It seems the Rays have a different hero every game, but that's how it is when things are going well. They get hits. They get great pitching. They get a wild pitch from the other team when they need one.
That's what happened Saturday afternoon at the Trop. Los Angeles reliever Fernando Rodney threw a two-strike pitch into the dirt and it bounced away as Matt Joyce sprinted home from third with the winning run. Unorthodox, sure, but there hasn't been a lot of normal associated with this team lately.
I mean that in a good way.
We take you back to Thursday in Minneapolis, near the end of the ZorillaFest. Rays third-base coach Tom Foley approached Ben Zobrist and grinned.
Zobrist had been playing like some sort of video game character during that day/night doubleheader, blasting doubles here and home runs there on his way to two homers and 10 RBIs. Laughing was about all anyone could do at that point.
"I told him, 'You know, what you just did today was about a month-and-a-half for me when I played.' Maybe. Every time he came up you felt like he was going to do something, and he did," Foley said. "I've never seen anything like that. I mean it."
Well, days like that haven't happened too often. And in his last six games before Saturday, Zobrist had 18 RBIs. The last two guys to do that were Reggie Jackson in 1969 and Sammy Sosa in 2002. Sosa may have had, um … assistance.
"It really was surreal," Zobrist said. "I was shaking my head at myself when I came back to the dugout after hitting another double. It just felt like I was going to get a pitch at some point I could handle and I would be able to do something with it. It was a huge confidence-builder.
Zobrist's breakthrough is a great sign for Rays
Tampa Tribune | May 1