The Rays are in seventh heaven? Yeah, that sounds cheesy. Regardless, Tampa Bay is now on a seven game winning streak following an almost flawless start by Alex Cobb who, as Orestes Destrade calls it, had a super quality outing. Posting a 7 IP/4 H/1 ER/2 BB/5 K line, Cobb threw 91 pitches (59 for strikes) and at one point went on streak, throwing 20 first pitch strikes. Cobber ended the night by throwing 22 of his 26 first pitches for strikes. And save for a shaky fifth inning where Eric Thames drove home Trayvon Robinson on an RBI single that followed Robinson’s triple, Cobb was king. The rookie right-hander induced ground ball after ground ball, 11 all told. Bulleted highlights are below.
- Damn, BJ Upton is on a tear of late. Upton went 1-5, which isn’t so impressive. BUT he hit another tater, (13) this time good for two runs.
- The Rays king of consistency, Ben Zobrist, had another monster night at the plate, going 3-4 with a double and an RBI.
- Desmond Jennings went 2-4 with a walk, an RBI, and a run.
- Sam Fuld who hit ninth and the first four hitters were unarguably the offense last night, going (a combined) 8-21 with four runs, four RBI, and two stolen bases.
- Lightning does strike twice. Jose Molina, who’s incidentally perfected the art of the stop, drop, and roll slide technique, had another stolen base. How he (of all people) steals a base yet Jennings gets thrown out in a stolen base attempt is beyond me.
- Joel Peralta in the eighth and Fernando Rodney in the ninth = rad! The dynamic duo tag-teamed to get the last six outs of the game, striking out five, and only giving up a hit.
The New What Next
The Rays enter tonight’s game five games behind the Yankees in the East, and a half game ahead in the AL wildcard race, tied with Baltimore. Matt Moore (9-7, 3.73 ERA) will to the rubber for the Rays. He’s been lights out since the All-Star Break, going 4-1 with 1.47 ERA, allowing only one run and 12 hits while striking out 18 over 17 2/3 innings during his three-game winning streak. I’d imagine that Evan Longoria would be back in the lineup since he’s put up good numbers against Kevin Millwood, (4-10, 4.38 ERA) going 3-6 with a double, a homer, and a pair of runs batted in. Keppinger has been a bit of a thorn in the side of Millwood as well. You’ve got to bet that Tampa Bay will be aggressive at the plate tonight, especially considering that Millwood only lasted four innings while giving up seven earned runs against the Orioles last week. They’ll need to win tonight considering who they’re going up against tomorrow. As always, Let’s Go Rays!
Rays 8/14/12 Starting Lineup