Despite stranding 12 men on the bags and David Price’s relative rough outing, the Rays came from behind to beat the Mariners in grand fashion Wednesday night — defeating Seattle by a score of 5-4 thanks to a game ending Jason Bourgeois walk-off single. This, my friends, felt like a Rays win. I live blogged the game from the $9.53 seats — you can read the blow-by-blow account at our Tumblr site. Otherwise, it’s time for another edition of The Good, the Bad, and the Argyle: A Bulleted game summary.
- The obvious, Tampa Bay came from behind to win the game in walk-off fashion. The Rays had runners in scoring position in three innings (fourth, sixth, and eighth) prior to the ninth, yet they largely squandered those scoring opportunities — I’ll talk about that below. But everything changed in the ninth, and it all started with a huge Ben Zobrist triple off the railing in right-field. BenZo’s hit was reviewed upon the request of Joe Maddon, though the umpires determined it stayed in the park. Matt Joyce knotted the game up at four when he slapped an RBI base hit to center, driving in Zo. Evan Longoria was next to join in on the fun, moving Joyce to third on a double up the left field line. The Mariners manager apparently hasn’t read the scouting report on the Rays when opposing pitchers walk the bases loaded — he called for Danny Farquhar to intentionally walked Wil Myers, consequently loading the bases with no outs bringing Jason Bourgeois to the plate. I understand the line of reasoning: Bourgeois has pathetic career splits in high-leverage situations — he’s hitting a paltry .218, has ground into four double plays, and struck out six times. However, he played the part of walk-off hero on this fateful eve, mashing a hard hit RBI single to right, and plating Joyce for the winning run.
- Welcome back, Wil. After being in the throes of an 0-14 streak, Myers put the Rays back in the game with one swing of the bat in the sixth inning, hitting a two-run shot to left-field.
- How ’bout the relievers? After David Price ended his 7 IP outing by putting a pair of goose eggs on the board, Jake McGee and Joel Peralta came on in relief and shut the Mariners down. Allowing only one hit between the two while striking out two.
- The top of the order was productive. Ben Zobrist, Matt Joyce, Evan Longoria, James Loney, and Wil Myers went a combined 8-21 with a double, triple, homer, and four walks. The front five drove in four runs while crossing the plate five times.
- The Rays gained ground on the Red Sox and widened the gap between the Orioles, thanks to a pair of losses by Boston and Baltimore.
- Sean Rodriguez and Ryan Roberts…oof. The dynamic duo played the part of rally killer in a pair of innings, combining to go a combined 0-3 with three strikeouts.
- Too many squandered opportunities to score runs off a pitcher who was having command issues, among other things. The Rays hitters made Harang look like Cy Young over the course of his six inning outing, while he struck out five and induced weak contact. Harang had an antsy lineup swinging ahead of pitches, consequently inducing more than a handful of weakly hit poppers and grounders. In fact, he handcuffed the Rays and held them hitless into the fourth inning. Beyond that, they couldn’t produce with consistency with runners in scoring position, including a bases loaded scenario in the eighth.
- Luke Scott: 0-2 with a strikeout. ‘Nuff said.
- Of David Price’s outing, Gareth Ross of DRaysBay said it best, “Price was not as sharp as he has been recently but still managed to work deep into the game, throwing 117 pitches in seven innings of ball.” Despite giving up four runs, the Rays ace kept the Rays in the game — at one point retiring 12 consecutive batters between the first and fifth innings.
The New What Next
The Rays will attempt to win their second consecutive game, and the series, Thursday night. Alex Cobb will make his long awaited return to the mound after incurring a concussion on a line drive comebacker in June. He’ll be opposed by Joe Saunders. You can read about the pitching match-up here.
Rays 8/15/Starting Lineup
- Matt Moore felt some minor discomfort in his elbow 30-40 pitches into his second bullpen session yesterday. Because of it, he will not be coming off the DL Saturday as initially hoped. Moore described the discomfort, “It doesn’t feel right from the aspect of throwing 30-40 pitches into my bullpen, I’m not at a place I would normally be 30-40 pitches in my bullpen,” Moore said. “It’s kind of like picking a scab. It’s good until I pick that scab once. I should say it’s great until I pick that scab once, then it kind of just turns into, ‘Okay, this is just good, my arm doesn’t feel 100 percent right now.’ ” With Moore not being ready, it’s looking like the rotation for the upcoming series against the Blue Jays will be Hellickson (Friday), Hernandez (Saturday), and Archer (Sunday). This could be a busy weekend for the bullpen, as the upcoming three starters have been spotty in their last three starts.
- Alex Cobb has been reinstated from the DL ahead of his start tonight. In order to make room for him on the 25 and 40-man roster, the Rays have decided to DFA Ryan Roberts.
- Stephen Nohlgren of the Tampa Bay Times writes, “Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig told team owners Thursday that he may intervene in stadium talks between the Tampa Bay Rays and the city of St. Petersburg,” going on to say Selig, is “strongly considering” sending a representative from his office to intervene in the negotiations.” The commissioner’s office occasionally has injected itself in other local stadium disputes, including a committee that for years has tried to find a new stadium for the Oakland A’s. A major league vice president took an active role in stadium negotiations between the Marlins and the city of Miami. Noah Pransky questions whether this means much to anything, at least at the moment, considering that this isn’t his first “saber-rattling in Tampa Bay.”