Rays Fall To Phillies, Drop to 1-7-1

CLEARWATER, FL - MARCH 06: Pitcher Jake McGee #57 of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies during a Grapefruit League Spring Training Game at Bright House Field on March 6, 2011 in Sarasota, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)

Spring Training win/loss records don't generally mean too much. Yes, in the two seasons the Rays have won the division they've had excellent spring records, but these games are usually finished by players who will not see any significant time in the Majors during the season.That being said...a win would be nice.

Today's loss makes it eight games in a row the Rays have come away empty handed. They were tied head into the ninth inning, but Brian Baker was unable to get out of the inning unscathed . The Phillies had a man on first and attempted to bunt him over. J.J. Furmaniak fielded the ball but made a low throw and first basemen Leslie Anderson bobbled it allowing both runners to be safe. After a successful sac bunt, Joe Maddon brought in a fifth infielder to help prevent a run from scoring on a ground ball. That ploy would be rendered moot as the Phillies laced a hit into right field, winning the game.

Losses are never fun, but there were some positive things to take away from this game:

  • From what I was able to watch on MLB.tv, Wade Davis pitched pretty well. He did allow a home run to Ryan Howard, but that was mostly aided by the stiff breeze blowing to out to right field. He struck out two and didn't walk any in his two innings.
  • Juan Cruz and Jake McGee had strong showings, each striking out two batters in their innings of work.
  • I was interested to see how Matt Joyce would handle facing Cliff Lee. If Joyce wants more regular playing time this season he'll have to do an adequate job against southpaws. His first at bat against Lee was impressive. He made good contact in fouling off an inside pitch and ended up ripping a hanging curveball into right field for a single.
  • Sean Rodriguez continued to make his claim for the best spring training player in franchise history by hitting a double and picking up two RBI.
  • Better days will be seen for Robinson Chirinos who went 0-3 with 3ks.
  • Those of you who watched more of the game than I was able to, what were your observations?
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