THE GOOD: Jason Bartlett stole 3 bases, including 3rd base twice…BJ Upton threw a runner out at third base on the fly…
THE BAD: The Golden Sombrero for Jonny Gomes…Edwin Jackson being Edwin. After 27 pitches in the 2nd inning we knew it was going to be a long night…Rays batters had 11 strikeouts and only 2 walks…Carlos Pena and Evan Longoria combined for 9 runners left on base…Aki Iwamura just missed tying the game in the 5th when a drive down the leftfield line was foul by less than a foot. Jason Bartlett would end up stranded at 3rd.
THE TELLING: In the 6th inning, they zoomed in on Jason Hammel as he scurried to get loose quickly. You can just read the expression on his face, “God, I hate this shit”…Jonny Gomes got the start in right field against the left-handed pitcher, while Willy Aybar got the start at DH.
DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA…
- Don’t forget to VOTE for Carl Crawford to start the all-star game. If you haven’t voted yet today, go NOW! [MLB All-Star Voting]
- Was Troy Percival cursed by The Sporting News? [Babes Love Baseball]
- Troy Percival’s injury is not serious, but not surprisingly, he is being given a 2-week break in the form of a trip to the DL to make sure he is 100% when he returns. Willy Aybar was called up to take Percival’s spot on the roster. After the game, Ben Zobrist was demoted and replaced by Grant Balfour…As we have said before, demoting Zobrist is certainly only a temporary move, until a better solution presents itself. We can’t imagine that Joe Maddon wants to go too deep into the season with Evan Longoria as his backup shortstop. Or maybe he likes having 1 shortstop on the roster and 4 guys that can play right field. [The Heater]
- Joe Maddon will go with closer-by-committe for the next two weeks…Of course, let’s hope he was just being kind when he included Gary Glover’s name in that group. [Tampa Tribune]
- Richard Justice says what we have been screaming for a long time. Be patient. The fans in the Tampa-St. Pete area deserve the benefit of the doubt and it is way too early to be screaming about low attendance. And a big part of this is that baseball owes Florida because they used the state for so long. Many teams used the state of Florida as a bargaining chip in their quest to get public funding for their own stadiums. [The Sporting News]
- Rocco Baldelli got some hacks in an extended spring training game as a DH. He went 1-5. [The Heater]
- There is a new blog in the area and with their first post, they take a look at the Rays why the best is yet to come. [The Emerging Voice on Sports and More]
- Gary Thorne says that Don Zimmer and his experience are a very valuable piece for the young Rays roster. [USA Today]