THE GOOD: Not a god damned thing..OK…Evan Longoria’s first major league home run to tie up the game was a nice moment…And Joe Maddon actually sounding pieved in the post-game press conference was a refreshing change…Outside of that? Not a damn thing.

THE BAD: We don’t want to talk about it…wait..ok, We want to talk about it…Andy Sonnanstine. This is Andy Sonnanstine. If you want the good you are going to have to put up with the bad. We all love the underdog. The righty that tops out at 88 on a good day. The guy that overcomes all the scouts and naysayers. But when you can’t overpower major league hitters, there are going to be nights when you are VERY hittable. Sonny throws strikes. Yes. But his fastball is a batting practice fastball. If it doesn’t have movement or if he misses over the plate, it is sayanora, adios, arivaderce, ciao, auf wiedersehen, good fuckin’ night…Al Reyes? Just go back to the last part and substitute “Al Reyes” for “Andy Sonnanstine”…One stat on Sonnanstine: He faced 20 batters and threw only 17 balls. He walked 1 batter. That means to the other 19 batters he threw only 13 balls. Fine we fucking get it. You can throw strikes. But guess what? It is kinda hard to get a batter to swing at a bad pitch if you don’t occasionally throw one out of the strike zone.

THE TELLING: Until Cliff Floyd and Dioner Navarro come back, the Rays are going to struggle against right handers. As it is, the bottom of the order against righties now is Shawn Riggans, Nathan Haynes and Jason Bartlett. There is not a legit major league hitter in that group and is darn near a cruise-control inning, whenever the opposing pitcher gets the bottom of the order…At least on nights like this, we have an excuse to drink.

DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA

  • Don’t forget, tonight will be the “Rays Index Live Blog-A-Baloo Of The Week” over the RAYSHEADS Facebook group. Crowd participation is encouraged, but not required. [RAYSHEADS]
  • Doeth our eyes deceive us? One writer has a Power Poll with your Tampa Bay Rays coming in at…drum roll please…#10. It’s true. We are even willing to forgive the Eva Longoria joke. [Yahoo! Sports]
  • Scott Kazmir pitched 2 innings in an extended spring training game. He will make the first of three scheduled rehab starts on Friday and is still on schedule to be back for the Rays on May 3 at Fenway Park…In addition, Dioner Navarro had the stitches from his hand removed and played catch. He could be back as early as Sunday. [Rays Report]
  • The Rays have the top pick in the draft (again) in June, and DRays Bay will take a closer look at four players from which the Rays are likely to make their selection, starting with Pedro Alvarez. [DRays Bay]
  • We thought we had put this whole “Rays need to sign Barry Bonds” crap? First they say that Jason Bartlett is a worse fielder than Brendan Harris now they are on to Bonds. Nevermind that he will want $10+ million. Nevermind the cancer-in-the-clubhouse thing and maybe a bad influence on all the young players. But how about the Rays already have 3 DH-types in the lineup and gave Cliff Floyd several million to be the most-days DH. Suppose the Rays should just throw that $3 million out the window? Tampa Bay Sports Blog is just trying to bait us. And it is almost working. But not yet. Now if they come back tomorrow and say Carlos Pena is overrated than we got a problem. [Tampa Bay Sports Blog]
  • Pitchers have begun to take batting practice in anticipation for interleague play. [MLB]
  • “The Sports Comedian” at FoxSports? Not so much. He makes a lame attempt to make fun of the Rays in relation to the entire “Red Sox jersey buried in the new Yankee stadium” mess. Let’s hope for his sake, he is actually funny sometimes. [Fox Sports]
  • Andrew Friedman does not make the cut in the poll to determine the “Worst GM”. [Bucs Dugout]
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4 Comments

  1. Kevin Gengler says:

    I think we need to stop giving Al Reyes high-leverage innings for a while. Dohmann did a fine job, but if there's a similar situation again, I don't see how you can give Al Reyes the ball. I don't have a problem wit doing it last night, but I think it's clear that Wheeler needs to be the 8th inning guy from now on.

    And while we're here, I didn't watch the game, but with Cano on the bench, I think you need to have a lefty warming up that inning. After Moeller it was a #9 hitting righty, Damon, Jeter, then Abreu. I realize they've pitched a lot lately, but wouldn't you have one of them warming up in case Cano does PH for Gonzalez? Then you have Miller/Howell against two lefties in a row, if one gets on you can be careful with Jeter and go after Abreu. At the very least, at this point you have to have somebody getting up when Reyes is out there because he just hasn't pitched well this year

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  2. Nick says:

    I think Reyes just needs a good tase once a series to keep him on track. Our pitching (outside of E-Jax and Niemann's debut) has been underwhelming, considering the excitement around it in spring training. It's good to see Longoria hit his first homer, but winning would make it feel a little better.

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  3. The Professor says:

    Reyes just isnt pitching with confidence right now. He had a swagger in the first half last season. Not now. I think we are pretty close to seeing Wheeler get the 8th inning on a regular basis.

    as far as the lefties? I am not sure. We have two, but they have been used a lot recently.

    Miller had thrown in the previous 4 games. He did only face 8 batters in that span, but 5 days in a row is prolly pushing it. Howell faced 7 batters in the two previous games. and keep in mind he is a starting pitcher by trade. so maybe 3 days in a row is stretching it.

    But you are right. that was a situation for a lefty. Maybe we could go back to one of the other games and fins a spot when Miller didnt need to be in there and then he would have been available last night. that would be the argument to make.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Seems like its been one of those nights far too often for ol Sonny boy. In my mind, he should be the odd man out once everyone is back healthy.

    I dont know why he gets a free pass from most, he was 6-10 last year with an ERA close to 6. Illusions of Maddux and El Duque are blinding some I guess.

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