THE GOOD: Willy Aybar saves the day. The Rays loaded the bases with 1 out in the 8th and Evan Longoria struck out on a hanging 3-2 pitch. Now with 2 outs, Aybar doubled to right and drove in 2 to break a 2-2 tie…Jason Bartlett was even more day-savingish. With us panicking and begging for an insurance run, Bartlett singled with one out. He then stole second and third (with 2 outs) and then scored on a wild pitch. That would prove to be the game-winner…Shawn Riggans saved a run in the 9th inning blocking a pitch in the dirt well to his right with runners on 2nd and 3rd and 1 out. If the run scores there, Joe Maddon would have needed to then bring the infield in and the chances of the Rangers scoring a second run go way up…Dan Wheeler’s glove. Normally you don’t want a pitcher to deflect a ball. It almost always leads to an infield hit. However, with 2 outs in the 9th, the tying run on third and the red-hot Milton Bradley up, Wheeler deflects a would-be ground ball single up the middle straight to Aki Iwamura for the final out. Just your typical 1-4-3 to end the game. Lucky? Yep. But when you are good, you are more likely to create a situation in which luck has a chance to help.
THE BAD: Andy Sonnanstine’s beard…We have spent plenty of time on this site criticizing Carl Crawford and his throws from left field, but once again last night in the 3rd inning, CC missed the cut-off on a throw to the plate allowing the hitter to advace to second base…Mrs. Professor says that Chris Shelton has a HUGE ass. Like a “chick that just gave birth”. We didn’t notice.
THE TELLING: Andy Sonnanstine was pulled after 5 innings with only 86 pitches…We will give Joe Maddon a pass for his decision to let Trever Miller face Milton Bradley in the 8th inning. Yes, we know that Miller struggles against righties, but a lefty led off the inning (ground out) and a lefty was following the switch-hitting Bradley. You want Miller to face both lefties and the worst that could happen is the lead is cut in half. The lead was not in danger. If the first batter gets on base then you can say that Miller should have come out. Yes the worst-case scenario happened, but that would not happen everytime.
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]
- Jonny Gomes dropped his appeal of his 5-game suspension and began serving it last night. He is only expected to miss one start in that 5-game stretch…Also, the Rays have already begun contract negotiations with Tim Beckham but as usual, the Rays are quite mum on the subject. [St. Pete Times]
- Jonny Gomes will have a new job title during his suspension…Maybe he will get more “playing time” with this new role. [Tampa Tribune]
- Jonny Gomes makes an appearance in the chatroom at The Dugout, as “JonPuffyGomes”. [The Dugout]
- It is expected that Carl Crawford will begin serving his suspension when Jonny Gomes concludes his suspension. The timing of the suspension could help Crawford. With 2 off-days, CC will actually have a chance to rest his sore knee for 7 days. [MLB]
- One blogger is already wondering aloud if Joe Maddon should win the AL Manager of the Year. [Ryan Goes To ASU]