Monday, June 1, 2009

Price, Choate, & Joyce: New faces help in series win over Twins

It wasn't exactly a sweep, but after that horrible Cleveland series the Rays will take it.  The Rays managed to take 2 of 3 games for the second weekend in a row as their inch their way closer to .500.  Some new faces stood out this weekend for the Rays.  King David Price did what many of us were looking for from him on Saturday, fanning 11 and getting his first "W" of the season. Surprisingly, Randy Choate put a couple of fires out on Friday and Saturday getting his 1st and 2nd saves ever.  Choate showed poise while striking out one of the hottest hitters in league on Friday night, Joe Mauer.  Matt Joyce marked his return to the club on Sunday with a big homer in a losing effort.

All in all, it was a positive series for the Rays.  Winning series are the only way they're going to climb back in this thing.  The Twins are now behind and now it's time to look ahead to the Kansas City Royals and the New York Yankees... both on tap this week.

Here are some of the things I noticed this weekend:

  • King David coming as advertised.  Price admitted trying to do too much in his first start at Cleveland and said he tried to relax a little this time.  It seemed to work.  He struck out 11 batters in 5 2/3 inning... giving up only 1 earned run.  Up next for King David: The New York Yankees in New Yankees stadium.
  • Randy Choate, closer?  I don't know if that's in the works, but he sure looked like a solid closer on Friday and Saturday. I was hoping to see him get another chance on Sunday, but he Rays couldn't get the lead. We'll see what happens.
  • Carl Crawford, power hitter.  CC hit two homers this weekend... one to straightaway centerfield. To me, nothing is more beautiful than watching Crawford knock one out of the park.
  • B.J. Upton, above the Mendoza line.  It's about time, Bossman. I've been waiting all year for you to get over the .200 mark.  Now, keep going until you get to .300.
  • Joe Dillon, designated hitting specialist.  Who knew Joe Dillionaire could get a rally started? He hit a homer in his first ever at-bat at the Trop to spark a 4 run rally on Saturday.
  • Troy Percival, thinking about returning.  Ol' Percy is not dead yet, folks.  Just when you thought the 9th inning was safe from the big guy's show.  He took a break from his baconators to tell Joe Maddon that he wants to work his way back. 
  • Big 3, quality starts.  The big 3 (James Shields, David Price, Matt Garza) all had quality starts this weekend. Unfortunately the Rays couldn't capitalize on Garza's but they did win 2 out of 3. Price and Garza get the Yankees next.
  • Blue Jerseys luck running out.  After starting 4-0 in the new "Sox Beater" Blue Jersey.  The Rays have lost their last 2 wearing the blue.  I think they went to the well one too many times with that.

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