THE GOOD: Sometimes you watch a game and you just know early on that it is not the Rays’ night. It is easier on the liver.
THE BAD: Andy Sonnanstine against the A’s this season. The Rays have only played the A’s 5 times and yet two of their worst losses are at the hands of the green and gold. In addition to last night’s 8-1 drubbing, the A’s got the beat-down on May 21 in Oakland to the tune of a 9-1 score. Sonny was the starting pitcher in both games. The only game worse than either of those was the 13-2 pounding just before the break in which we were thankfully in St. Lucia sans baseball. Oh yeah. Sonnanstine started that game also.
THE TELLING: Why was Houston Street brought into the game with an 8-1 lead? Might it be because he was being auditioned for the Rays brass? Managers will often bring closers into non-save situations if they have not been used in a while, but it had only been 3 days since Street last pitched. We counted 15 times this season in which Street had more than 2 off-days. The only explanation is that the A’s wanted to make sure that Andrew Friedman and Co. got a first-hand look at Street before the trade deadline.
DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA…
- Jason Bartlett will likely be activated after today’s afternoon game. It looks like Ben Zobrist will not be demoted after all which means Jonny Gomes could be the odd-man out. That would leave Zobrist or Willy Aybar to play right field against lefties. [Bradenton Herald]
- And yet Marc Lancaster tells us that some in the organization think that Jonny Gomes can be the right handed bat that the Rays desparately need against lefties. [Tampa Tribune]
- As per our assertion in yesterday’s “Hangover” that Grant Balfour screamed “fastball!” to Dioner Navarro in the 8th inning of Monday’s game…Someone close to the team told us that Balfour says that he yelled “Fuck!” and not “Fastball!”. We went back and looked at the tape and it looks to us as if there are either two syllables or two words. So, either Balfour is thinking of a different situation or he does yell the F-bomb with a second word attached. [Rays Index]
- Outs Per Swing is doing a great job keeping up with all the Rays trade rumors…Normally we would be more on this stuff, but we would be surprised if the Rays make a move for anybody significant. Maybe a middle reliever and maybe a utility infielder. The rest is just speculation because the Rays are in contention and have a deep farm system. [Outs Per Swing]
- Brittany Ghiroli points out that the Rays have still been able to score runs with several top hitters struggling thanks to their speed on the basepaths. [MLB]
- Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports gives the Rays 2/5 odds of making the playoffs. That is 3rd in the AL behind the Angels (a lock at this point) and the Red Sox. [Yahoo! Sports]
- ESPN is running one of their silly “Sports Nation” specials looking at the all time best player for each team. They are taking votes for each team. Follow the link for your chance to vote for the Rays’ all-time greatest player…It is pretty sad when Roberto Hernandez is considered one of the five best Rays in franchise history. And it might seem silly, but one could make an argument that Evan Longoria is already the best player in franchise history. [ESPN]
- Reader J.J. pointed us to this auction for the game-used uniforms and equipment from the Rays turn-back-the-clock game recently in which the Rays donned the threads of the St. Pete Pelicans. [MLB]