It’s been an eventful weekend for the Rays. After losing three to the Red Sox, they came back to take two of three from the Yankees.
The weekend series included some pretty good offense all around, and a strong outing for Rich Hill. The Rays also got to raise their 2020 AL East and AL championship banners ($).
The Saturday game looked like it was going to be a costly win, with starter Chris Archer pulled early with the dreaded “forearm tightness,” but reports suggest that his injury may not be too serious. ($)
And his IL visit allowed for a really great moment, the major league debut of Brent Honeywell on Sunday. Although the Rays went on to lose the game, Honeywell pitched two perfect innings. It was a moment savored not just by Rays fans but from observers and players across baseball who have followed Honeywell’s journey. Below are some of the many reactions
Anticipation when his start was announced:
Honey is right where he's supposed to be pic.twitter.com/EmKPO45SmE— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) April 11, 2021
I was also at this game and met Brent Honeywell in the locker room after the Future’s Game. Great guy, showed me his screwball grip, talked to my dad for like ten minutes about God knows what. https://t.co/fbTm27hUCQ— DRaysBay (@draysbay) April 11, 2021
Franklin County High School in Royston, Ga. has now produced two major leaguers: Ty Cobb and @brent_honeywell.— Rays Communications (@RaysPR) April 11, 2021
Reactions to his performance:
Brent Honeywell’s first major league K came on a screwball.— The Athletic MLB (@TheAthleticMLB) April 11, 2021
1,300 days since he last took the mound, @brent_honeywell threw two perfect innings for the #Rays. pic.twitter.com/qmBLTNtHYb— MLB (@MLB) April 11, 2021
Brent Honeywell's debut: two perfect innings, two strikeouts, 21 pitches/14 strikes. pic.twitter.com/it3Z3tuj89— Adam Berry (@adamdberry) April 11, 2021
Brent Honeywell, Sr. A proud dad.— Grace Remington (@GraceRemiWTSP) April 11, 2021
This was after Honeywell Jr’s first MLB strikeout.
His dad tells me: “He’s facing the best in the world. To get Giancarlo Stanton out was big to him because he’s a big Stanton fan.” #RaysUp pic.twitter.com/0UJme6gONw
A breakdown of his two innings from Pitcher List.
And yes, then came this:
#Rays sent Honeywell back down, as expected— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) April 11, 2021
The Rays need pitchers to get them through the next series; pitchers with options are going to be going back and forth between minors/alternate site and the major league team, so best to get used to it.
In non-Honeywell news:
Five-thirty-eight makes it official: Ray-Yankees are now the defining rivalry of the American League East.
Some good advice for those visiting Tropicana Field.
Tyler Glasnow, Rays player representative, thinks the “traveling party” for the Rays may be getting close to the 85% vaccination threshold:
#Rays player rep Tyler Glasnow said he didn't have exact numbers but they are close to the 85 pct threshold of players and Tier 1 staff (coaches, athletic trainers, others in close contact) being vaccinated to have protocols lifted. Still will be a couple weeks post-shots.— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) April 11, 2021
About that Sunday loss:
Normally I’m not big on complaining about umpires after a loss. Bad calls are likely to even out. But many of us were understandably irritated after Sunday’s game. After hitting Joey Wendle on the head on Saturday, the Yankees began the game by aiming for Austin Meadow’s head.
More frustration as @RaysBaseball batters get hit at the plate today...— Bally Sports Sun: Rays (@BallyRays) April 11, 2021
More to come on the Rays postgame show on Bally Sports Sun! #RaysUp pic.twitter.com/UJaIgRw3lV
It would seem to me that given the history between these teams that should be an automatic ejection for Jordan Montgomery. Instead, the umpires issued a warning, which generally means that a subsequent hit by pitch would result in an ejection. However when the same pitcher plunked the same hitter a few innings later, he remained in the game. Did the second time look intentional? No, but it shouldn’t matter. When teams are warned it generally means zero tolerance for subsequent hit batters. Apparently, however, MLB doesn’t actually want to curb the practice of throwing at hitters. (And I know the box score will show two Yankees batters hit by Rays pitchers. LOL).
Kevin Cash agrees with my frustration:
#Rays Cash referenced that MLB "grossly mishandled" situation with #Yankees last year, with light suspension for Chapman and nothing for Tanaka, and how issue keeps rolling over— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) April 11, 2021
Around the League
The Padres’ Joe Musgrove no-hit the Texas Rangers on Friday evening. This is a personal triumph for Musgrove, who only allowed a single baserunner (on a hit by pitch). It’s also a milestone for the franchise, as the Padres are no longer the only major league team without a no-hitter. In case you are wondering, Musgrove threw a pretty efficient 112 pitches to get through the nine innings.
For locals, it’s fun to watch media write about Dunedin, the Blue Jays temporary home. There are streets! And restaurants! ($)
The Athletic: A look at top prospects who are starting the season with their big league clubs ($) (Update: Randy Arozarena has indeed hit a home run).