Baseball games aren’t easy to win when you need to score touchdowns. But the Rays did that and more, putting up six in the ninth in their most impressive victory of the season on Saturday, 10-6 over Baltimore.
To score six runs in the ninth is impressive, but to score six runs in the ninth when Jim Johnson is pitching, that’s another. The Rays didn’t score a single run against Johnson last year, and hadn’t this year, until the ninth inning on Saturday.
The Rays don’t have a chance to come up with that incredible rally without fantastic work in relief by Alex Torres. It’s good to see him have that kind of performance. He’s come a long way after a tough 2012 season.
Hard to believe the Rays (22-20) now have a chance to sweep the series. It’s Matt Moore against Chris Tillman on Sunday. We begin our coverage at noon with This Week in Rays Baseball. Join us at the Guy Harvey Outpost of Tradewinds Island Resorts on St Pete Beach for our latest Rays Watch Party.
We’re now a quarter of the way through the season, and who would have thought at this point we’d be wondering, can the offense continue to carry the club, and will this team start pitching to its potential?
It certainly doesn’t sound like the last five years. I think most of us enjoy some offense every now and then, but would prefer a return to form, especially after Friday’s nail-biting 12-10 win in Baltimore.
It was great to see the Rays bounce back after the agonizing home loss on Thursday, but Friday should’ve been about a night to rest the “A” bullpen, and it was anything but. The Rays nearly squandered a 12-4 lead, and had to warm up Fernando Rodney and pitch Joel Peralta for the final four outs. That certainly could impact today’s game against the Orioles one would think.
Hopefully the Rays can continue to swing it well against Baltimore. It’s Roberto Hernandez going for the Rays today. Air time on the Rays Baseball Network is at 3:30. We’ll be at Crown Hyundai for a Rays Watch Party. Come join us!
It was so close to being an excellent home stand for the Rays. Instead, at 6-4, it was just an acceptable one, where the team had a chance to do so much more.
It started and ended with losses. And in each loss, the Rays had the opposition down to their final strike before a go-ahead extra-base hit. The latest was 4-3 to Boston, with three scoring with two out in the ninth.
The loss was not as much about Will Middlebrooks’ bases-loaded double with two-out in the ninth as it was about the three walks Fernando Rodney allowed to set up the game-winning rally.
It was unfortunate, because until that point, the Rays pitching staff had done its job. Alex Cobb was solid, and Joel Peralta as well as Jake McGee did their jobs too.
The Rays could have been, and feel they probably should have been 9-1 on the home stand, but 6-4 is what it is, and 20-20 is how they’ll head to Baltimore.
Airtime on the Rays Baseball Network is at 6:30 on Friday as the Rays visit the Orioles. Join us at our latest watch party at Midtown Sundries in St Petersburg.
Once David Price left Wednesday’s 9-2 loss to Boston in the third inning, the result of the game to me was secondary to the health of the Rays’ ace.
Joe Maddon addressed Price’s health after the game.
Just as Evan Longoria is an essential part of the Rays lineup, I believe that Price is a critical piece of the pitching staff. Yes Matt Moore has been terrific, and talented arms are down on the farm in Chris Archer and others, but Price is the most successful and seasoned Rays starter. To go the post-season, the Rays need Price to get healthy and return to form as a front-line pitcher.
After the game Price spoke about his injury.
What was strange about Price’s departure is that I thought he had his best fastball he’s had this year. In fact, the hard-hit balls against them were primarily on cutters, with the ground singles he allowed coming on fastballs at 94 or 95 miles per hour. Hopefully it’s not anything severe.
As for the rest of the game, it was great to see Cesar Ramos help the rest of the pen, and work three one-hit innings on 43 pitches. Another positive was Evan Longoria. Often, the true test of a team is how they play when they’re being blown out. Longoria tried to break up a double play in the eighth inning as if it was a one-run game, when in reality the Rays were down 9-2 at the time. Your leader leads by example as to how to play the game right, and I think Longoria did that on this night.
The Rays still have a chance to win the series if Alex Cobb can hold a tough Boston lineup in check on Thursday. Felix Doubront pitches for Boston, and air time on the Rays Baseball Network is at 6:30.
Another team win, another comeback win, and most impressive, this was against a division opponent.
Tuesday’s 5-3 victory over Boston was another step in the right direction for Joe Maddon’s team.
After Matt Moore allowed a three-run homer to David Ortiz in the first inning, he settled down and gave his team a chance. Moore and the bullpen allowed just one hit (a Stephen Drew double) over the final eight innings.
While Jake McGee walked two, Josh Lueke got a lineout to end the seventh, and Joel Peralta and Fernando Rodney each had perfect innings to close it out.
Offensively, the Rays put everything together in a five-run fourth. It was great to see Jose Molina and Yunel Escobar produce, with the pair collecting five of the team’s 11 hits.
With the help of Tropicana Field, Matt Joyce plated the winning run.
The Rays now are 20-18, two over .500 for the first time this year, after winning six straight. David Price takes the hill on Wednesday at 7:10 opposite Jon Lester. Air time on the Rays Baseball Network is at 6:30.
What a solid step forward for the Rays. The Rays now have bounced back with five straight wins after two consecutive losses. After the game Joe Maddon had much to praise about the team’s performance on Mother’s Day.
The latest, 4-2 over San Diego on Mother’s Day, was much more of a Rays-type victory, with pitching and defense first. Roberto Hernandez was solid, limiting damage over the first six innings.
The bullpen was formulaic, with McGee-Peralta-Rodney each doing their job.
The defense was terrific, with Sam Fuld and Matt Joyce taking away extra-base hits, and Yunel Escobar taking away a run-scoring hit in the fifth.
Offensively, the Rays weren’t perfect, but they accepted walks, and timely extra base hits in the late innings to come from behind for the third straight game against San Diego.
The Rays are 19-18, the first time they’ve been over .500 since they were 3-2. Now the Rays get a well-deserved day off on Monday before opening a series against the Red Sox on Tuesday at Tropicana Field. We’ll see you here. Air time on the Rays Baseball Network begins at 6:30 on Tuesday night with Matt Moore on the mound.
What a way to get to .500. It shows you how exhilirating and frustrating the game can be, all at one time.
While it was almost a defeat, it wasn’t. It was a win, a thrilling victory. A close victory, a last at-bat victory, and you’ve now won four straight for only the second time this season, and are at .500 for the first time since you were 3-3. After the game Joe Maddon spoke about the walk-off win and what it means for the team.
I always feel that first and last impressions are quite important. For Jeremy Hellickson, many will remember the two-run homer in the first, and the grand slam he gave up in the seventh, and not how close he was to a quality start. Hopefully it’s a good learning experience.
For the Rays offensively, it was another game where the club won by out-hitting the opposition. That being the case, I think Cesar Ramos also was a shining star too. He threw 2.1 scoreless against his former organization on only 17 pitches. The fact that he threw a 1-2-3 ninth on four pitches allowed Huston Street little time to get ready, and who knows how that impacted what happened leading up to Evan Longoria’s walk-off home run.
Either way, the Rays can get over .500 for the first time since they were 3-2 on Mother’s Day. It’s Roberto Hernandez against Eric Stults. Air time on the Rays Baseball Network is at noon with This Week in Rays Baseball, pregame at 1 pm, and first pitch at 1:40.
It certainly was an odd first game between the Rays and Padres on Friday night. But it also was a record-setting game, and a third straight victory, 6-3 over San Diego.
Joe Maddon spoke about the records as well as the quality all-around play he got from his team.
The Rays struck out 18 San Diego hitters, 13 by starter Alex Cobb. There must have been a full moon though. How else do you explain it was a game where the Rays didn’t get five innings out of their starter for the first time this year, yet found a way to win? How also do you explain an inning where the Rays pitching staff didn’t allow a ball to be put in play, yet allows a run without walking or hitting a batter?
The things that were impressive were that the Rays bullpen was extremely sharp, and for the second straight day, the Rays won against the opposing bullpen, with four runs in the seventh inning.
Josh Lueke, who was called up from Durham today, also got in on the action.
Now the Rays are 17-18, within a game of .500 with Jeremy Hellickson starting on Saturday, a 6:10 first pitch. Coverage on the Rays Baseball Network begins at 5:30. Don’t forget, it’s our first concert night, with Kenny Loggins performing after the game. Go to raysbaseball.com/concerts for tickets.
After splitting a four game series with Toronto, the Rays open up a three-game interleague series with the San Diego Padres. The Rays are 2-1 in interleague play this season, having won a series in Colorado last weekend. Tonight is the first interleague game of the season for the Padres, winners of 11 of their last 14 games.
Join us at 6:30 for the Rays Radio pregame show on 620 AM or 95.3 FM in Tampa Bay, or along our network. Find your local affiliate: RaysBaseball.com/Radio
For the Rays to be a contending team, they need David Price to be David Price, and for Fernando Rodney to be closer to the 2012 form than what he’s been like the first month. It was a step forward for both players and a win in a tight game.
There was much to like therefore about Thursday’s 5-4 10-inning win over the Jays, which gave the Rays a hard-earned split in the series.
Price was better. His velocity was up with more pitches at 94-95 mph, but I still would like to see him use the fastball more. He threw just 50 fastballs of 117 pitches, and I think he had the stuff where he could have gone the distance and won in nine with more fastball usage.
Jose Molina, who was hit by a ball on his right knee, was also impressed with Price’s outing.
Rodney looked more like the record setting closer, hitting 100, and throwing a ball by Melky Cabrera to send it to extras. It also was a step forward for Kyle Farnsworth, as he threw a 1-2-3 10th, retiring Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion in the process.
Joe Maddon was happy with the win, including Luke Scott’s walk-off walk.
This team is far from the finished product, but at 16-18, with all the issues, they’re now only 4.5 GB of the Yankees, Red Sox and Orioles in the AL East.
Now the Rays welcome the Padres to town starting on Friday at 7:10. Air time on the Rays Baseball Network at 6:30.