Tampa Bay fell to the New York Mets by a score of 11-2, and dropped out of first place in the American League East. The Rays now share second place in the division with Baltimore. The Mets glew the game open with a six run seventh inning.
Rays’ started Alex Cobb suffered the loss, giving up five earned runs in 6.2 innings. J.P. Howell gave up three earned runs while finishing the seventh inning. On a positive note, Matt Joyce was three-for-four in raising his average to .293, and B.J. Upton was two-for-five with a run scored.
• The Rays have signed twenty-two of their forty draft picks. At this time, they have signed four of their top ten picks, but are still looking to ink their first four choices.
• Good news: Kyle Farnsworth has already begun his rehab assignment in with Class A Port Charlotte. I know Fernando Rodney has been great in the closer role, but I also know a healthy Farnsworth deepens the back end of the bullpen. Joe Maddon isn’t big on naming closers officially, but he can find innings for Farnsworth. And wouldn’t it be great to have TWO pitchers worthy of the title “closer?”
• Evan Longoria looks to be near assignment for rehab, possibly as early as Friday. If you had told me before the season that Tampa Bay would only be one game out of first with both Farnsworth and Longoria in absentia for so long, I would have been very pleased. So, with only one game separating the Rays from New York, I am greatly looking forward to their return, as well as that of Jeff Keppinger. This team has been playing on heart and soul, and will only be better when fully healthy. Great job by the organization.
David Price (8-3, 2.40) will square off against power knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (9-1, 2.44) this evening. Price lit up the gun for an average of 96.7 MPH for his fastball against the Yankees last week. Dickey will throw the butterfly at over eighty MPH, which is absolutely ridiculous. Most knuckleballers throw at least ten MPH slower than Dickey.
So, I’m thinking this should be a low-scoring game, and maybe an early exit from Twitter for me. Of course, that automatically opens the possibility that it will be a lights-out offensive explosion, and I’ll be up until midnight. That would be OK, so long at the Rays come out on the long end of the score.
• For the second time since interleague play began, the opposing leagues’ wins leaders will oppose each other at The Trop.
• Both Dickey and Price hail from Nashville, and have the same agent. While the two consider themselves friends, I wonder who their agent will be pulling for this evening?