Lobaton Knocks Jays Out With RBO & RBI | The Process Report

Lobaton Knocks Jays Out With RBO & RBI

Jose Lobaton‘s triple down the right-field line capped off a 5-4 walk-off for the Rays over the Jays. The win moved Tampa Bay to within a game of the Red Sox in the American League East and provided some cushion between the other Wildcard contenders that lost Friday night.

Anyway you slice it, the night belong to Jose Lobaton. The 28-year-old went 3-4 including the game-winning hit. Before the grand finale, he invoked the Danks Theory to collect two hits off Jays’ starter R.A. Dickey. When facing a knuckleballer, Rays’ manager Joe Maddon gives his switch hitters the choice of batting from either side.

Lobaton faced Dickey eight times prior to Friday night’s game. He entered the contest 0-8 with four outs coming on each side of the plate. In this game, he opted for the right-handed batter’s box, going 2-3 off the reigning National League Cy Young winner. While hits by Lobaton gave the Rays their first and last runs of the game, it was his defense that afforded the opportunity to provide the walk-off win.

In the top of the ninth inning, Fernando Rodney faced Brett Lawrie with runners on the corners and two outs in a 4-4 game. Rodney jumped ahead 0-2 with a pair of upper-90s fastballs over the middle of the plate. Lawrie would foul off a 98-mph fastball before taking one at 97 mph low. On the 1-2 pitch, Rodney yanked a changeup low and inside.

rbo

This season, Rays fans have seen their share of passed balls and wild pitches with men in scoring position. Jose Molina has the highest percentage of passed balls and wild pitches with runners in scoring position with Lobaton close behind in a tied for third. However, this would not be one of those times.

Lobaton was able to get his adjust his mitt in time to block the ball which held the runners. Lawrie grounded into a fielder’s choice two pitches later which set up Lobaton to be the hero in the bottom of the inning as well. After the game, the catcher spoke about the block in the dirt. “I saw the ball that I have no chance to block and I was just trying to catch it” he said. “After I caught the ball, I told Esky (Yunel Escobar, who scored the winning run after walking on nine pitches) I was so nervous. It was just kind of like ‘Wow, I did it. I catch that ball. I blocked it.”

Maddon also gave Lobaton proper credit for what he called a “run blocked out.” When he blocked that one pitch, that’s a huge play. That’s a RBO—a run blocked out. When you get RBOs, that’s a huge part of the game. Oftentimes it goes unnoticed. But that was excellent.”

Although RBOs are not an official stat, we will give one to Lobaton night. After all, he earned it – along with some ice cream.



Leave a Reply

#layout { padding-left:20px; }