THE GOOD: CC’s Throw. We have long been hard on Carl Crawford’s arm, but this season it seem much stronger and more accurate, and last night he threw a runner out at home to end the first. Not only did that stop a run from scoring, but a play like that in the first inning after a 3-game losing streak can be a huge morale booster for a team…Upton’s Steal. We have also been very hard on BJ Upton’s baserunning. But after he got on base with 2 outs in the 2nd, he had to get to second base to get into scoring position, and he did on a steal. He was then driven home on a single. Textbook…Pena’s Blast. Carlos Pena has been slumping recently, but the last couple of nights have shown positive signs as he is using the entire field, none more so than the opposite field home run in the 3rd…Lance Cormier. the bullpen would be in tatters this season if it weren’t for Cormier’s ability to consistently work 2+ innings and hold games in check.
THE BAD: Jeff Niemann. The Giraffe has gotta give the team more than 3.2 innings…A Tale of Two At Bats. In the second inning with no outs and a runner on third, Dioner Navarro got the job done by hitting a ground ball to the right side to bring the runner home. Now with 1 out and another runner on third, Reid Brignac on a 3-2 count, took a home run swing and only hit air. Brignac is a rookie. He will learn. But last night it cost the Rays a run.
THE TELLING: Last Friday’s rainout has finally been rescheduled as a day-night double-header on Labor Day in New York. Why did it take so long? Probably because the Rays weren’t thrilled at the idea of playing the first game of an important 4-game series on the road at 1:00.
SUNBURST PLAYER OF THE GAME: Willy Aybar.
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- The Serious Tip, wonders where Carl Crawford’s triples have gone. They break down each of his doubles to see if there is a trend. [The Serious Tip]
- Jonathan Mayo has the rundown of the Rays day 2 selections in the MLB draft. [MLB]
- Bill Eichenberger of Sporting News has a Q&A with BJ Upton. Maybe we are just defensive because of how the Rays have played so far, but a lot of the questions seem rather condescending in which Upton has to justify the Rays success from a year ago and whether 2008 was a fluke. [Sporting News]
- On the other hand David Chalk of Bugs and Cranks shows that 2009 is the fluke, not 2008. [Bugs and Cranks]
- Carl Crawford speaks about his first GIDP of the season. [MLB]