There were two main storylines from Wednesday's 4-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.
Jeremy Guthrie pitched well. And Nolan Reimold, playing left field for Felix Pie (strained left rotator cuff) came close but couldn't snag a key, two-run double by Evan Longoria in fifth.
Reimold has been limited in the field because he isn't 100 percent yet as he recovers from Achilles surgery.
One other side note: manager Dave Trembley said eighth inning reliever Jim Johnson was experiencing tightness and was not available to pitch.
Here is Trembley on Guthrie, who allowed three runs in 6 1/3 innings:
"The story for us is the way Guthrie pitched. That's Guthrie of 2008 right there. He pitched a great game. Located, pitched down, was aggressive with his pitches. You liked the way he pitched and he'll win a lot of games if he continues to go out there like that."
Here's Trembley on Guthrie's improved arm angle:
"If you see his arm angle, his arm angle is back to the way it was in 2008. If you saw him last year he was more over the top and the balls were up. To his credit, going in the back and pitching a couple of those minor league games. I think he has got himself back in a real good delivery mode, a real good release and you saw movement, and you saw finish. And you saw him pitching down. Very few pitches were up and when they are up they are up for a purpose, to try and change eye level."
Here's Guthrie on his performance:
"I felt very good out there, confident with the pitches I had and for the most part the location was good, tried to stay down and I made some quality pitches."
And Guthrie on the importance of starting well this season:
"I felt like it was really important. But the biggest thing is I didn't think it would happen any other way. In my last three outings, I felt really, really good about the things I've been able to work on and confident with my stuff and it's nice to be able to go out on the mound and feel like I have the weapons and the execution to get people out."
Reimold on the Longoria double:
"I was placed pretty well. It was like 10 feet out of my reach or so, five or 10 feet, somewhere in there. It was just hit in one of those spots, tough to get to."
Reimold on playing the outfield:
"I may not have that first step or whatever, I don't know, for a little while, but I was feeling all right out there."
-- Dan Connolly