Yesterday, the Rays took a late inning loss courtesy of the Pittsburgh Pirates and a rare Daniel Robertson miscue, whom we obviously jinxed by raving about his defensive prowls. It was more of the same for Tampa Bay this spring as the offense continued to excel, racking up ten hits -- the fifth time they've reached that mark this spring -- while the pitching held their own until the defense inevitably let them down.
Both teams shared zeros on the board until the 4th when Andrew McCutchen blasted a hanging breaking ball from Jake Odorizzi into orbit for a solo home run. The Rays would immediately strike back though as Taylor Motter knocked a ball of his own into the stratosphere to tie the game at one.
The homer was the lone run allowed by Odorizzi who pitched an out into the 4th, as he struck out three, walked two, and surrendered three hits.
Highly touted prospect, Blake Snell came on for the 5th and displayed his impressive, electric repertoire and actually struggled to command it some due to the movement. He had a speed differential of 15 miles per hour between his breaking and fast stuff. He also showed some terrific poise, working out of a jam recording each out by a strikeout in the 5th. His day was done after recording two outs in the sixth as he finished with three strikeouts, three walks, and three hits.
The Rays offense meanwhile, had taken the lead in the top half of the sixth as Desmond Jennings stayed hot -- went two for three on the day -- doubling with one out, and then scored as Brad Miller sliced a ground ball between Juan Diaz's legs. Taylor Motter than came back up and followed his moonshot of a home run , with a laser-beam that was centimeters from being a three run shot, but it fell just short. Nonetheless, one run scored and the Rays were up, 3-1.
The Rays were six outs from victory when the poor defense showed up as Steve Geltz struggled with his command and gave up some hard hits, including a double. Then a moment of opportunity turned redundant as they caught a runner between second and third and recorded the out, only to have runners on the same bases following the play.Daniel Robertson then took a routine ground ball, but rushed the throw an hurled it at least five feet over the first baseman allowing a run.
Then, another error, this time committed by Juniel Querecuto would result in the game being tied. Knuckle baller Eddie Gamboa would then surrender a single finish Pittsburgh's comeback, giving them the eventual 4-3 victory.
The Rays defense did shine occasionally, particularly Richie Shaffer, who made two fine plays.
- Post game audio from Kevin Cash & Jake Odorizzi
- Taylor Motter hasn't had a hair cut in three years, and doesn't plan to anytime soon, no matter how many time his teammates sign him up to.
- In his, now viral rant, Goose Gossage tore into Ryan Braun, so Derek Harvey tells parents how you should explain Braun to children.
- Awful news out of the Athletics camp as Jarrod Parker, who had been attempting a comeback after years of injuries, suffered a horrific setback.
- Perhaps the most under-rated free agent of the off-season, David Freese, has finally signed as Pittsburgh got him to agree to a bargain of a deal.
- Former Rays masterful LOOGY, Randy Choate, has signed a minor league deal with Toronto.
- Neil Solondz feature non-roster invitee, Dana Eveland in his latest 'Getting to Know' episode. He also spoke with the latest player invited to the Rays camp, David Carpenter.