The Rays Tank: Stay Hot, Baltimore

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 13: Elliott Johnson #9 of the Tampa Bay Rays hits a solo home run in eighth inning during a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on May 13, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

To all the mother's out there, Happy Mother's Day! To all the college students that graduated this past weekend, congrats! The Rays weren't terribly impressive this weekend, but at least they snuck one out for all the mom's watching.

Quick hits:

  • It's cute when an upstart team starts off the year hot -- aww, just look at them playing like contenders! -- but it's less fun when they continue their hot ways against your favorite team. After this past series, the Orioles are looking a lot less fun right now, and here's hoping they realize soon that they're supposed to be an easy team for the Rays to beat. I'm really not looking forward to there being five competitive teams in the AL East...

    That said, here's hoping the Orioles keep it going at least one series longer. The Yankees come to town today, and considering the Rays won't have it easy against the Blue Jays, some help from the O's would be great.
  • Desmond Jennings is healing slowly from his knee injury, and it sounds as though the Rays are somewhat regretting not putting him on the DL. He's recovering slower than expected, and although he's not getting any worse, he's not exactly improving much either. He's still technically day-to-day, but I wonder how much longer the Rays are willing to do that if Jennings doesn't start improving faster.
  • Would the Rays ever throw a starter two days in a row, even if they only threw a handful of pitches one day? The Rangers did that this weekend with C.J. Wilson, and it sounds as though Joe Maddon wouldn't do that even if the opportunity arose. The Rays play things extra safe with their starters, and I can't say I blame them.
  • Red Sox fans seemingly crave for scapegoats, and this season Josh Beckett has been saddled with that burden. Since John Lackey is out for the year, Sox fans haven't had an unlikable pitcher to complain about...so they've turned on Beckett. As Dave Cameron points out, though, it seems as though Beckett's struggles are tied to his decreased velocity, and it suggests there's likely something physically wrong with him. Man, can you imagine that rotation if they lose yet another starter?
  • Is it just me, or does Johnny Damon seem unusually knowledgeable about his own stats and his place in baseball history? Nah, it's not like the Hall of Fame is weighing on his mind at all. Of course not...
  • This is somewhat intuitive research, but pitchers do actually throw harder in warm weather, and they do lose steam as a game goes on. There's plenty of other good stuff in that piece, though, so be sure to check it out. Max Marchi is one of the better analysts around these days.
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