Tonight, the Rays begin their last west coast series of 2011. It is their second trip to Seattle and while the first one did not go that well, the Rays are looking for a series win because the Mariners could not be colder. On Wednesday, they won for the first time since July 5. In between they lost 17 consecutive games. which has me wondering how they managed that. They have Felix Hernandez, last year’s Cy Young Award winner and Michael Pineda, a young stud whose 3.64 ERA helped earn him an All-Star selection. Isn’t pitching like that supposed to prevent long losing streaks? King Felix did end the drought on Wednesday, which means that fortunately the Rays will not have to face him. The results weren’t great last time as Hernandez out-dueled James Shields 8-2 June 2.
Here are some other odds and ends before tonight’s late game:
Dane De La Rosa made his Major League debut with the Rays on July 20. He threw a scoreless inning before being touched for two runs in the second frame against the Yankees. He was sent back down to the minors after that. For continuing coverage of all Rays prospects as well as the rest of Minor League Baseball, please check out FanSided’s Minor League blog Seedlings to Stars.
The Rays made a very, very under the radar move yesterday by trading Felipe Lopez to the Brewers. Some of you have no doubt forgotten that he ever played for the Rays, but incidentally enough, the Rays played really well when he was subbing for Evan Longoria. My lasting memory of Lopez is when he hit a homer against the White Sox. On his back swing, he flung the bat out towards Chicago pitcher Chris Sale. As Lopez reached home plate, catcher A.J. Pierzynski had some choice words for the fired up Lopez. So long Felipe!
And finally, a random fun bit of trivia to get you through the day. On July 22, Oakland A’s All-Star Trevor Cahill got rocked by the Yankees for 10 runs in just two innings. In his next start against the Rays he threw 7.1 scoreless innings. On the other hand, James Shields held the Yankees to one run in just 7.2 innings on July 21. Of course against the much less fierce A’s lineup his next time out, he gave up 10 runs in four innings of work. Hopefully Juego G can bounce back as effectively as Cahill in his next start.