Posted April 12, 2012 on
AP on Fox
Tampa Bay Rays
Chicago White Sox
When Drew Smyly imagined what his major league debut would be like, he never pictured anything as strange as the real thing.
Just a few days after struggling in his only Triple-A start, the 22-year-old looked far from ready for the big leagues when Tampa Bay immediately loaded the bases on two walks and a single.
''It's been an exciting week, but I was struggling,'' Smyly said after Detroit's 7-2 win Thursday. ''I couldn't get into a groove, but once I got the bases loaded, I told myself that I had to settle down and get out of it.''
Smyly did just that, getting Jeff Keppinger to pop out, and then striking out Ben Zobrist and Sean Rodriguez to escape the inning.
''We had the game right there for the taking in the first inning, and we chose not to take it,'' Rays manager Joe Maddon said. ''The kid was obviously nervous, so I felt good with Kepp up there.
''But he gets the pop-up and then two punch-outs, and we get nothing, Maddon said. ''It's tough to not get anything out of the inning, because the kid looked comfortable after that.''
Smyly ended up allowing one run on four hits in four-plus innings. He walked three and struck out four.
''I had an awesome time out there,'' he said. ''Obviously, only going four innings isn't good. You want to go deep into the game, but I threw too many pitches. With everything going on, though, I feel pretty good about it.''
Brennan Boesch provided more than enough offense for the Tigers, driving in four runs on his 27th birthday as the Tigers improved to 5-1.
''Today was a lot of fun,'' Boesch said. ''It's my birthday, and we're going to have a fun flight to Chicago.''
Collin Balester (1-0) allowed one run in two innings of relief. Despite having the American League's best record, the Tigers do not have a win from their starting rotation. Against the Rays, five Tigers relievers combined to allow one run on three hits in five innings.
''They did an excellent job out there,'' said Tigers manager Jim Leyland. ''When you have a young starter out there, you know you are probably going to be into your bullpen. You might as well just accept that.''
The Tigers trailed 1-0 until scoring three runs off Jeff Niemann (0-1) in the fifth. Alex Avila walked and score on Andy Dirks' one-out triple. Ryan Raburn struck out, but Austin Jackson walked and stole second before Boesch's two-run single.
The Rays got a run back on Evan Longoria's RBI single in the seventh, but Keppinger lined into a double play and Phil Coke retired Ben Zobrist to end the inning.
''That's just one of those plays,'' Maddon said. ''We had plenty of chances to get runs today, but we didn't take them. Detroit was relentless today, and we weren't.''
Boesch hit another two-run single, this one off Jake McGee, in the bottom of the inning. Avila hit an RBI triple in the eighth, then scored Detroit's seventh run on a wild pitch.
Carlos Pena opened the scoring with a homer in the third. Smyly hit Pena with a pitch to lead off the fifth and was taken out for Balester.
Notes: Jeremy Hellickson, who was taken to a hospital after being hit in the head during batting practice Wednesday, passed a battery of tests and is expected to make his scheduled start on Saturday in Boston. ... The Tigers are starting the season with nine straight day games, the longest streak by an American League team since the White Sox in 2004. ... Rays catcher Jose Lobato left the game with shoulder soreness, but Maddon didn't think it was a serious.
BEST OF MAXIM
Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Daily Notes.
1. Brief Previews for Select Games
2. Three Scouting Reports on Drew Smyly
3. Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: Los Angeles (AL) Radio
Brief Previews for Select Games
Here are brief previews for three of today’s games — each including the preferred television feed of FanGraphs readers, per the results...
Tune into Sun Sports at 12:30 p.m. to watch the Tampa Bay Rays take on the Detroit Tigers.
The Detroit Tigers are off to their best start in six years.
Handing the ball to Justin Verlander gives them a great chance to extend it.
The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner and MVP looks to dominate his second start of the season just as he did his first when the Tigers host the Tampa...
Detroit Tigers catcher Victor Martinez doesn't need reconstructive surgery for his anterior ligament.Martinez had microfracture surgery in January to have the medial and lateral meniscus in his left knee repaired. He was expected to require an additional operation for his ACL, but Dr. Richard Steadman deemed it wouldn't be necessary.Manager Jim Leyland said it's "...
LAKELAND, FL—Peter Mankins, the last known man to have still referred to the Tampa Bay Rays as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, passed away yesterday at the age of 42. Mankins, who was a Rays fan since the club’s inception in 1998, refused to call the team by its new name when they dropped the ‘Devil’ moniker in 2008, though friends admit they're unsure if this was done out...
DETROIT -- If the Tigers win the World Series, it will go down as one of the most significant text messages in baseball history.
Prince Fielder was sitting on the dais at Comerica Park, talking about his new 214 million contract at a press conference, when his cell phone went bloop.
The sender: Miguel Cabrera.
The message: Welcome.
It might sound corny, but it means a lot, Fielder...
It's all a matter of how you choose to view it.
If the Tampa Bay Rays had known that they'd leave the chilly and challenging confines of Comerica Park Thursday with a 4-2 record, tied for the AL East lead six games into the season, they'd have no doubt been thrilled.
If the Rays had known that one of those wins would come against Detroit's 2012 AL Cy Young Award...
DETROIT (AP) -- Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Jeremy Hellickson has been taken to a hospital as a precaution after being hit in the head by a ball during batting practice before Wednesday's game at Detroit.
Manager Joe Maddon says the 25-year-old Hellickson was not bleeding and did not lose consciousness.
Hellickson is scheduled to start Saturday at Boston. He was throwing a...
The Rays and Jeremy Hellickson got quite a scare on Wednesday morning. The prized young pitcher was hit on the head with a ball during batting practice in Detroit, and he was taken to a nearby hospital, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Fortunately, Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon told reporters that Hellickson was not bleeding and never lost conciousness while being tended to. According...
Tampa Bay Rays right-handed pitcher Jeremy Hellickson was struck in the side of the head by a ball during the team's batting practice Wednesday morning, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.Hellickson had to be carted out of the stadium by paramedics and was taken to a local hospital to get checked out.The 25-year-old wasn't bleeding and didn't lose consciousness...
In the big inning, its starting to look as if God created the Rays.
True to form, they saved their best for last Wednesday on a chilly Detroit afternoon in which nothing had gone right.
For eight innings against one of the best pitchers in baseball, Tigers ace Justin Verlander, the Kings of the Comeback looked utterly helpless.
They didnt get their first hit off the 2011 AL Cy...
Over the weekend the Detroit Tigers welcomed in the Tampa Bay Rays, who were coming off a sweep of the New York Yankees, to Comerica Park. With plenty of strong pitching, this series was bound to be good.
In game one of the series, Rick Porcello took the mound against highly touted prospect Matt Moore. Porcello and Matt Moore would go pitch for pitch with each other. Going into...
Luke Scott is one of the most outspoken players in professional baseball, and over the past few months he has done his best to become public enemy number one for the people of Boston. To Red Sox fans and others who appreciate baseball history, Fenway Park is a temple. It has as many flaws as you would expect from a 100-year-old ballpark, but the nostalgia trumps all that. Right?...
The Red Sox have been nothing short of a mess dating back to last year’s collapse down the stretch and the infamous “Chicken & Beer” scandal. This year’s slow start and Bobby Valentine’s comments haven’t helped to soothe the fans and the media either. While the organization appears to be a mess (figuratively), Luke Scott, [...]
First Pitch: Friday 2:05, Saturday 4:05, Sunday 1:35
Arms: Friday: David Price, LHP (1-0, 2.84 ERA) vs. Josh Beckett, RHP (0-1, 13.50 ERA)
Saturday: Jeremy Hellickson, RHP (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Clay Buchholz, RHP (0-0, 15.75 ERA)
Sunday: Matt Moore, LHP (0-0, 2.70 ERA) vs. Felix Doubront, LHP (0-0, 3.60 ERA)
Yard: Fenway Park ...
Veteran outfielder and DH, Johnny Damon, has signed a deal with the Cleveland Indians, ESPN Insider Jim Bowden reports.
The Indians have struggled offensively so far this young season, batting just .178 as a team, lowest in the Majors. Damon is a lifetime .286 hitter and is only 277 hits away from the 3,000 milestone.
Damon previously played for the Royals, Athletics, Red Sox,...