Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Midday Recap: Leapfrogging - Mets and Marlins play some, so too does Boston and Tampa Bay

The Tampa Bay Rays take advantage of a botched call to leapfrog past the Red Sox in the AL East.  And E.J. Manuel is already wowing the brass in Buffalo.

Associated Press
But the big story today is the 7th inning comeback the Mets exhibited against the Miami Marlins on Monday to win only their 4th game against the Marlins in 12 starts.

The 7th inning comeback started with Eric Young doubling off new pitcher Mike Dunn.  He was brought home by Daniel Murphy, who singled to center.  Daniel Murphy took advantage of a stolen base and a wild pitch to get him to 3rd base.  Then Marlon Byrd, who has been talked about more as the trade deadline approaches, took a 3-2 count to center field to bring Murphy home, tying the game.  Then Ike Davis brought a ball down the right field line that allowed Marlon Byrd to circle the bases to home, where he just beat the tag of catcher Jeff Mathis.

The comeback helped erase the loss that Jeremy Hefner would have taken for his 5 1/3rd innings of work where he allowed 5 runs on 4 hits, three of them earned.  He struck out only 4 while walking 5.  Bobby Parnell saved the game, but with tense moments as he got Giancarlo Stanton to ground to 2nd with runners on the corners for the final out.

With the latest surge of the Tampa Bay Rays, any series against the Boston Red Sox grows in importance as first place in the AL East with two months left to play hangs in the balance. But it was a botched call that helped allow the Tampa Bay Rays move back into first a day after Boston reclaimed the top spot.

In the 8th inning, with Tampa Bay leading 2-1, Boston gets runners on 2nd and 3rd after Stephen Drew doubles with one man out.  With Daniel Nava at 3rd, Brandon Snyder flies out to left, who then tosses it over to the catcher trying to beat Nava home.  Jose Molina tagged Nava out for the 3rd out according to Home Plate Umpire Jerry Meals.  The call would be argued by Red Sox skipper John Farrell, who would be ejected.

However, replays showed that Farrell's argument was the correct call, as Nava was able to slide into home plate before Molina's tag.  Jerry Meals would later admit that he botched the call, as he thought Nava's foot was elevated, therefore not touching the plate before the tag.

Tampa Bay would hang on to win 2-1, gaining a 1/2 game lead over Boston for the AL East.

It didn't take long for Buffalo Bills General Manager Doug Whaley to like what he saw from 1st Round draft pick E.J. Manuel.   In an interview with media after practices Monday afternoon, Whaley described Manuel as having the "it" factor.

The "it", in this case, refers to the distinct possibility that Manuel will be taking the first snap from center on September 8th against the New England Patriots. But before Manuel can assume the role of their starter come Week 1, the Buffalo Bills will be putting more and more pressure on him in practice situations as camp progresses.

Manuel will get a taste of what it's going to be like when he, and the Bills, start their preseason schedule on August 11th against the Indianapolis Colts.

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