THE GOOD: Andy Sonnanstine worked into the 7th inning for the first time since May 16 in St. Louis, a span of 8 starts…Shawn Riggans was 3-4 and broke a 0-0 tie with a lonnnnggggg home run in the 4th inning…Troy Percival did walk a batter and needed 22 pitches, but otherwise looked good in his first appearance since walking 4 batters, 5 days ago.
THE BAD: Another day having to listen to the Pirates TV crew. They make us want to shove chopsticks in our ears. On Willy Aybar’s home run in the 6th the call did not even start until the ball had landed and went like this: “It is 2-1 Tampa Bay, Aybar’s 3rd home run of the year.” That was the entire home run call…The Rays have a lot of trouble scoring men from third with less than 2 outs, a sign of youth and inexperience. Top of 2nd inning, the Rays had bases loaded with 1 out and the top of the order up. That should be a guaranteed run or two and the Rays scored none. A veteran team finds a way to drive a run home. This seems to happen to the Rays on an almost nightly basis…Another misplay by BJ Upton, playing a single/double into a runner on 3rd base, by kicking a ball to left field. Literally. He kicked the ball into left field. That runner would later score on a sac fly…How about more youth and inexperience? Shawn Riggans forgetting a runner was on third base and going after a dribbler to the mound that Andy Sonnanstine was clearly going to field. The runner on third broke for home and scored without a throw. The Rays can get away with stupid mistakes against the Pirates, but a team like the Sox or the Yankees will eat them alive.
THE TELLING: The Rays now have their rotation set up perfectly for the Red Sox series with James Shields, Scott Kazmir and Matt Garza scheduled to start games…The Rays finished the first half of the season with 49 wins and are on pace to finish 98-64. Since 2004, the wild card team has finished with 94 or 95 wins each season.
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]
- Troy Percival had not pitched in 5 days and he appeared to feel better. [St. Pete Times]
- There will be extra security at the Trop for the Red Sox the next three days and it has nothing to do with the recent tensions for the 2 teams. Somebody has apparently made a very specific threat against black and latin american members of the Red Sox. The Red Sox and Major League Baseball appear to be taking the threat seriously. [Boston Herald]
- We are still not sold yet that the Rays will bring in a veteran starting pitcher, but BrewersNation breaks down the pitchers that may be available. [Brewers Nation]
- Seems a little extreme to call the Rays and Red Sox the “Best baseball race ever” but it has the makings of being a good one. [Bugs and Cranks]