It was nice to see the Rays pick up a win Sunday to conclude a three-game series which has been a nightmare. Fernando Rodney blew yet another ninth-inning lead Saturday, handing Tampa Bay a series loss against the first-place New York Yankees rather than a key series victory. The loss was such a painful one that I couldn’t even recap the game.
Luckily Sunday afternoon’s contest did not come down to a save situation, so the Rays were able to actually hold a lead.
Alex Cobb had one of his better starts yet, going 8.1 innings deep in his what was a stellar outing. Cobb allowed just two runs (both in the ninth inning) on five hits while striking out eight and walking none. His fastball command was very sharp, as he threw 78 strikes out of 118 pitches while getting 13 groundballs to just two flyballs.
After two rather slow games offensively to begin the series, the Rays’ bats woke up against Yankees ace C.C. Sabathia. Tampa exploded for seven runs off New York’s big southpaw, highlighted by two-run homers by Sean Rodriguez and James Loney, as well as RBI hits from Jose Lobaton and Yunel Escobar.
On a not-so-positive note from this ballgame, Cesar Ramos’ struggles continued. He has his hot and cold streaks, and he’s pretty cold right now. He faced three batters in the top of the ninth, walking two of them and letting up a two-run double. Joel Peralta then came in to clean up the mess, striking out the next two batters to end the game.
The Rays finally get a break from the tough AL East and head to Miami to take on baseball’s worst team; the Marlins. Monday’s ballgame will be a battle of talented young arms, as Jose Fernandez (2-2, 3.31 ERA) takes on Jake Odorizzi (0-0, 5.40) in his second start; first pitch at 3:10 ET.
Rays News and Notes:
- The Rays still appear to be sticking with Fernando Rodney as the closer for now:
As long as Fernando doesn’t lose confidence in himself, I’m not going to lose confidence in him.
— Joe Maddon (@RaysJoeMaddon) May 26, 2013
- Rodney’s mechanics appear to be the issue this year, in particular his new toe-tapping habit.
- David Price feels “great”, but won’t be coming off the DL this Friday when he’s eligible, as it’ll likely take him a few more days before he’s able to make a rehab start.
- These are the camo unis that the Rays will be wearing today in honor of Memorial Day.
- Around the AL East: Both the Red Sox and Blue Jays (against Baltimore) capped off comeback victories with two-run walkoff doubles.
- Toronto’s Munenori Kawasaki, who had the walkoff winner for the Jays, delivered this memorable postgame speech: