PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - The Rays rallied in the bottom of the 10th against Steve Johnson, getting singles from Hak-Ju Lee and Chris Gimenez to put runners on first and second with one out. But Johnson struck out the next two batters, including Stephen Vogt to end the game.
Vogt’s at-bat lasted eight pitches, which were clocked at 67, 90, 88, 76, 68, 91, 90 and 77 mph.
Jake Arrieta was outstanding, as you’ve read in previous entries today.
“Jake threw the ball well,” manager Buck Showalter said. “You can see it in his face. This was a pretty big moment for him, to finally get back out there. Anytime you go inside somebody’s elbow or shoulder, you never know exactly what you’re going to get, but that was pretty good.”
Arrieta’s fastball kept hitting 97 mph, as it did during a TCU alumi game before spring training.
“He’s been throwing like that, in the intrasquad and on the side,” Showalter said. “He’s really letting the ball go free and easy.
“That’s a good step for him today. We’ll see where it takes him, but that’s good. He got close to 40 pitches under his belt and we’ll keep stepping forward on it. It’s a good start.
“If you had told me last year when he made the decision that we’d be sitting here today, I’d feel real good about it. He worked his butt off with the rehab and everything. Today was a good return for it.”
Brad Bergesen gave up a two-run single to Matt Mangini in the fourth, but Showalter has been impressed with him.
“Bergy’s throwing the ball good down here,” Showalter said. “He’s got a little sink. Still working on some things to slow the hitters down a little bit and stay off the plane, but he threw the ball well.”
Nick Johnson reached base all four times he came to the plate. He’s still an OBP guy. He just needs to be a healthy one, too.
“I’m sure people at home every year go, ‘Geez, why do they keep giving Nick Johnson a chance with the injuries?’ Well, you see why,” Showalter said. “You’re always hoping to be the one who catches him when he’s got all the health issues behind him. He’s due for some good luck.”
One more note on Nolan Reimold: He’s returning to Sarasota today. He won’t be kept overnight at Peace River Hospital.