What's the definition of Rays baseball? Right now, I'm not sure, but if you told me, "A three-plus-hour game where nothing happened," I'd think you on the right track.
Once again, a mediocre lefty shut down the offense and caused the Rays to waste a perfectly good bullpen performance. Tonight, the Southpaw De Jour was Jason Vargas, he of the 5.04 FIP and 4.20 WTF. He picked up the W allowing just one unearned run, but the sick joke of it all was that he was incredibly hittable tonight. The Rays were on base every inning against the JV squad, four of those innings the leadoff man reached. But, the only scoring came in the seventh inning after a Desmond Jennings leadoff single was followed by a Jose Lobaton flair to shallow right-center. Jennings motored to third and then made it home after Ichiro Suzuki air mailed the throw.
Sean Rodriguez would lay down a sac bunt to put the Rays in the "man on third, less than two outs" position, which, as you well know, is the death knell for the Rays offense. It was a pretty crappy game.
Oh, yeah, in the second inning, Alex Cobb took an Ichiro comebacker off the ankle and left with a contusion. He did make a great play after the ball hit him, as he'd corral the ball and make a diving toss to Lobaton to tag Carlos Peguero out at home to end the inning. He had to be helped off the field. While we'll have to wait and see how Cobb's injury plays out in the long-term, the short-term result was actually beneficial for the Rays. The Rays thought they'd like a nice Cobb salad to start the evening, but after it gave them the runs and got broken, they sent it back for the Cesar salad.
Cesar Ramos started the third and pitched four scoreless innings. He was dominant, striking out five in a row at one point. Burke Badenhop, Joel Peralta, and Wade Davis each pitched one scoreless inning to close out the game.
I realize now that I haven't explained how the Mariners scored their two runs off Cobb in the first. Well, Cobb got two quick outs; that's how. It's like the inverse of the offense having a man on third with less than two outs. Two outs = runs against.
Rays finish up this homestand tomorrow as Matt Moore takes on Blake Beavan @ 1:40 PM. Then it's off to Baltimore before a west coast roadie. At least we'll be able to stay up late and watch the Rayzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...