THE GOOD: Evan Longoria and Carl Crawford are red hot. Last night they combined for 7-10 with a double, 2 home runs and 4 RBI. For CC, it was his 6th multi-hit game in his last 8 and 3rd home run in the last 3 games. For Dirtbag, he is 10 for his last 16 with 4 doubles and 3 home runs in his last 3 games. He has raised his average 24 points in 3 days to .272…The Pirates TV play-by-play guy on Eric Hinske’s 3-run home run in the 3rd. It was hit so hard, that the announcer called “second 3-run homer hit by a tampa player today” right off the bat and long before the ball landed.

THE BAD: Scott Kazmir lasted only 5 innings, needing 103 pitches. His fastball had no consistency. He was everywhere from 87-93 on the gun…Carl Crawford really is a horrible left-fielder. On Freddy Sanchez’ home run in the 4th, CC zig-zagged all over the place, looked at the wall a half-dozen times and still was afraid to reach for the ball that bounced off the top of the wall. Keep in mind that the wall is only about 7 feet tall. It could have easily been caught. And when he did jump (too late), the pocket of his glove was facing the fans in the stands. the ball would have hit the back of his glove. Good Times…Not to be outdone, BJ Upton misplayed a line drive right at him with 2 outs in the 6th. Instead of getting JP Howell out of the inning, Upton broke in on a ball hit over his head turning an out into an RBI double and getting the Pirates back within 3….PNC Park is apparently now playing the Saturday Night Live Cowbell Skit every night…

THE TELLING: Carlos Pena was back in the lineup for the first time, batting 6th. He was 0-3 with a walk and a sac fly…With Aki Iwamura set to start his suspension, Willy Aybar will get his first start at second base since 2006…The Rays maintain their 4 game lead over the A’s in the wild card race.


  • 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]
  • Akinori Iwamura’s suspension was not reduced and Coco Crisp’s suspension was reduced from 7 games to 5…Huh wha?!? Crisp was the one that bowled over Aki. Crisp was the one that charged the mound. And he had his suspension reduced? By two games? Unfortunately Crisp will miss the upcoming Rays-Red Sox series at the Trop. We would love to see that idiot get another ball in the backside. [The Heater]
  • Rays the Stakes has a very unique perspective on the Pirates series. [Rays the Stakes]
  • Apparently one of the Bugs and Cranks writers hates the Rays Blogosphere. We are confused by the reasoning. [Bugs and Cranks]


  1. DirtbagFan says:

    I went round in circles looking for the end of the thread that they were chasing at Bugs and Cranks... count me as confused too.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Staats and Magrane were tearing Major League Baseball a new one for the whole suspension reduction fiasco

  3. Steve says:

    Glad you brought up Staats and Magrane. If you don't like them, watch the highlights of last nights game on the Rays website. Those Pirate announcers are terrible...all three of the people watching were probably asleep.

  4. The Professor says:

    i was stuck with the Pirates broadcast on the EI package and they were awful. but it is hard to get excited about that team.

  5. Possum Avenger says:

    Those Pirates announcers may have been the worst I have ever heard in my life. How do they still have jobs?
    I would rather listen to Hawk Harrelson, at least he will keep my awake.

    Off topic, but just wanted to say that the addition of the "playing a little pepper" segment is terrific. Well written with engaging questions. Well done prof.

  6. Anonymous says:

    On Crawford's defensive abilities, it is a very understandable his poor play on that fly ball (eventually a homerun) off of Sanchez's bat.

    Consider this, he was playing in a field he has rarely, if ever, played in before. He doesn't know the steps to the fence, how high the fence is (at least off the top of his head) and doesn't know the tendencies of the wind or the warning track.

    It was a homerun, he may have been able to catch it but in my opinion, if it happens again today, he will at least make a better play at it.

  7. The Professor says:

    that's a fair point, but i would still argue that it shows a lack of natural baseball instincts.


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