The Rays had their chances. David Price pitched well, only six hits over 7.1 innings with two runs. Yet after eight hits allowed and an error by New York, the Rays couldn't produce as the Yankees got away with another win.
Curtis Granderson made up for his blunders last night with an over-the-shoulder grab in center, robbing Evan Longoria of a longball while crashing into the wall, and a two run homer (on the seventh pitch of the game) that would be the only runs scored until the ninth. Longoria truly thought he'd hit a three run home run, before the Grandy grab, and walked away pulling his hair out.
Poor Granderson would get beaned in the back by Price and then caught stealing by a few steps in a strike-em-out, throw-em-out in the eighth. Longoria then lead off the bottom of the eighth with an 8-pitch strikeout. He was swinging for a homerun yet again, and the Carlos Pena imitation paid off like you thought it might. Then Matt Joyce did Matt-Joyce-after-May-like things and put on the golden sombrero with his fourth K. A groundout from B.J. Upton ended the inning.
Real Estate salesman and rookie Dane De La Rosa limited any further damage in the eight, but after one out in the ninth put two men on with back-to-back walks. Cesar Ramos retired the next bittern a ground out to the pitcher that Casey Kotchman magically caught in front of the runner (a la Albert Pujols breaking his arm danger) that let the runners advance.
Third baseman Nunez doubled the lead with a 3-2 blooper to right field to score the runners, and Mariano Rivera got his 60th save in 61 chances striking out two of three to close the game at 12 strikeouts.
- This is the third time this season the Rays have been eight games back from the lead in the AL East. Game 4 of the series is tomorrow night, with CC Sabathia and James Shields on the hill. I'd call that a must-win situation.
- The Rays left two men on base in the first, the third, the fifth and the seventh. Joe Maddon pointed to the ballpark as having some influence in the post game, something he's done earlier this series, also harking back to the rough start in April. The Rays are now two games below .500 in the Trop.
- Andrew Friedman, Rays VP of Baseball Operation, claims the next four or five games will be "very telling" for the trade deadline. He boasted a lot of time has gone in to trade talks this season, and can't imagine nothing happening before Sunday at 4:00 pm.
- This was the tenth shut out of Tampa Bay this season, the ninth since June 1. I still have faith in this team to contend, but the Red Sox and Yankees need to slow down for that to happen.
- Casey Kotchman went three for four with a double. He is batting .337 this season, a second best in the American League (between Adrian Gonzales and Jose Bautista). Oh, oh it's Magic, ya know...