And whilst its the youngsters that have been impressing of late, it was left to some old hands to seal the game last night, 4-2.
Well, when I say old hands, I mean CC, Rocco and Ty Wigginton, none of whom are actually that old. But they are the experienced face of the Rays – and they showed their worth. CC homered, his 18th of the year, Rocco picked up an RBI, and Ty belted his 21st homer of the year – and the 15th that has either tied the game of given the Rays the lead. Mr Clutch indeed.
Pitching was also a pleasant change from of late. Jae Seo, with a 1-6 record for the Rays is the most unlucky pitcher around. For pretty much any other team he would have about a 8-4 record. He left with another no decision last night after allowing just 2 runs in 7 2/3 innings. But fortunately for the Rays, Big Seth McClung came in to get the final 4 outs and the win, thanks in part to an excellent heads-up play by BJ Upton at third, diving to his left to knock down a Kevin Millar liner. From the ground, he flipped the ball to Tomas Perez, who threw to first to get the out.
Julio Franco trivia time – For no particular reasons other than I’m a big fan, and I came across these two last night. The first one is courtesy of the Rays broadcast team – Julio started at third base for the Mets on Tuesday, his first big league start at the hot corner for 24 years. Yep, Twenty-Four. Second is from an article on ESPN.com’s Page Two. Its a degrees of separation. Thanks to Julio Franco, there is a player who is active today, who faced a pitcher, who pitched to Ted Williams. The pitcher – Jim Kaat – gave up two hits to the Splendid Splinter on the final day of the 1959 season, and then, 23 years later, gave up a walk to the rookie Julio in 1982. Thats impressive stuff.