DRG here again. I can be reached here.
  • The Good: Lot’s o’ alcohol during a game like that.
  • The Bad: James Shields outing was only 1 out longer than his shortest ever, a 3.1 inning performance last July against the Yankees in which he gave up 10 runs…JP Howell’s first 7 pitches in which he walked a batter to load the bases and then got ahead of a batter 0-2 before hitting him to drive in a run.
  • The Telling: Prof mentioned that Aki Iwamura was bailing out on most pitches. Well, he hit an opposite-field home run yesterday which is a good sign.

DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Scott Kazmir is set to make his major league debut today and will have a 100-pitch limit. [MLB]
  • BJ Upton was out of the lineup again last night, but should be ready to go today. [Rays Report]
  • Al Reyes suffered a minor set-back and the Rays bullpen is better for it. Reyes will be out at least two more weeks, after an MRI revealed Tendinitis in his elbow. [MLB]
  • Joe Henderson says the Rays are not overachieving noting that injuries have hampered the Rays and several players are yet to start hitting. [Tampa Tribune]
  • Buster Olney points out that Andy Sonnanstine is one of the best in the league at avoiding hitters counts. In fact, only 10.9% of batters faced have been in a hitters count at any given point. That is the third best rate. [ESPN]

Giving up base on balls was something that nagged at Andy Sonnanstine and in spring training, the Rays’ right-hander began having conversations about the mentality of hitters with a couple of teammates — veteran Eric Hinske, and first-base coach George Hendrick, who accumulated 1,980 hits and 267 homers during his career.

What those lengthy conversations reinforced to Sonnanstine was the peril of pitching into ball-strike counts that greatly favor the hitter — two balls and no strikes or 3-1. “I was telling [Hinske] of how much better I felt if I threw a first-pitch strike,” said Sonnanstine, from Fenway Park, “and he was letting me know how amped he’s getting when there’s a 2-0 count, or 3-1. He gets excited because he knows that statistically, the chances are he’s going to get a base knock.”

  • Justin Ruggiano is obviously unhappy about his demotion to Durham, but would rather play everyday in AAA than sit on the bench for the Rays if he isn’t given at least occasional playing time. [MLB]
  • A blog lists the Rays among “The Failure Dynasties”. If you are interested in what they have to say, check the link. Just don’t ask me. The piece is about 64,000 words long and I really don’t feel like reading another piece about how much the Rays have sucked. [Ara Sports]
 
 

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