The Rays defeated the Tigers 3-1 and took the series yesterday at the Trop. In the first inning, the Tigers retaliated for a high and inside pitch to Miguel Cabrera from Saturday night’s game by hitting Ben Zobrist on the shoulder. Both benches were warned, ensuring that if the Rays threw at a Tigers’ batter there would be ejections.
In the bottom half of the seventh inning, Kyle Farnsworth started warming up in the Rays bullpen. Cabrera was set to lead off the eighth inning, so of course everyone started to wonder if the black belt was being brought in to plunk Miggy. Speculation continued to grow as Peralta joined Farnsworth in the bullpen. Anticipation was high as Farnsworth entered the game in the eighth and Cabrera came up to bat. The look on Cabrera’s face was pure terror. He was visibly nervous during the entire at bat, despite zero of Kyle’s five pitches being thrown anywhere near the right side of the plate.
Farnsworth got the job done as Cabrera wound up lining out to Kelly Johnson at third base. Miggy sat back down in the dugout looking dumbfounded. He went 1-4 on the day with a homerun that actually landed in the Rays tank in right centerfield and that will be the last the Rays see of him this season unless the Tigers and the Rays are to meet in the playoffs.
Per the Rays post game notes, Joe Maddon talked to reporters about the Farnsworth-Cabrera matchup and had this to say,
"He got him out. The way it was all setting up right there, I just thought he was the right guy to bring in at that particular moment. It did work out well. We don’t go off those typical matchup numbers that you see every day in the newspapers and in Vegas and all over the place. We have our own little system we go by. And it worked out really well."
Those 'typical matchup numbers' Maddon was referring to? Cabrera had been 7-for-13 against Farnsworth in previous appearances according to ESPN.com.
Overshadowed by the Miggy show was Jeremy Hellickson’s fifth win of June, improving his record to 7-3 on the season. This was also his third consecutive start allowing two runs or less, per the Rays post game notes. Jake McGee was a hero in the seventh inning, cleaning up Hellickson’s bases loaded no-out jam. Jose Lobaton also had himself quite the day at the plate, going 3-3 with two RBI’s. After the game, he answered the question we all wanted to know on twitter, would there be celebratory ice cream for him?!
You can check out Gareth’s recap of the game here for a more detailed look at the other highlights of the game.
Oh yeah, and per Marc Topkin, Joe Maddon also gave this awesome quote about Miguel Cabrera.
The Rays head to Houston for a four game series against the Astros before returning to Tropicana Field on Friday. The theme for this road trip was "accidental preppie" and there were definitely some interesting outfits. Pictures below courtesy of Dave Haller of the Rays Communications department and Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
Jose Molina dressed in what I would expect a news anchor to wear behind their desk.
Yunel definitely dressed the part, but are those bowling shoes on his feet?
Wil Myers has a high sock tanline!
Skipper Joe Maddon looking fabulous as always.
Joel Peralta looked great as well, rocking those green shorts!
-The Seattle Mariners turned back the clock this weekend in their matchup against the Chicago Cubs and they went all out. The grounds crew wore special uniforms and the Mariners even changed their twitter to the "Seattle Turks" on Saturday as well. You can scroll back through the @Mariners timeline and recent photos here to see their themed tweets.
-Christina Kahrl of ESPN’s The Sweet Spot examines players’ WAR around the league throughout the first half of the season.
-Matthew McConaughey and Rangers’ Nelson Cruz are teaming up for the actor’s "Just Keep Livin" foundation, which according to its website is "dedicated to empowering high school students to lead active lives and make healthy choices to become great men and women."
-Ben Lindbergh of Baseball Prospectus highlighted "This Week in Catcher Framing" which of course featured Jose Molina as one of the best around the league.