Rays Colored Glasses: Jackie Robinson Day Yields 4th Straight Win
April 15, 2011
v. Minnesota Twins
Attendance: 15, 342
W: Wade Davis (1-2) 3.26 ERA
L: Nick Blackburn (1-2) 3.06 ERA
S: Kyle Farnsworth (3)
April 15th is one of my favorite days of the year. It’s one of the coolest events that Major League Baseball does. Today, of course, is Jackie Robinson day, the 64th anniversary of his debut in 1947 for the Brooklyn Dodgers and on this day every year, every player wears the number 42. It is a fitting tribute and honor for one of the most important figures in sports history. 42 may not be the answer to “life, the universe and everything”, but it is a number that is revered in baseball and in my opinion, should be retired in every American professional sports league.
Now to the game, which started a bit like yesterday’s. The Rays couldn’t do anything off of Twins’ starter Nick Blackburn for the first five innings. In the meantime, the Twins plated a run when Jim Thome scored from first on a double. Thome should savor that phrase. It’s not said about him very much.
The Rays finally got on the board in the sixth. Reid Brignac singled and Sam Fuld doubled him to third. Johnny Damon knocked them both in with a single up the middle. In the seventh Kelly Shopach hit a long two run home run to left to make it 5-1. The barrage of runs allowed starter Wade Davis to earn his first win of the year. He was dazzling over seven innings, only allowing one run and four hits.
The ninth was a bit of an adventure. Joe Maddon took the phrase “closer by committee” to an extreme tonight. Cesar Ramos started the ninth in what was not a save situation. He walked a batter and got an out. Juan Cruz trotted in to allow a walk. In came Jake McGee who got an out, but allowed one of the inherited runs to score (on an error). Finally, Kyle Farnsworth entered in what was now a save situation and struck out Michael Cuddyer to end the game. Four relievers combined for one inning and one unearned run. Amazingly, they didn’t allow a hit. Well, it got the job done.
Player of the Game: Wade Davis for seven strong innings. I can’t give Fuld the player of the game again even though he had three more hits and made some nice defensive players. He got caught stealing twice which punctured his aura a bit.
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