As my favorite announcer John Mayer would say...And that happened. That phrase pretty much sumed up the night for the Rays. Bobby Abreu came up in the first... and that happened. Eric Hinske jumps for the ball... and that happened. Hideki Matsui came up in the 6th... and that happened. Jason Hammel pitched well, but again that happened.
Hideki Matsui feasted on Rays pitching this series, going 7-15 with 2 home runs and 5 RBI,helping the Yankees earn a four game split after dropping the first two games to the Rays. Not all was good news for the Yankees as Derek Jeter left the game with a strained left quad.
On a night where Hammel had good command on his breaking ball, which is a must for him, little else went right. Shaky defense from Hinske in RF and the cold weather continuing to freeze the Rays offense wasted a pretty good performance from Hammel, who ended the night with a line of 6IP, 8H, 4ER, 2K, 1BB. Scott Dohmann was touched for two runs in his inning of work. Gary Glover was perfect in his innning.
On the offensive side the Rays went hacking against Mike Mussina and it worked against them big time. Mussina featured his knuckle curve almost exclusively at times, striking out Willy Aybar on five straight curves in one AB. Jonny "Play me everyday and I'll hit 30 home runs" Gomes provided the Rays with a solo home run, but the rest of the line up produced little. Mike Difelice was the only other Rays hitter to register a hit against Moose, with a double. At least Evan Longoria broke his O-fer streak to start the season at AAA Durham. Longoria had a break out game going 3-4 with an RBI and a BB.
After averaging 7.75 runs the first four games the Rays have just one run on seven hits in the last two. Hopefully the bats will heat up with the weather now that they are back at the Trop. We will be at the opener tonight as Matt Garza goes for win #1 as a member of the Rays against Erik Bedard and the Mariners, who were just swept by the Orioles in a four game set.
Credit to Eric Seidman and Red Lasso for the Video Highlights