The Tampa Bay Rays were ultimately able to walk away from Friday night’s game against the Baltimore Orioles with their heads held high, even if the outcome was less than operative. We should all be thankful that the Rays offense was able to step up, tagging the Orioles for 12 runs on 17 hits and five walks. After all, both Jeremy Hellickson and Kyle Farnsworth did something that they’ve been want to do all season, give up a sizable number of runs late in the game. I’ll go more in-depth below, in a segment I like to call The Good, Bad, and the Argyle: A Game Summary.
- 12 runs on 17 hits and five walks. The Rays were able to prove their inability to score runs off the Boston Red Sox was not the start of a trend that many a Rays fan has become familiar with over the last few seasons. Tampa Bay was able to score runs in four different innings, holding their feet to the throats of the Orioles pitchers all night. It all started in the first inning when Matt Joyce, Ben Zobrist, and Evan Longoria went back-to-back-to-back with a single, a double, and a sac fly to plate a run. Then Zobrist hit a single to start off the third inning, and was moved to third on a Longoria single to right. James Loney plated a run on a sac fly to left. Hammel walked Luke Scott and promptly gave up a three-run — 380 ft — homer to Kelly Johnson, giving the Rays a 5-3 lead. After striking out Longoria to start the fifth inning, Hammel gave up a single to Loney and a walk to Scott, moving Loney into scoring position. With a pair of runners on base and only one out, Johnson sent a single to deep right-field, plating a run and moving Scott to third. Alex Burnett came on in relief of Hammel and walked Jose Lobaton. With two on base, Yunel Escobar blistered a two-RBI ground rule double to deep center. Desmond Jennings would cap the Rays scoring in the sixth with a two-RBI single to center. But the Rays weren’t done scoring. Burnett came back out in the sixth, and quickly gave up a ground rule double to Longoria. Buck Showalter had seen enough, pulling Burnett in favor of Troy Patton who wasn’t much better. Patton went on to give up a single to Loney, an RBI sac-fly to Scott, a double to Johnson, and an RBI single to Escobar, giving the Rays an eight run lead to send the sixth.
- The Rays went 6-for-12 wRISP Friday night, scoring eight runs with two outs.
- When Longoria, Loney, and Zobrist are consistent, they’re deadly. The Rays triple-threat combined to go 6-for-12, scoring five runs while driving in two. Kelly Johnson was pretty great as well, coming within a mere of hitting for the cycle. Johnson ended the night going 3-for-5 with a single, a double, and a homer, while scoring twice and plating four runs.
- Don’t look now, but Longoria is on an 11-game hitting streak.
- I don’t want to sour on Hellickson. To be fair, he was pretty great between the second and eighth innings. Helly settled down after giving up three runs in the front two innings, at one point retiring eight in a row. He didn’t have a great feel for his curveball to start the game, but he would ultimately be able to throw it for strikes almost 79% of the time. He was also able to attack hitters with his four-seam fastball and change-up, throwing each for strikes 68% of the time.
- Joel Peralta = savior. Peralta came on in relief of Kyle Farnsworth who was initially tasked with getting the final out of the eighth inning. Peralta wouldn’t relinquish a hit or a walk in his 1-1/3 inning — 16 pitch (11 for strikes) — outing, lowering his ERA to 1.83. Say what you will about Peralta, who’s had a few shaky outings this season. If ever you needed any validation for his recent off-season contract extension, look no further than last night’s — GAME SAVING — outing.
- Jeremy Hellickson and Kyle Farnsworth, oy vey. I know it’s irrational to say this, but both seem to have a masochistic streak. Hellickson can’t seem to avoid the big inning to save his soul, while Farnsworth (editors note: he will now be called Farnsworthless until he can straighten out his act) can’t seem to get an out. The Orioles eighth inning scoring summary (below) speaks volumes:
- Ian Malinowski of DRaysBay asserts that, “Farnsworth has not looked good. These might be the type of struggles that get worked out in triple-A, if at all.” Here-here.
- Didn’t I say that a certain someone would be stoked for the camouflage themed road trip. Per the times,
The Rays camo-themed road trip to Baltimore was right “up the alley” for DH Luke Scott, an avid hunter, who brought a rifle bag along. “Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to bring my props,” he said, smiling. But Scott joked INF Ryan Roberts‘ tattoo-covered body makes him a natural. “Technically, he can just take off his shirt and he’d be camouflaged enough,” Scott said. ” ‘Tatman’ is his own camouflage, so to speak. He’s camo full-time.”
The New What Next
Roberto Hernandez and the Rays aim to win their second consecutive game, against Jair Jurrjens and the Orioles Saturday afternoon. You can read more on the match-up here.
Rays 5/18/12 Starting Lineup
- Don’t forget, Saturday’s game is nationally televised on Fox.
- We’ve yet to put our stamp of approval on any band this season. That changes now. Today I offer you streaming audio from Baltimore’s Dead Mechanical. Their new album OK Night is set to drop in July. Have an affinity for gritty pop-punk and 90’s influenced indie rock? Then Dead Mechanical is right up your alley. Their last album was excellent, and if the two songs (linked below) are any indication, this one will be great as well.