Mental Errors Cost Rays

 

Rays 5, Twins 6

 

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Trivia fact for the Night:

Eddie Matthews is the only person to play for a franchise in three cities: Boston, Milwalkee,and Atlanta

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                                     The Good,The Bad,and The Ugly

 

                 Jonny Gomes upends Twins second baseman Brendan Harris on a stolen base attempt, but Harris hangs on to make the out.

 

                                           The Good

 

Top “Good” honors go to the Rays offense tonight who  produced 10 hits  tonight off  Twins pitchers. Leading the charge tonight with Homeruns were: Carl Crawford(2), Shawn Riggans(2),and Eric Hinske(3).

 

Honorable Mentions for the Night:

* The Rays also activiated lefty  Kurt Birkins from the DL. Birkins came in to pitch in the 6th inning and retired the first four batters he saw on 9 pitches.

 

** B J Upton hit a single to center that score Carl Crawford to help the Rays regain the lead 3-2 in the Top of the 5th inning. Upton’s hit helped him raise his average to .304 for the season.

*** Carl Crawford also hit a double  in the game and raised his average to .239.  Crawford also scored two runs and had an RBI himself tonight.

 

                                                    The Bad

 

Dan Wheeler did not deserve the loss tonight to the Twins. Mental mistakes or shortcomings by Rays outfielders made the difference in the game tonight. In the bottom of the 8th inning, Delmon Young singles to center. Former Ray, Brendan Harris is the next to bat.

 

Brendan lifted a ball to the rightfield fouline that should have been caught by Hinske. Hinske can not sprint to the ball, and  it drops in for a single that advanced Delmon to third base. Twins third baseman Mark Lamb then hit a sacrifice fly to left that Crawford caught in foul territory,  Delmon then tagged up and scored to regain the lead 6-5 for the Twins.

 

If Crawford had let that foul ball drop to the turf, Delmon would not have been able to advance to score the winning run. Of course this is all hindsight because we do not know what type of out /hit Mark Lamb might have produced after that swing.

 

For that reason alone, the two critical defensive lapses, Dan Wheeler,  should not have had to take a loss in this contest..

 

                                         The Ugly

 

I have three minor “Uglies” to mention tonight.

 

*** Jason Bartlett again produced an error on the throw to first against Delmon Young in the bottom of the 5th inning. The reason this is big, Delmon recieved two RBI’s when Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau scored to up the score to 5-3 Twins. 

 

Worst yet, there were 2 outs at the time. A good throw to Carlos Pena would have ended the inning with the score still 3-3. By the Way, Bartlett improved his average to .196 for the year.

 

** Carlos Pena went 0-3 tonight and saw his average sink to .185. In a year where we are seeing hitters like Boston’s David Ortiz and the Yankees Robinson Cano, the hitting of Pena is staggering to this potential offense. 

 

I know Carlos is seeing alot more off-speed and breaking balls because of his quick Home Run start, but the guy is a professional and the adjustments need to be made now before they get to his mind.

 

*  Defensive lapses have cost us a few games this season. Tonight’s contest is not exception to that rule. Two outfield mental errors gave way to the winning run for the Twins.

 

Another throwing error, Bartlett’s third of the season led to the Twins taking the lead in the 5th inning.  Ben Zobrist must be kicking himslef for his injury right now, because he would be the starting shortstop on my squad without a doubt right now.

 

Former Rays Player of the Night:

 

When the Rays traded lefty pitcher Mark Hendrickson to the L A Dodgers, they might have thought they would not see the tall guy for a while. Hendrickson caught on with the cross state rival, the Florida Marlins and improved his record to 3-1 for the year. Mark worked 5.1 inning tonight with 6 hits and 3 runs.

 

ALERT: At the time of my blog, Texas outfielder Josh Hamilton was 4-7 with 2 RBI’s in their game with the Toronto Blue Jays, but since that game went  into extra innings (14) , I took the big guy from the fish for my nightly former Rays guy.

 

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