Evan Longoria launched a homer in the final inning of Thursday’s game to give the Rays the win over the White Sox. I like this deja vu. Keep 2011-esque memories coming my way, Rays. That’ll help me get the following video of Tampa Bay newbies singing “Call Me Maybe” and dancing in leotards in Boston out of my head. David Price provided the commentary and James Shields took the video.
Just a heads-up for Shields (who happened to pick up the win on the South Side of Chicago): Hold your phone horizontally the next time you film a video.
Who knew that I would be this excited about being nearly .500?Â I guess starting out 0-6 really changes your perspective.Â The Rays moved to 8-9 on the season with Tuesday’s victory over the Chicago White Sox.
James Shields had his first “Big Game” of the year and worked the full nine innings.Â Shields threw 105 pitches, 76 for strikes.
Because I know my dad is emotionally invested in Casey Kotchman’s success, I just have to include this video in which he tags Paul Konerko out at first.Â Kotchman is currently batting .313.
-James Shields talks about his complete game in this post-game video.
-Ya know who’s awesome? (Other than Sam Fuld.) This guy. Instead of burning his Manny Ramirez t-shirt, he made some low-budget improvements.Â How very Raysian of him.Â News of The Legend is now published by the New York Times.Â On Monday, Fuld became the first Major League player to record two four-hit games.
-Evan Longoria brought a Rays jersey to a pediatric patient at TGH on Tuesday.Â Cute photo here.
-JP Howell threw batting practice on Tuesday and seems very happy with his progress.Â I preferred watching this interview with my eyes closed so I could focus on the good news and the joy in his voice instead of zeroing in on Howell’s excess hair.Â I beg of you, shave.Â And cut your hair while you’re at it.
-The Rays will show their support for the Tampa Bay Lightning this Thursday.Â The Rays plan to wear Lightning gear when they head to Toronto for a series against the Blue Jays.Â The Bolts are down to the Penguins 2-1 in the opening round of the playoffs and will play Game 4 tonight at the St. Pete Times Forum.Â Game 5 is scheduled for to take place in Pittsburgh on Saturday.Â For more about the Lightning, make sure you check out Sons of Andreychuk! [The Heater]
Now THAT was the David Price (@DavidPrice14) I love to watch.Â Price picked up his second win of the season after allowing four hits through eight innings with nine strikeouts and two walks.Â Price talks about picking up his first win against the White Sox in this post-game interview:
Evan’s going commercial again, but this time he’s not searching for his hat.Â CC Sabathia is the star, but Longo gets a line in this new spot for Pepsi Max. It’s a shame that this was filmed before Evan cut his hair.Â Truth be told, I’m a Diet Coke kinda girl myself and not even Evan Longoria can change that. Â [The Heater]
I don’t believe that all good things must come to an end, but that five-game win streak the Rays were riding was snapped last night.Â Tampa Bay scored two runs on eight hits (two of those hits were from Sam Fuld) but the Twins won their first game of the series with four runs on nine hits.
Jeremy Hellickson lasted seven innings, but as announcer Brian Anderson repeatedly said during the broadcast, he was wild within the strike zone.Â Pitchf/x data does not lie.Â [DRaysBay]
Hellickson, who is 1-2 on this young season, is expected to fill in the gap left by this summer’s Matt Garza trade.Â (FYI: Garza is 0-2 on the year with a 6.27 ERA while Hellboy has a 4.50 ERA.Â At this point, I think Julie DiCaro over at LOHO is ready to send Garza back south.)
A little more bad news for the Rays: Johnny Damon injured his finger during a bunt attempt in the third inning.Â Damon left the game after the fourth.Â During the live broadcast, Todd Kalas announced that Damon will be day-to-day. [The Heater]
Florida’s “snowbirds” may be young at heart…but most of them aren’t young.Â The Rays are bringing a bit of a youth movement to the Sunshine State, especially with their pitching staff. [Wall Street Journal]
The Rays begin a four-game series against the White Sox at the Trop today.Â Former Tampa Bay pitcher Edwin Jackson will get the start for the Sox.Â Jackson has had success against the Rays and picked up the win all three times he’s faced them.Â David Price, who will start for the Rays, has never won against the White Sox.Â [St. Pete Times]
I have been waiting a week to say this, so please excuse the caps lock:
THE RAYS WON!!!
Final score Rays 9, White Sox 7
Unearned runs, shmunearned runs.Â I will take the W any way. Dan Johnson, AKA the game’s hero, said in a post-game interview with Todd Kalas: We’re trying to find any positives we can right now.
Well Dan, your three-run shot to win the game certainly made that easier to do on Friday.
But hold on.Â It’s not all sunshine and happiness for Tampa Bay.
You can forget about that Manny bobblehead. Â Make sure you scroll all the way down for a list of the Rays Opening Day DH’s. Â FYI: It’s bookended by Jose Canseco and Manny Ramirez. Â [Rays Index]
Regarding Manny and the Hall of Fame Craig Calcaterra writes:Â Weâ€™ll have a better sense of what to make of Manny Ramirez some day. We have to. Â Because God knows weâ€™ve never had a good idea of what to make of him these past 18 years. [HardballTalk]
Earlier this spring Manny asked Scott Miller to “put in a good word for him.” Â Following Manny’s retirement due to “an issue” with Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Progam, Miller puts in these words: Good riddance. [CBS Sports]