Rays vs. Pirates

After a rainy day, the sun returned to Florida in time for the Tampa Bay Rays vs. Pittsburgh Pirates game. I was born in Bradenton and my parents are from Pittsburgh so I have plenty of happy memories at McKechnie Field (had class today or else I would have gone to the game).

Rays Lineup

  • Ben Zobrist (2B)
  • Desmond Jennings (CF)
  • Matt Joyce (RF)
  • Yunel Escobar (SS)
  • Luke Scott (DH)
  • Kelly Johnson (LF)
  • Jose Molina (C)
  • James Loney (1B)
  • Sean Rodriguez (3B)
  • Jeff Niemann (P)

Pirates Lineup

  • Starling Marte (LF)
  • Neil Walker (2B)
  • Andrew McCutchen (CF)
  • Pedro Alvarez (3B)
  • Garrett Jones (1B)
  • Gaby Sanchez (DH)
  • Brad Hawpe (RF)
  • Michael McKenry (C)
  • Clint Narmes (SS)
  • A.J. Burnett (P)

The game started off when Ben Zobrist reached 1st base on an error, but was picked off by A.J. Burnett. Pitcher Jeff Niemann and three quick outs and was done for the day. With one out in the 2nd, Luke Scott singled, followed by singles from Kelly Johnson and Jose Molina. Scott scores due to a fielding error by right fielder Brad Hawpe. James Loney grounded out but Johnson managed to score (productive outs, much better than strike outs). Sean Rodriquez reaches on a throwing error, leading to Molina scoring. With Zobrist batting, Burnett throws a wild pitch, allowing Rodriquez to score. The Rays now lead 4-0 due to singles and errors committed by the Pirates. The Pirates committed a total of 4 errors as opposed to the Rays 1 error.

Kelly Johnson made his first start in left field since September 2005. Johnson was hit on the right arm by a pitch in the 3rd inning and was replaced by Leslie Anderson. Johnson appears to be ok; he is expected to be an utility player capable of playing infield and outfield.

Pitcher Jeremy Hellickson allowed a double and a single in the 2nd inning, but strikes out the next two batters to prevent any damage. Hellickson comes out to start the third but after 2 outs and 32 pitches, Joe Maddon comes to hill and replaces him with Juan Sandoval . Hellickson’s stats: 1.2 IP, 3 H, 2 K, 32 Pitches, and 22 Strikes. The game ended up being a blowout due to the Rays scoring 6 runs before the 6th inning. The final score was 8-2.

Side Notes:

  • Rays play the Detroit Tigers in Port Charlotte on Thursday, February 28. Roberto Hernandez will be the starting pitcher, followed by Matt Moore.
  • Coach Joe Maddon says health will play a factor in who will be in the fifth spot of the starting rotation. Maddon also says the first cuts will be soon.
  • Ben Zobrist will be leaving Sunday for the World Baseball Classic. He will be playing Thursday and Saturday with the Rays.
  • Evan Longoria will be playing every other day.
  • There is an animated movie about a boy with cancer and his love of the New York Yankees (sorry, almost threw up there). Steroid user Alex Rodriquez will be in the movie, along with Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Yogi Bera (no word on Derek Jeter, but CC Sabathia is in it). Its great having children look up to a man who cheated on his wife with strippers and used steroids throughout his career to make money. Seriously, putting Gehrig and A-Roid in the same sentence is insulting let alone a movie about the famous Yankees.

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