson. That was the best Jeremy Hellickson we have seen in over a year, maybe since last April when he, coincidentally maybe, shutout the A’s for 7 innings, giving up 3 hits and 1 walk. Yesterday it was 1 run on 2 hits and no walks. We’ll take it…Ben Zobrist. He denied he wasn’t hustling on Tuesday night. But when he was running on Wednesday he seemed to find an extra gear. If I had to guess, I’d say he and Joe Maddon had a little talk about not taking things for granted and not embarrassing himself…Kevin Kiermaier. Things had been looking bad for the offense. So bad that before the game I was having flashbacks to Dallas Braden’s afternoon perfect game against the Rays. Things didn’t start to feel better until Outlaw hit his 2-run home run in the 4th. That seemed to lift the pressure off the team and the fans.
THE BAD: Grant Balfour. There are about three weeks left in the minor league seasons. Maybe the Mad Australian needs a trip to the DL with a sore left vocal cord so that he can make a half-dozen rehab appearances to get back some of his mojo…A’s record keeping. The average attendance for the 3-game series was allegedly ~19,000. That’s horsepoop. That just shows you what a decent corporate season ticket base can do for a club. There is no way there was more than 10,000 for the first two games and maybe a couple more with the kids in the final game. Those crowds were as small as anything we have seen at the Trop this season and yet they report 19,000 (avg.) because teams can report the number of tickets distributed, whether or not those people show up and whether or not people actually pay for the tickets. Don’t hold your breath waiting for Peter Gammons to rip the A’s and their fans.
THE TELLING: The Rays are now 55-59, 4.5 games behind the Yankees for 3rd place in the East. They also leapfrogged ahead of the White Sox in the Wild Card and are now 2 games behind Cleveland for 5th in the Wild Card.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Drew Smyly had trouble seeing the signs from Curt Casali in his first start with the Rays, a problem he has had his entire career. [TampaBay.com]
- Some Durham Bulls charts. [WDBB]
- DOWN ON THE FARM [boxscores]