THE GOOD: In the top of the 5th Andy Sonnanstine somehow survived to only allow 1 run to score. After the 1 run scored, the Sox had 1st and 3rd with no outs and could not put another run on the board. Gabe Gross would tie the game in the bottom half of that same inning with a triple…We have pounded Jonny Gomes and his defensive struggles, so it is only fair that we acknowledge the sliding grab to retire the leadoff hitter in the 7th with the score tied. Not only did he make the catch, but with Gomes running straight in, he slid for the ball with his body perpindicular to the path of the ball instead of diving head-first for the ball. By sliding in the manner that he did, Gomes was positioned to block the ball with his body had he missed the catch. That would have kept the hit to a single. If he dives and the ball gets by him, the best-case scenario is a man on third with no outs…JP Howell in the 10th inning. After a bit of bad luck led to a broken bat double to lead off the inning, Howell battled back and got the next 3 batters, including the final out on a full count, called 3rd strike.
THE BAD: We really hate the day-before-an-off-day lineup. No Carl Crawford. No Dioner Navarro. No Cliff Floyd...The double by Jim Thome to lead off the 10th was all BJ Upton’s fault and he is lucky it did not cost the Rays the game. He lolligagged in on the blooper, assuming Aki Iwamura was going to either catch the ball or field it and then probably assumed Thome would just stop at first…Gabe Gross’ home run celebration helmet toss in which the helmet came down right on the scrum at home plate nearly concussing one or more of his teammates.
THE TELLING: Well, it wasn’t a sellout and it wasn’t 28,000, but the Rays did draw 25,000 yesterday, we feel that Marc Lancaster should still eat a little crow for suggesting that the only reason the Rays drew 30,000 on Saturday night was due to the concert and the free trucker hats. Lancaster said “[Saturday's attendance] does not constitute a sudden uptick in support for the first-place Rays…Now, if they get 28,000 in here Sunday, I’ll stand corrected. But I’ll also believe it when I see it.” 25,000 for a non-divisional opponent is a good draw for the Rays. The Rays are now 5-1 in extra inning games…While the Rays magic number for the division is 104, the magic number for the Wild Card is only 100…The Rays are now 8-4 in Andy Sonnanstine’s 12 starts. The Rays are 5-1 in Scott Kazmir’s 6 starts, 5-4 in Matt Garza’s starts, 6-5 in Edwin Jackson’s starts and 8-4 in James Shields starts.
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]
- Joe Maddon will not skip any pitchers with the off-day today. That means Scott Kazmir will not get a start in Boston. [Tampa Tribune]
- Thursday’s series finale in Boston will begin at 6:05 PM due to the Celtics playoff game. [St. Pete Times]