Call him Roberto Hernandez, refer to him as Fausto Carmona, say whatever you want - the man was apparently feeling left out of the July success from Rays starters.
In nine innings of work, and on only 102 pitches, Hernandez allowed the Diamondbacks to get only five hits, giving up two runs only after 8-and-2/3, and striking out six in the Rays 5-2 victory.
Hernandez brought the Rays their seventh complete game by a starting pitcher this month, the most by any team in a calendar month since the 1999 Phillies with seven, and the most by an American League team since the 1998 Yankees with seven. He also became the fourth Rays starter to throw a complete game in July, while no other team has more than two pitchers with one.
For full details of Hernandez's night, where he "kept the ball down," and the Rays offensive struggles with runners in scoring position, scope Ian's postgame recap.
With last night's win, the Rays are 23-4 since June 29th, winning 11 of their last 13. They are the first AL team to go 23-4 over a 27-game span since the 2005 Athletics, and are 21 games over .500 for the first time since 2010, when they finished the season 96-66 and won the AL East.
We know that July has been their month, and their 21-4 record currently ranks as the best July by a team since the 1941 Yankees went 25-4. Oh, and statistically, that record make it the best month in Rays history, with their 2.36 ERA currently the lowest in the AL for the month of July since the 1933 Red Sox with a 2.29.
As if all that wasn't enough, the team has the majors' best interleague record at 10-1, 6-0 at home, with a nine-game win streak.
That bodes well for the World Series.
On Tuesday Alex Cobb threw a three-inning, 50 pitch simulated game in Port Charlotte and felt good afterwards, stating that his arm and mechanics feel good. Cobb has now passed all of Major League Baseball's concussion tests, and his blister is healing, so he will throw four innings in a rehab appearance for Class A Advanced Port Charlotte on Saturday.
When asked about missing out on the Rays July hot streak, Cobb said the following,
"It's like when you're a little kid and you have homework to do and you can't go outside and play with your buddies until it's done, and they're playing right outside your window," Cobb said. "You can watch them every night and they're just beating up everybody that they see. I'm jumping off the couch during the games.
"I know that when I do come back it's going to be in the thick of things. And the games that I'm going to be pitching are going to be very meaningful. It gives you a little extra drive to get ready."
Late night trade action
With the final 12 hours of the trade deadline currently in play (4 p.m. ET today), some MLB teams made some moves as it neared midnight on the East coast last night:
Athletics - Angels
In a surprising trade within the same division, the Athletics acquired infielder Alberto Callaspo from the Angels in return for second base prospect Grant Green. Callaspo was playing third base for LA, but will take over second base in Oakland.
Callaspo has hit .252/.328/.356 since the beginning of the 2012 season, while Green, the 13th overall pick in the 2009 Draft, has posted a .325/.379/.500 line with 11 home runs and 50 RBI over 87 games this season at Triple-A.
In a three-team deal, Boston acquired RHP Jake Peavy from the White Sox and RHP Brayan Villarreal from the Tigers, while Detroit got AL Rookie of the Year shortstop candidate Jose Iglesias from the Red Sox. In turn, Chicago received outfielder Avisail Garcia from the Tigers and three lower level prospects from Boston: shortstop Cleuluis Rondon, RHP Francellis Montas and RHP Jeffrey Wendelken.
Peavy is 8-4 with a 4.28 ERA and a 76/17 K/BB ratio over 80 innings of work, in 13 starts this season; and was seemingly added in case Clay Buchholz's nagging neck injury does not go away. Iglesias had some solid numbers for the Red Sox, hitting .330/.377/.409 in 215 at-bats; while the Boston prospects sent to Chicago were not considered key pieces of the Red Sox farm system. Garcia, has crushed Triple-A with the Tigers this season, hitting .382/.414/.549 in 144 at-bats, but has only hit .241/.273/.373 in 83 at-bats in the majors this year.
More moves from the Rays today? Maybe:
Hearing #Rays are still working on a potential deal. Guessing for a bat. Don't know more. Roberts' removal from AAA game was related.— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) July 31, 2013
- The trade deadline, and Twitter's role in the rumors.