A wise man once said, “A win is a win is a win.” And though Joel Peralta and Fernando Rodney made Tuesday night’s 4-3 victory against the Blue Jays interesting, the Rays won and that’s all that really matters. Tampa Bay will walk into the rubber-match against Toronto three games over .500 once more, and 4-1 on their current road trip. You guessed it, it’s time for another episode of The Good, The Bad, and the Argyle: A Game Summary.
- Alex Cobb puts together another solid performance. Cobb looked outstanding Tuesday night, posting a 6.1 IP/3 H/1 R/1 ER/2 BB/2 K/1 HR slash line on 107 pitches (70 for strikes). Cobb was a ground ball generating machine, inducing 13 grounders-for-outs in his 6-1/3 inning outing. His middle inning collapse a couple of weeks back is now all but a faint memory, as Cobb proved once more that he is able to make adjustments on the fly. This time around, Alex led with his two-seam fastball and his changeup, throwing both for strikes 64% and 79% (respectively) of the time. With the exception of three mistakes left up in the zone and a pair of walks, Cobb was flawless.
- Defense, defense, defense. In the spirit of full disclosure, I’m not referring to either Evan Longoria’s throwing error or Ryan Roberts’ fielding error. I am, however, referring to a pair of outfield gems and pair of excellent plays by Yunel Escobar. Edwin Encarnacion tried to leg out a double in the bottom of the first inning, but was gunned down by Kelly Johnson who fired a bullet to Ben Zobrist. Zo promptly put down the tag, and cough… the umpires got the call right this time around! Meanwhile Desmond Jennings tracked down a well struck Adam Lind fly-ball to center, getting the first out of the second inning. Escobar made a diving stop on a ball that easily could have gone for a base hit, while also helping to turn an outstanding double play to get the Rays out of an eighth inning jam — throwing a bullet to James Loney while flying through the air.
- Kelly Johnson now leads the AL in outfield assists with five.
- It should be noted that both Kelly Johnson and Desmond Jennings followed their excellent plays in the field with home runs in the innings that proceded. Kelly Johnson sent a one-run blast deep to center-field in the second inning, giving Tampa Bay a 2-0 lead. Desmond Jennings went yard to lead-off the third inning, sending a blast to left-field while extending the Rays lead to 3-0.
- Evan Longoria extends the streak. Longo went 2-4 with a pair of runs Tuesday night. He extended his hitting streak to 15 consecutive games in the second inning, on a double to left-field.
- Jake McGee continues to improve. McGee looked great, stringing together a 2/3 of an inning outing, striking out DeRosa in relief of Alex Cobb.
- The Rays were only able to put four runs on the board, even though other scoring opportunities presented themselves. Tampa Bay went 1-6 wRISP while grounding into four double plays. The bulk of their scoring came in the second and third innings, with the Rays offense being held in check — thanks in part to the aforementioned double plays — from the fourth inning on.
- What in the hell was that, Joel Peralta and Fernando Rodney?! The dynamic duo certainly made things interesting, combining for two innings of three hit, two walk, two run ball. Charged with a run, Peralta walked the front two hitters of the eighth inning before giving up a single to Jose Bautista which scored Kawasaki. After loading the bases, Rodney was called on in relief of Peralta. Charged with the task of getting the final two outs of the eighth, Rodney induced a double play on one pitch. But Rodney would also make every collective Rays fan sweat bullets in the ninth inning after giving up a double to Colby Rasmus — who eventually scored on a wild pitch — while walking Kawasaki before striking out Melky Cabrera looking.
- How about that sellout crowd at the Rogers Center Tuesday night?! Man, a whopping 15,802 fans crammed into the Rogers Center, leaving only a few standing room seats in the wake. Could someone please tell me why there’s no consternation surrounding the Blue Jays obvious attendance woes? Where are the dip-shits at ESPN when you need them?!
- Matt Joyce was removed from the game with left hamstring tightness. Per a tweet from Marc Topkin, “Maddon said Joyce, who left with right hamstring tightness, should be fine. Wouldn’t have started Wednesday vs. Buehrle anyway.
The New What Next
The Rays will attempt to take their second straight series Wednesday night with Jeremy Hellickson on the mound. Hellboy will butt heads with Mark Buehrle who the Rays beat up on in their first series meeting with the Jays. You can read more on the pitching match-up here.
Rays 5/22/13 Starting Lineup
- Jose Molina is back in the thick of things, after sitting out the last few games because of hamstring tightness. Evan Longoria will be handling the DH duties — as expected — hitting fourth, while Ryan Roberts takes over third-base hitting second.
- We will be taking orders shortly, for a small press of X-Rays Spex designed shirts (see the design below). Until then, we’re trying to get a feel for how many shirts to print. Odds are good that we’ll sell them for cost; figure $5.00 or $6.00 — depending on printing costs. Please let us know whether you’d be interested in a shirt — and what size — so we can get the ball rolling. You can leave a comment below, or contact us directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org We’ll be creating a PayPal link in the next few days/weeks, and taking orders some time thereafter.