Saturday’s ball game at the Trop signified another tragic injury inducing line drive come-backer event, one where another pitcher had to be carried off the field on a stretcher. And though these events seem to be happening with greater frequency, they never get any easier to watch — nor should they. Thankfully — as with JA Happ before him — Alex Cobb will be able to walk away with only minor injuries; a minor concussion and a cut on the ear. And as with JA Happ before him, as a matter of respect we won’t be posting a link to the line drive that put Cobb on the stretcher in the first place. To that end, since yesterday’s ball game became something greater than the play of the field, I’m only going to shorthand the summary, interspersing it with the thoughts of people directly involved in the horrific scene.
- Alex Cobb was on his way to putting together another quality start before the fifth inning incident mentioned above. Though he had a rough second inning — one where he threw 37-pitches and gave up two runs — Cobb was more than en route to settling down, giving up only one hit in the two innings that followed.
- Alex Torres, wow! Torres came on in relief of Cobb, and posted an impressive 1-2/3 IP/0 H/0 R/0 BB/4 K slash line. What’s more, he wrung up the first four batters he faced (three swinging strikeouts) before inducing a weakly hit Mike Moustakas infield pop-out. Torres had issues with command in the minors. With 23 strikeouts and only three walks in 16 innings, the question begs: Command issues? What command issues?!
- The rest of the pen, though a touch shaky, was able to hold the Royals to one run on four hits and a walk, striking out four.
- The long-ball reigned supreme. With the exception of a Longo RBI sac-fly in the first inning, the majority of the Rays runs came off homers. In the third inning, Luke Scott sent 399 foot line drive shot to right-center, plating Ben Zobrist. Matt Joyce followed that with a 367 foot blast to right in the fifth. My personal favorite homer came in the sixth inning. Jeremy Guthrie started his at-bat against Longo, by dusting him off the plate. Two pitches later Longo, sent a massive one run blast 411 feet to left-field, giving the Rays a three-run lead.
- This is the Elliot Johnson we know and love. You know, the ElJo that goes 1-for-4 at the plate…the one that can’t get it done in the field. Chug that rally sauce all you want, but there’s a reason you’re batting just north of .250.
- Runners in scoring position opportunities were few and far in between, but hey, at least the Rays were able to convert 33% of those opportunities, while plating a pair of two-out runs.
From the Lips (and/or Fingers) of Those Involved
- “Rays say Cobb has a mild concussion, and all tests are normal.” – Marc Topkin
- “Price said Cobb is feeling fine, and was mad trainers wouldn’t let him get up on field.” -Marc Topkin
- Cobb is listed in good condition this morning at (the) hospital, and (is) expected to be released today. Team will have update later. -Marc Topkin
- All of the Rays starters saw Cobb off as he made his way to the ambulance, while David Price — who was able to leave the game because of his status on the DL — joined him at the hospital. Former Ray James Shields, and Cobb’s dad and girlfriend were there as well. Shields continues to be a class act even though he’s no longer part of the organization.
- “102 off the dome = tough as nails = Alex Cobb. Lets keep him close in our thoughts and prayers as he recovers.” -Matt Moore
- “Wishing Alex all the best tonight. Hopefully we can find a suitable way to protect pitchers in the very near future.” -Sam Fuld
The New What Next
The Rays will attempt to win the last game of the home stand Sunday with Robo on the mound. Hernandez pitched very well in his last start against the Red Sox, and will be opposed by the former Ray Wade Davis. You can read about the pitching match-up here. A victory would give Tampa Bay its second win of the season against Kansas City, while giving them a tide of momentum going into Boston Tuesday.
Rays 6/16/13 Starting Lineup