Devil Rays 4, Twins 3.
Delmon Young likes to throw things very hard and very far and very accurately. We call it Gettin’ A Delmon…Jason Kubel Got A Delmon…In the 4th inning, Kubel rambled a little too far towards second base on a line drive to Delmon Young in right center. Despite catching the ball while moving away from first base, Young turned and fired a pea to Carlos Pena at first to double-up Kubel and get the Rays out of the inning…Justin Morneau Got A Delmon…In the 6th inning, Morneau hit a rocket off the right field wall that would be a double on any other night. But on this night Delmon Young was roaming the FieldTurf II of the Trop. He played the ball off the wall, spun and fired a rocket to Brendan Harris at second base. Both Kubel and Morneau should just be grateful that Young wasn’t throwing a bat.
As for the rest of the game, the Rays once again were able to get to Twins closer Joe Nathan, scoring 2 in the 9th to tie the game. In 3 appearances this season against the Rays (3 innings) Nathan has given up 9 hits and 4 runs. In his other 10 appearances (10.1 innings) he has allowed only 10 hits and 1 run. In the bottom of the 10th inning (the Rays first extra inning affair of the year) Ben Zobrist fell rounding third base on Harris’ double, but made up for the gaffe beating the throw home on Dioner Navarro’s ground ball to short.
The Rays are now in sole possession of third place in the AL East, 5.5 games behind the Red Sox and only 1 game behind the Jays for 2nd place. Even more intriguing is that the Rays are only 4 games back in the wild card. But that is the last time we will mention that number until the Rays reach a more important milestone, .500. In our minds there are three numbers the Rays are chasing. 6.5 games is the Rays “mark” in the AL East. 4 games in the Rays mark in the wild card race, but neither of those numbers mean anything until the Rays reach “The Charlie Hough Line”. For his career Hough was 216-216. The knuckleballer was the epitome of a .500 pitcher. The Rays cannot think of any other teams until they first surpass Hough’s career winning percentage. So from now on we will only speak in terms of “Games behind Charlie Hough”. Right now the Rays are 1.5 games behind Charlie Hough.
DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA…
- The Rays base stealing is greatly improved in the last 10 days. After only being successful on 14 of their first 27 attempts, the Rays have stolen 14 of their last 17.
- Josh Hamilton was named NL Rookie of the Month for April. During the month, Hamilton, who started the season as a reserve, hit .266 with 6 home runs, 16 RBI and a stolen base.
- Akinori Iwamura finished second in the AL Rookie of the Month voting to fellow Japanese rookie Hideki Okajima of the Red Sox.
- Greg Norton has been getting at bats in extended spring training, and will begin a rehab assignment in Montgomery on Friday, where he will get 27-30 at bats (6-7 games). Norton should be back with the Rays a week from Friday when the Rays begin a series in Toronto.
- Now that Benny Boo Boo is on the bench, he has more free time to visit local school children. The upsetting part is that apparently BenZo was accompanied by his wife and mlb.com could not provide us with any pictures. That’s ok, we still have Julianne’s MySpace page.
- FoxSports has their first power ranking of the season and the Rays come in at #22. Might be the highest we have ever seen the Devil Rays ranked in any power rankings. Of course they mention that Jeff Niemann is returning from Tommy John surgery. Must have him mixed up with Wade Townsend.