THE GOOD: Matt Garza stepped up after his meltdown in his previous start. Garza gave up only 1 run on 3 hits. He walked a batter and hit another…Evan Longoria is once again showing that not only is he the front-runner for Rookie of the Year, but he also deserves serious consideration for the Gold Glove award, making maybe his greatest play yet, diving into foul territory, and throwing a runner out at first from his knees…The Rays once again ran at will, stealing 4 bases, 2 by BJ UptonJason Bartlett has been on base 5 times in 7 plate appearance this series and one of the times he failed to reach base was a sac fly…The Rays made the most of their hits, needing only 4 hits to score 4 runs. They later added a 5th hit.

THE BAD:

THE TELLING: After homering in the second inning, Jonny Gomes struck out 3 times. The Rays radio crew wondered aloud what Gomes numbers look like in the 10 at bats prior to hitting a home run compared to the 10 at bats immediately following a home run. Their thought was that Gomes struggles after hitting a home run as he tries to hit more. So we looked it up. So far in ’08 Gomes has hit 5 home runs. We looked at the 10 plate appearances prior to and following a home run. We only counted plate appearances as “prior to a home run” if they weren’t already considered part of a batch of plate appearances “after a home run” (in the case of 2 home runs hit relatively close together). Prior to home runs, Gomes is 4-23 (.174) with 4 strike outs and no walks. In plate appearances after a home run he is 2-30 (.066) with 14 Ks and 4 walks. The number that really stands out is the strike outs.

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]
  • We have heard previously that the Rays would add an alternate jersey in ’09. But now it is being reported that the alternate jersey will also say “Rays” across the front, and not “Tampa Bay” as was previously speculated. [St. Pete Times]
  • Rocco Baldelli will begin a 20-game rehab stint tomorrow with Vero Beach. He will only DH and there are no plans to have him play in the outfield…It appears as though the Rays still have one minor league option remaining on Baldelli, so it is conceivable (likely?) that the Rays will just option Rocco to the minors in three weeks if they are unable to extend the rehab assignment past the maximum 20 days. [MLB]
  • MLB News Online is reporting that the Yankees have been trying to trade for Carl Crawford for the last 2 years, and wonder if there is a chance those talks could rekindle…The chances of the Rays trading CC are slim. The chances of the Rays trading CC to the Yankees, a divisional rival and wild card foe, are less than zero. [MLBNewsOnline]
  • Lou Piniella believes that if the Rays had been willing to spend a little money as they are doing now, when he was manager, this success would have come sooner. [St. Pete Times]
  • Marc Lancaster surveyed 20 players on who they thought should represent the Rays in the All-Star game. Dioner Navarro received the most votes (10). [Tampa Tribune]
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