The over-matched and undermanned Rays continued to persevere this week going 3-3 in losing a series to the Washington Nationals and thanks to a Sunday doubleheader sweep won the series versus the Phillies. The week included the news that Evan Longoria had a setback in his rehab assignment, Matt Joyce was placed on the disabled list, and the Rays lost Joel Peralta to a suspension for 8 games after being caught with pine tar in his glove. Despite all the adversity the Rays finish the week with a record of 40-32 and are in 3rd place in the AL East trailing the New York Yankees by 3.5 games and remaining 1 game behind the Baltimore Orioles.
Interleague Over: Rays finish at 5-5
The Interleague portion of the season is finally coming to an end. The records for teams in the AL East: New York Yankees (13-5), Boston Red Sox (11-7), Baltimore Orioles (11-7), and the Toronto Blue Jays (9-9).
Upcoming Schedule: Pitching Matchups vs Tigers to be determined.
The Rays will head to Kansas City to take on the Royals before returning home to host the Detroit Tigers in a 4 game series. The pitching matchups in Kansas City will be Alex Cobb vs Luke Hochevar, Chris Archer vs Bruce Chen, and Matt Moore vs Vin Mazzaro..
AL East Upcoming Schedules:
The Baltimore Orioles will host the L.A. Angels for 2 games and the Cleveland Indians for 4.
The Toronto Blue Jays travel to Boston for 3 against the Red Sox before returning home to take on the LA Angels for 4.
The Boston Red Sox will host the Toronto Blue Jays for 3 games and then head out west to face the Seattle Mariners for 4 games.
June 18th: Option Brandon Gomes to AAA Durham.
June 19th: Recalled Rich Thompson from AAA Durham and placed Jeremy Hellickson on the 15-day disabled list.
June 20th: Called up Chris Archer from AAA Durham.
June 22nd: Placed Matt Joyce on the 15-day disabled list, recalled Brandon Gomes from AAA Durham, activated Jeff Keppinger from the disabled list, sent Rich Thompson to AAA Durham, activated Brooks Conrad, and designated Drew Sutton for assignment. Joel Peralta dropped his appeal and began serving his 8 game suspension.
Evan Longoria removed himself from his rehabilitation stint in Durham after 1 plate appearance on Tuesday evening.
Kyle Farnsworth was scheduled to work back to back games in Port Charlotte which would mark the first time in his rehab that he has pitched in back to back games. Unfortunately, the weather washed out Sunday's game so the Rays will push his back-to-back appearances to Monday/Tuesday (weather permitting).
Luke Scott reports that he will need a few games of rehab assignment since he still "isn't on the fastball." He will begin a 2 day rehab assignment in Durham today and then will be reevaluated. A return versus the Tigers is probable.
What Does Sternfan1 Have To Say:
G'morning Rays fans As you know throughout the years I say what's on my mind, good or bad, right or wrong. I was prepared to stick a fork in this team and the season before today's double header versus Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee. Can anyone tell me honestly they envisioned a DH sweep against those two LHP's? I'm happy to say not only am I excited and happy at the outcome but I see it as a season impact day in a positive manner as much as a DH loss would have been in the negative direction in regards to the season. Now we're eight games up on 500 (yes Mr Collette, 8 games) instead of four had we lost.
We at the worst gained a half game on the Yankees, maybe more depending the outcome of their late game, and hold onto third place and the second WC spot in the AL.
It's back to AL ball now and the Kansas City Royals where we just might get Luke Scott back at some point with Matt Joyce and Kyle Farnsworth right around the corner.
I'm re-energized at this point. How 'bout you? As always
Game recaps after the jump
Tuesday, June 19th: Rays 5 Nationals 4
David Price provided the Rays with a solid effort going 7 innings giving up 4R/3ER to pick up his 9th win on the season. Joel Peralta was caught with pine tar in his glove and ejected from the game setting off a war of words with Nationals manager Davey Johnson.
Joe Maddon on the incident:
"It's kind of a common practice that people have done this for years," Maddon said. "To point one guy out because he had pitched here a couple of years it's probably common knowledge based on that. "So I thought it was a real cowardly - and I've used that word twice this year." - tbo.com
Joel Peralta on incident:
"I talked to some of the guys," Peralta said. "They feel bad about what happened to me. They’re angry on that side, too. They know who I am and they’re angry, too." -washingtonpost.com
"It was a rumor that he liked a little pine tar," Johnson said. "I was hesitant to do it. (Tschida) was looking at me kind of grinning. He said, 'What do you want?' I walked out and said, 'Why don't you check it, just to make sure. I'm curious.'" - tbo.com
Wednesday, June 20th: Washington 3 Rays 2
Chris Archer made his major league debut and was very effective in delivering 6 innings of 3R/1ER baseball. The Nationals, with Stephen Strasburg on the mound, took advantage of the Rays defense in putting up 3 runs in the first.
Chris Archer on advice he received from Carlos Pena:
"Mentally, I kind of slipped in the first," Archer said. "Then Carlos Pena came up to me in between innings and said, 'Look, this battle isn't against the Washington Nationals. This battle's against yourself, and tonight you need to conquer yourself.'""After that talk with Pena, I pitched pretty well," Archer said. "The leadership and everything, for him to take me aside and just have that conversation with me, it was awesome." -mlb.com
Thursday, June 21st: Washington 5 Rays 2
Gio Gonzalez and Matt Moore each surrendered 2 runs with Gonzalez working 6 innings and Moore only 5. The Nationals added 2 runs in the 6th of Joel Peralta and 1 off Wade Davis in the 7th to take the game 5-2 and win the series.
B.J. Upton on his defensive miscue:
"You know what? That's just bad court awareness by me," Upton said. "I've got to get the ball out of my hands right there. ... It was just a mental lapse. Bottom line." - mlb.com
Joe Maddon on the Rays continued defensive lapses:
"We normally play very good defense," he said. "The mental mistakes are the part that's devastating. Physical mistakes happen to everybody on a daily basis. Every Major League game, you're going to see plenty of physical mistakes. You're going to see some mental ones, too, but you don't want to see those. Today we were just chock-full of them." - mlb.com
Saturday, June 23rd: Phillies 7 Rays 6
Jeff Keppinger returns to the lineup with a 5-5 effort. The Rays overcome a poor outing by James Shields to tie the game at 6-6 but Jim Thome hit a leadoff walkoff homer off Jake McGee to give the Phillies a 7-6 victory. The walkoff homer gives Thome the ML record with 13.
Sunday, June 24th (Game 1): Phillies 1 Rays 0
It appeared to be one of those days when the script was that David Price was good but Cole Hamels was better. David Price gave the Rays7 solid innings allowing 1R/1ER on 4 hits while striking out 8 and walking 3. The only mistake he made on the day was allowing a solo homer to Jimmy Rollins in the bottom of the sixth. Hamels was equally tough for the Phillies pitching 7 scoreless innings allowing only 3 hits while striking out 7 and walking 3.
Carlos Pena put the Rays ahead 3-1 on a 3-run homer in the top of the 8th off Antonio Bastardo but the Phillies came back to get a run off Burke Badenhop in the bottom of 8th. In an unusual move Joe Maddon issued an intentional walk to Jim Thome to load the bases and put the go-ahead run in scoring position. Jake McGee made the move pay off by getting Michael Martinez to fly out to end the inning. Fernando Rodney worked the 9th for his 21st save on the year.
Carlos Pena on his at-bat vs Bastardo:
"I know [Bastardo] has a very good fastball, and I felt like I put together a pretty good at-bat against him [in Saturday's game], just missed him," Pena said. "And I knew also he was a little bit wild. He walked B.J. in front of me.
"At the same time in that situation, I want to make sure I'm ready to hit. If I got a pitch I could drive, I wanted to put a good swing on it -- so I was ready for the fastball. It wasn't exactly a great pitch to hit, but I hit it -- and I hit it well enough." - mlb.com
Sunday, June 24th (Game 2): Rays 7 Phillies 3
Cesar Ramos, Wade Davis, Brandon Gomes, and J.P. Howell combined to hold the Phillies to 3 runs and Brooks Conrad led the offense with a pair of RBI doubles off Cliff Lee to lead the Rays to a doubleheader sweep in a 7-3 victory over the Phillies.
Brooks Conrad on being a member of the Rays organization:
"It feels good," Conrad said. "I was just fired up when Tampa claimed me. I just heard great things about the organization. I came real close to coming here in the offseason as a free agent. So it feels great, come over here and help the team right away. Get in and get a chance to play a little bit. It's a great feeling, man. What a team we've got here." - mlb.com
Joe Maddon on the pitching changes:
"Everything, man, just trying to piece that all together, when was the right time to take Ramos out," Maddon said. "Gomer was the hero, outstanding, really cool in some hot situations. A lot of little subplots working today, pretty much what you would call a team victory." - mlb.com