THE GOOD: Andy Sonnanstine was the hard-luck loser, shutting out the M’s for 7 innings before allowing a run in the 8th. At one point he retired 17-straight batters, a team record…Rays batters that led-off an inning were on base 4 times in a row at one point.
THE BAD: Dan Wheeler. After throwing 3 straight fastballs, Wheeler tried to sneak a 1-2 slider past a red-hot Raul Ibanez. Ibanez had 7 home runs in the 21 games prior to last night. Throwing a slider there is lose-lose for Wheeler. Ibanez is a lefty, pull-hitter with an open stance. Even if the slider bites and is down-and-in, it will be right in Ibanez’ power-zone. For those familiar with Ted Williams’ “The Science of Hitting”, that is where the red balls would be for Ibanez and he would likely fire that down the right-field line for a double. And if the slider hangs as it did last night? Well, we like to call those 400-foot strikes. Game over…Despite the success of the batters leading off innings, only 1 of those runners scored and the team was 0-8 with runners in scoring position and grounded into 2 double-plays. The biggest blow was the 9th inning with the score tied 1-1 and Evan Longoria on 3rd with only 1 out. Cliff Floyd and Dioner Navarro struck out to end the threat.
THE TELLING: The Rays magic number to make the playoffs is 44.
DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA…
- If you missed our announcement yesterday afternoon, the Rays traded a PTBNL for Chad Bradford, a submarine pitcher from the O’s…And soon, we will all learn the answer to the age-old question: Does Chad Bradford get rug burns on his knuckles when he pitches on artificial turf? Also, some of you may remember Bradford from the book “Moneyball”, by Michael Lewis. Bradford was one of the players featured in that book. [Rays Index]
- Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Padres tried to move Brian Giles through waivers in order to trade him to the Rays. The Red Sox blocked the move by putting in a claim on Giles and now the Sox and Padres are working on a trade to send Giles to Boston. [Fox Sports]
- Evan Longoria, who was hit on the wrist with a pitch, had X-Rays return negative. He says he is “OK”. [The Heater]
- Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald breaks down the race in the AL East with a detailed look at each team. [Boston Herald]
- A Red Sox blog breaks down the remaining schedule for the Sox and the Rays and predicts the Rays to win the division by one game. [Fire Brand of the American League]