Rays vs. Angels, SoCal style
DEVELOPING: A number of Rays players - hitters and pitchers - were our for early batting practice today in Anaheim and Rays manager Joe Maddon, sporting a gray Rolling Stones T-shirt, got his usual warm greeting from his former co-workers. Former Angel Sean Rodriguez also got a lot of attention from his ex-mates.
No lineups yet, but a couple interesting tidbits from the Rays game notes:
On the perfect game:
* Yesterday at the hands of Oakland’s Dallas Braden, the Rays became just the 3rd team all-time to have two perfect games thrown against them joining the Dodgers (1988, 1991) and Twins (1968, 1998). It came just 96 games after Mark Buehrle threw a perfect against the Rays at Comiskey Park on July 23, 2009.
* The Rays became the first team to have it happen in back-to-back seasons.
* Gabe Kapler became the first player ever to bat in the 9th inning with his team facing a perfect game…TWICE…he made the 25th out of Buehrle’s gem and the 27th out yesterday.
On the lack of offense:
* Dating back to Reid Brignac’s double in the 7th inning of Saturday’s game at Oakland, the last 35 Rays have been retired in order…And, Brignac’s hit is their only hit in the last 16 innings (1-for-50)…the Rays have batted just .189 (56-297) in their last 9 games, but have won 5 of them.
* Thru the first 6 games of this road trip, the Rays have hit 2 home runs and the opposition just one … opponents have hit only one home run off Rays pitching in the last 95 innings.
On their pitching:
Rays lead the AL with a 2.78 ERA (3rd in the majors), lowest on this date by an AL team since the 1989 Angels (2.60)… Rays starters are 18-5 with a 2.48 ERA (IP-201.2, H-165, ER-56, BB-68, SO-170)…Rays starters lead the majors in ERA and wins and are tied with the St. Louis Cardinals for the major league high with an avg of 6.2 innings per start:
* When James Shields lost Sunday, it marked the first time all year that Rays have starters have lost back-to-back games.
* Yesterday was the 21st time Rays starters have allowed 2 ER or less and the 27th time 3 ER or less, 11th consecutive game.
* In the last 23 games (since April 14 at BAL), the Rays bullpen is 3-2 with a 1.75 ERA (56.2-IP, 11-ER).
* Rays lead the majors with a .321 (89-277) average with runners in scoring position. Likewise, Rays opponents are hitting just .179 (42-234), lowest in the majors…overall, the Rays are 19th in the majors in hitting at .251.