When Hall of Famer Frankie Frisch uttered “Oh those bases on balls” as a Giants broadcaster in the 1950s, little did he know it would have a life that would span generations because six decades later it is still being used in one form or another. Just ask the Tampa Bay Rays – again.
After a disheartening 11-walk loss to the Indians Tuesday night, the final one pushing across the winning run in true “walk-off” fashion, it would not surprise anyone if manager Joe Maddon added another motivational sign in the clubhouse using Frisch’s words to hang over each pitcher’s locker.
Rays’ pitchers have walked 113 so far this season, six intentional, in 314.2 innings and a starter has handed out five free passes or more in the last three games, far too many for a team that expects to contend for a postseason berth.
Tonight Maddon hands David Price (4-3, 3.26) the ball and the lefty has an impressive walks to strikeout ratio of 4.44 (9 W, 40 K) in just under 50 innings of work and in order for the Tribe to win their 15thstraight at home they will have to do it with their bats. Price’s 1.6 BB/9 IP ranks 5th in the junior circuit.
This will be Price’s fourth career start against the Indians and is 2-0 with a 2.76 ERA over 16.1 innings and has held them to a miniscule .183 batting average. The last time he faced Cleveland he topped former Ray Mitch Talbot, 6-3, last July 24 to snapped an ugly 18-game losing streak.
The Bay Bunch has their work cut out for them because Jacobs Field, currently known as Progressive, has not been a good to them. They are just 14-40 (.259) all-time in Cleveland, which includes losses in 19 of their last 21, their worst record in any AL stadium. Facing the Indians has been a chore as well because the Rays have won just 38 of the 106 meetings between the two clubs.
DIAMOND DUST: The Indians will send Carlos Carrasco (1-1, 4.97) to the hill ….. Last night’s loss snapped a 4-game winning streak and 8-game road winning streak, the longest in club history in one season ….. The Rays have recorded 15 doubles in the last 3 games, including 4 last night. They rank tied for 3rd in the majors with 72 doubles this season. Over the last month (April 11 – May 11) their 60 doubles lead the majors ….. The Rays are currently playing a 35-game stretch (May 6–June 12) that features 24 road games.
END OF TOUR: In a pregame ceremony on Friday, May 13 the Rays will “retire” the official radio call signs of the three St. Petersburg police officers killed in the line of duty this year (See Story Here)
BAT GIRL TO VISIT THE TROP: On Sunday, the Rays and Susan G. Komen for the Cure will recognize Shari Elliot, the winner of the 2011 Honorary Bat Girl Contest. The contest honors an individual who has been affected by breast cancer and demonstrates a strong commitment to finding a cure for the disease. Elliott, a Bradenton resident, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the Rays-Orioles game. In addition, volunteers at will hand out pink ribbons, a symbol for breast cancer awareness.
… AND THE HOME OF THE RAYS: The Rays return to Tropicana Field this Friday for an action packed five-game homestand with the Orioles in for a three-game weekend set followed by the Yankees for two. There will be three giveaways and a post-game concert for young and old alike.
Promotional items will include a Ladies Love Longo Collectible T-shirt to be given away to the first 10,000 ladies on Friday, a Raymond pillowcase to the first 10,000 kids on Sunday and on Tuesday the first 10,000 fans in Rays’ gear or having a military I.D. will receive a Rays/Navy SEALs T-Shirt (the design of the shirt will be released this Friday).
After Saturday’s contest, it is Country Night under the Big Trop with a Darius Rucker postgame oncert. Rucker was the frontman for the group Hootie and the Blowfish. This marks the fourth season of the Rays Summer Concert Series. Since the concerts began in 2008, the Rays have gone 26-3 and averaged more than 30,000 fans on those dates.
Gates for Monday through Thursday games will open 1½ hours prior to gametime while Friday through Sunday it will be two hours prior to game time.
MINOR MATTERS: Organization Record 63-66 (.488)
DURHAMBULS: 20-13, 1st (+2.0), W1 (Through Tuesday)
NEXT GAME: vs. Indianapolis(PIT) 11:05 am
PROBABLE STARTER: RHP Alex Cobb 3-0, 1.59
TODAY’S RESULT: Justin Ruggiano provided the Bulls with the only offense they would need when he belted his 6th homer of the season in the first inning and Alex Cobb made it stand up as Durham toppled Indianapolis 1-0 early Wednesday. The shutout was the fourth one put together by the Bulls pitching staff this season in 34 games.
Cobb (4-0) fanned five over the front seven allowing just four hits and lowered his ERA to 1.31. Jake McGee picked up his first save with a pair of hitless innings.
Ruggiano now has 28 RBI, which ranks him second in the International League.
MONTGOMERYBISCUITS: 15-17, 4th (-4.5 GB), W1 (Through Tuesday)
NEXT GAME: vs. Chattanooga(LAD) 11:35 am
PROBABLE STARTER: RHP Chris Archer 0-1, 5.93
TODAY’S RESULT: The Lookouts held the Biscuits to three hits for the second straight day and took a series advantage by topping the Biscuits 5-2 Wednesday at Riverwalk Stadium.
Cody Cipriano was 2-3, including a homer, to lead the Biscuits in his first game off the DL.
CHARLOTTE STONE CRABS: 11-21, 6th (-10.0 GB), L2 (Through Tuesday)
NEXT GAME: at BrevardCounty(MIL) 10:35 am
PROBABLE STARTER: RHP Drew Leary 0-1, 6.43
TODAY’S RESULT: Despite banging out ten hits the Stone Crabs fell to the Manatees 5-2 in a Wednesday morning tilt at Space Coast Stadium.
DH Jake Jeffries led the Charlotte offense going 3-4 with a double and two ribbies while C Mayobanex Acosta drove in a pair with two hits.
Starter Nicholas Bucci (3-2) was tagged with the loss giving up three runs and nine hits over five frames.
BOWLING GREE HOT RODS: 17-15, 3rd (-3.0 GB), L4 (Through Tuesday)
NEXT GAME: at Fort Wayne(SD) 11:05 am
PROBABLE STARTER: RHP Victor Mateo 3-2, 4.20
TODAY’S RESULT: The Hot Rods doubled up the TinCaps 6-3 in an early Wednesday matinee in Fort Wayne.
1B Phillip Wunderlich had three hits including his fifth home run of the year, a game winning three-run shot in the top of the ninth. He had four RBI in the game.
Lefty James Patterson (2-0) picked up the win with four innings of scoreless relief striking out seven along the way.