THE GOOD: Carlos Pena had 2 home runs and 6 RBI. The second home run came with 1 out in 7th and the bases empty of a 5-2 game, the O’s brought in a lefty to face the Rays top of the order which is 3 straight lefties. 3 batters later, Pena tied the game 5-5…The Orioles bullpen entered the game with a 0.96 ERA. The Rays scored 8 runs in less than 2 innings off the bullpen…Good is being .500 after 10 games…Good is trailing 5-2 in the 7th inning and feeling like the Rays were not out of it…Good is winning a game when James Shields did not have his best stuff.
THE BAD: With 2 outs in the first and a 3-2 count, James Shields couldn’t get past Nick Markakis. Markakis fouled a couple of tough pitches off and evenatually walked. Later, a throwing error by Jason Bartlett would lead to 3 unearned runs…In the bottom of the 1st BJ Upton rounded 3rd too far with 2 outs and eventually was tagged out in a run down…Now we are going to nitpick Joe Maddon a bit which seems a bit unfair considering the Rays went on to win, but with the Rays trailing 4-2 in the bottom of the second and Bartlett on 1st with 2 outs, Bartlett did not try to steal second. Bartlett has to try to get to second base.If he is caught stealing, the Rays have the top of the order in the 3rd. If he gets to second, he is in scoring position and scores on a single. Without trying to steal, the only way to score is an extra-base hit by Aki Iwamura (~7% probability) OR you need back-to-back basehits by Aki and Carl Crawford (~9% probability). On the other hand, if Bartlett is a 70% base stealer there is a 21% chance of scoring if he tries to steal. And if he fails, Aki leads off the 3rd. Instead, the Rays had to have Carlos Pena leading off the 3rd…Will somebody please explain to us what in the world Shawn Riggans is wearing around his neck? It looks like a Mr. T starter kit. We have seen a lot of players wear gold chains in baseball, but we don’t ever remember one as long or as gaudy.
THE TELLING: The Orioles television crew are idiots. We *think* it was Gary Thorne and Buck Martinez. First of all, when Al Reyes came in to the game, they never mentioned his arrest. We are usually all for keeping the talk limited to the baseball game at hand, but in this case Reyes was arrested and tasered and basically a drunken idiot which led to being arrested, and all of that happened less than 20 hours before the start of the game. They should have mentioned how this was an incident that very well could have affected the outcome of the game. And they should have mentioned how Joe Maddon clearly wanted to get Reyes back on the mound as soon as possible. *Anything*. But they don’t say one word. Later on in the bottom of the 8th the O’s crew committed one of our biggest baseball announcer pet-pieves. With the bases loaded and Carlos Pena at the plate, a pitch came close to Pena and the crowd let out a grown. The announcers apparently needed to make it clear that the pitcher is not trying to hit Pena with the bases loaded and can’t seem to understand why the crowd is groaning. Well Sherlock…maybe it is just because the fans don’t like their star player getting hit by a pitch, whether it is intentional or not. Buck Martinez was basically saying the fans are stupid and we should not be bothered when a pitch comes prety darn close to injuring our best hitter. We wouldn’t hit Buck Martinez, but we really want to shake the shit out of him after saying that.
DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA…
- The Rays placed their 9th player on the Disabled List and we’ll be damned if this is not the first injury in the history of the franchise that we have been waiting for. Willy Aybar was placed on the 15-day DL and Evan Longoria was called up and will start tonight at third base…Willy? Meet Wally (Pipp)…Jeff Niemann was also called up and will make his major league debut tomorrow…Niemann and Longoria on back-to-back days. Holy Shit! It is like Christmas and our birthday and Hanukkah all wrapped in one, again! [Yahoo! Sports]
- Jason Hammel gets the ball tonight for the Rays and he will try to help the Rays win their 3rd straight. A win tonight and a Red Sox win and the Rays will be in first place. [MLB]
- Al Reyes met with the media for a whopping 30 seconds and did not answer any questions. Basically it was a 30 second apology and silent “Thank God, I play for the Rays or else there would 6,000 reporters here.” [Rays Report]
- Bugs & Cranks has a nice close up of Al Reyes. He looks amazingly good considering he got decked, tasered twice and spent some time in jail where he may or may not have been somebody’s bitch. [Bugs & Cranks]
- In Paul Harvey fashion Sports Indeed has “the rest of the story” concerning Al Reyes. [Sports Indeed]
- The must-read guys at “The Dugout” show that it was actually Troy Percival that tricked Al Reyes into getting drunk and tasered because Percy is worried that Reyes may try to take his closer’s job back. [Fanhouse]
- Dugout Central takes a look at Fred McGriff’s career and notes that his peak seasons came a few years too early and missed out on the offensive explosion enjoyed by many others. [Dugout Central]
- Carl Crawford got his 1,000th hit. [The Heater]