In a much-needed gift to the bullpen, Roberto Hernandez went 8.2 innings last night on 92 pitches, only giving up one run (unearned) and three hits, with five strikeouts and zero walks. Mind you, yes, it was the Marlins, but considering the two previous games where both Jake Odorizzi and Jeremy Hellickson got knocked out early and caused for heavy bullpen usage, last night was as I said, a gift.
It also felt much more like Rays games of old, with strong pitching leading the way to a win, and the offense getting just enough to help the pitching. The Rays managed three runs off seven hits, scoring early then notching an insurance run in the seventh. With Hernandez's solid start, more wasn't needed.
Fernando Rodney came on for a one-out save, much to the chagrin of the masses on Twitter, but elicited a warning track fly ball from Derek Dietrich, got the out, and notched the save. Painless 3-1 win over the Marlins.
In Ian's post game recap he made an interesting observation, as Hernandez used his slider 24% of the time last night. In his career, he's only thrown his slider 12% of the time, and until last night, has seemingly followed those career numbers this season. For the full pitching breakdown of both starters and game recap, head here.
After the game the Rays shuffled the rotation for the next two games, with Marc Topkin providing the initial information:
#rays will start Colome on Thursday, move Moore to Friday. Cobb has problem with fingernail— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) May 30, 2013
#Rays Cobb said has small cut between nail and finger, started bleeding during last start. Cudn't throw off speed pitches in bullpen today— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) May 30, 2013
Cobb explained that he "developed ‘a little split' between the nail and edge of his finger" while pitching in Sunday's game against the Yankees, and pushed his bullpen session back a day due to the minor injury.
While throwing Wednesday, he felt too uncomfortable to confidently start Friday:
"Curveball and changeup both would have hurt," Cobb said. "Fastball felt fine, but I didn't feel comfortable going into the game without knowing if I'd be able to throw my off-speed pitches."
He's hoping to pitch Sunday in Cleveland, or with the off day Monday, Tuesday in Detroit.
Concerning Colome, he's the first product of the Rays Dominican Republic academy under Andrew Friedman to appear in the majors. This year in Durham he's gone 4-5, with a 2.60 ERA and 61 strikeouts in 55 and 1/3 innings, second highest amount of strikeouts in the International League.
Much of his success this season has come due to an improved changeup, the result of working with Joel Peralta during Spring Training, and some work on his mechanics with Bulls pitching coach Neil Allen.
A little more insight into Colome, and what to expect, will be up later this morning.
- Manny Machado is on pace to break the 82-year-old-record for the number of doubles hit in a single season. Mind you, he's a year younger than Mike Trout, and only two months older than Bryce Harper. That being said, Rob Neyer pondered whether he's worthy of being included in conversation with the two acclaimed youngins.