Daily Process: B.J. Upton Homers For The Win | The Process Report

Daily Process: B.J. Upton Homers For The Win

Here’s a statement that gives you all the information you need to know about the pacing of tonight’s game: The most exciting part before the ninth inning was the debut of Brandon Gomes.

In the ninth, Ben Zobrist singled and B.J. Upton homered on a Jon Rauch slider, propelling the Rays to victory. It was an appropriate end to the night, as Upton had come close to homering on two previous at-bats. Afterwards, Evan Longoria got Upton with a towel pie, but with chocolate icing instead of the usual shaving cream.

Speaking of, Longoria did make his first appearance since early April and showed off the leather early on by ranging towards the foul line, scooping the ball, and firing effortlessly. It’s probably not a highlight reel play because of how easy Longoria made it look—like with some of his charging barehand plays that few other third basemen can pull off—but it’s one of those, should I say, moments of glory (Longlories?) that make him an exceptional player to experience defensively.

Back to Gomes, he made short work of two innings. During the spring, Gomes’ arm action caught my eye and I’m curious if anything comes of it. Those who saw him pitch tonight (or before) know what I mean when I say he seems to give left-handed batters a good look at what’s coming. For those who haven’t, I’ll try to get a screen cap up once MLB.tv archives the game. I’m not going to say he will have issues with lefties, but it could be something to look for heading forward. Otherwise, Gomes pitched in the low-90s and showed off a spiffy slider and tossed a splitter or two.

Not entirely related to the Rays game, but Ben Badler of Baseball America tweeted a few times about Tim Beckham. Once to say his backside had shrunk (a good thing) and another to say he looked faster getting down the line. It’s the small-er things, really.

As for Wade Davis, the Jays were able to run his pitch count up throughout the night, including innings of 20 and 28 pitches. His line includes more walks (three) than strikeouts (two) and 112 pitches to get through six, but it’s hard to say he pitched poorly. At the same time, the Jays lineup lacking Jose Bautist a probably shouldn’t task him this much either. One encouraging aspect is that eight of Davis’ 11 flyballs allowed were of the infield variety. Not quite strikeouts, no, but automatic outs are always welcomed.

As for the Jays start, Jo-Jo Reyes, the Rays took an aggressive approach against him. At one point, I joked to Tommy that the Rays scouting report must have included a demand to swing on the first pitch. Well, maybe. Reyes has thrown first-pitch fastballs roughly 75 percent of the time and he exceeded that rate tonight. As for his results, batters were hitting .408/.406/.699 career (on 113 first pitch results). The aggressive stylings didn’t work too well tonight, but it seems like a more nuanced thought process than it did originally.

One Comment

  1. upnm42 wrote:

    Gomes owns RH hitters and is average against LH hitters.He was not going to give Lind a chance to take one out so he gave him a 5 pitch walk.None of the other 6 hit the ball hard.So it looks to me like he is well aware of the splits.Considering it was his first outing and he allows only one walk and no hits in 2 ip and the Rays win I’d say YEAH! lets see what he has to offer over the next 2 weeks .He may surprise you

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