Angels Fall to Earth in Loss

 

 

 

Rays 2, Angels 0

 

Tomorrow at 2:45 I will be at Gate 4 ready to get my cap and uniform and get my photo taken with the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays. It is the offical photo for the team, and I am damn glad to have a face in it. This is going to be the first winning team in our history, and I want to have a small piece of that.

I get to stay on the field for Batting Practice after the photo session, and I am looking forward to the different prospective to the hijinks and the team’s approach to the act of batting practice.   I am so excited I could just stay up all night and type……………….maybe not.

 

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Trivia Fact of the Night: 

Friday night’s Rays game marked the first time a pitcher has thrown a one-hit shutout (or no-hitter) and his team won the game via a walk-off homer since May 19, 1985.

 

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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly PosterThe Good, the Bad and the Ugly PosterThe Good, the Bad and the Ugly PosterThe Good, the Bad and the Ugly Poster

 

 

                                        The Good,The Bad,and The Ugly

 

 

                                              The Good

 

James Shields pitched a masterpiece tonight. Not only did he beat a team that has been on a roll lately, he one-hit them and struck out 8 in his 9 innings of work. Shields became the second pitcher in Rays history to throw a one-hit shutout, and the fourth to have two career shutouts.

 

James Shields recorded his second shutout this season, grabbing the Major League lead in that category. Shields improved to 4-2 for the Rays, and rebounded perfectly from a bad outing last weekend against the Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park.

 

Honorable Mention “Good” Guys:

 

*** Rays outfielder Gabe Gross got a  double to left center in the bottom of the 8th inning and was replaced by pinch-runner  Nathan Haynes. 

 

** Rays first baseman Carlos Pena got two hits tonight and put the bat to the ball decisively in his other at bats. Pena is starting to look extremely confortable at the plate, which could mean alot of trouble for the AL pitching staffs. With a homer last night, Carlos is back in second place in the AL in home runs.

 

 

* Rookie Evan Longoria hit a blast to left center that was gone the second it left the bat tonight. The ball made a quick and direct high projectory that put it about 20 rows into the outfield seats The entire dugout was there to meet him and let him in on the Rays “dogpile” victory celebration style. Longoria scored B J Upton who had singled to right two batter before the homer.

 

                                             The Bad

 

When you have a pitcher’s duel, it is usually hard to find a defining “bad” or moment where you think the game could have turned or should have been avoided.

 

James Shields allowed one hit all night to Angel Brandon Wood. The hit was a good ground shot up the middle in the 3rd inning.

 

“American Idol” finalist Syesha Mercardo slipped and used the now frowned-upon “devil” to preface the Rays on Friday night, but the 21-year-old deserves to be cut a little slack. After all, it was nearly eight years ago that Mercado sang the national anthem at Tropicana Field, when the team was the Devil Rays and the native of Sarasota, Fla., was relatively unknown.

 

“I love baseball. I don’t have a favorite team, but I’ve always enjoyed the Devil Rays,” she said before looking down to correct the blunder. “I mean the Rays, because, you know Tampa, [it's a] hometown team.”

 

The only “bad” moment I really saw all night actually happened even before the players took the field tonight.  Syesha Mercado came out decked in a nice Rays BP jersey with “Syesha 08″ stitched on the jersey back. She looked poised and in control, but forgot a sliver of a line in the National Anthem that she did cover real well, and only if you caught it, would you even know it was a mistake.

 

                                                The Ugly

 

The only “ugly” I really saw was the announced crowd for the night. It was announced that 12,039 attended the game, or the Trop was 29 percent full tonight.

 

I know the Angels are not a huge draw in this area of the country, and I know that most people do not know that the Angels are  22-15 and  currently in first in the AL West. Most know this team as the former employer of current Rays manager Joe Maddon, and a World Series champion a few years ago in a dramatic series against the San Francisco Giants.

 

This series should be a great time for the local Rays fans to come out and show massive sup[port for the team that is winning, and is in second place right now in the AL East.

 

 

Former Rays player of the Night:

 

 

Current Florida Marlin third baseman Jorge Cantu went 2-4 tonight with 2 RBI’s during the Marlins’  7-3 victory over the Washington Nationals. Cantu is hitting .287 with 16 RBI for the season.

 

 

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