Back-to-Back Shutouts Doom Halos

 

Rays 2, Angels 0

 

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Trivia Fact of the Night:

The Rays currently are scoring 29 more runs than the opposition from the 7th innig on this year (60-31). That statistic is leading the league in run differential from the 7th inning on this year.

 

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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly PostersThe Good, the Bad and the Ugly PostersThe Good, the Bad and the Ugly PostersThe Good, the Bad and the Ugly Posters

 

                                The Good,The Bad,and The Ugly

 

 

                                            The Good

 

Rays pitchers have now blanked the AL West division co-leaders two games in a row, and are looking for their thrid sweep of the season at home tomorrow. Rays pitchers have now posted 18 shutout innings against the Anaheim Angels this series.

 

Scott Kazmir was joking and laughing with B J Upton during the  Rays’ team photo today. Both were perched on the second level of the risers and seemed to be enjoying their own private jokes while the other players took their spots in the shoot. Kazmir held that calm, loose demeanor throughout his 6 innings tonight and even his record at 1-1.

 

Kazmir is in just his second start since he came off the DL with an elbow strain. Tonight was also Kazmir’s 99th career start, and 100th appearance. Scott struck out 8 Angels tonight and  did not start out like the old Kazmir. In the first few innings, Scott seemed to be focusing in on his mecahnics and posted some low velocity numbers on the pitch clock. As the game progresses, and he got more secure in his release point, Scott’s speed and pitch selection kept the Angels’ hitter at bay.

 

Honorable Mention “Good” guys:

 

*** Carlos Pena upped his RBI total to 19 with a sacrifice fly to center to score Carl Crawford from third and up the score to 2-0.

 

** Rays shortstop Jason Bartlett went 2-3 in the game with a double in the bottom of the 7th inning to get into scoring position for the Rays. Bartlett also combined with Aki Iwamura for a critical double play late in the game.

 

* Aki Iwamura is looking more relaxed and hitting the ball closer to the ground in the past few games. Iwamura went 3-5 tonight, with a run scored in the bottom of the 1st inning.

                                     

                                          The Bad

In a game like this, it is sometimes hard to find a critcal mistake or “bad” move. Tonight I am going to talk about the Carl Crawford steal attempt in the bottom of the second inning. Carl got caught stealing second by Angels’ catcher Mike Napoli in a one-sided tag out.

 

Carl seemed a bit unsure and did not get a clean break to second on the play. On most nights, Carl’s speed and adaptive nature can get him the steal. Tonight the ball was waiting there for Carl on a bullet from Napoli.

                       

                                                 The Ugly

 

I unfortunately have a clear choice for the “ugly” play of the night. It happened in the bottom of the 7th inning with the Rays up only 1-0 at the time.

 

Shortstop Jason Bartlett had just doubled to left and was standing on second when Iwamura hit a rocket to Erik Aybar at short for the Angels. Aybar juggled with the ball, and was about to go to first, when he saw that Bartlett was trying to score on the play. Aybar threw to Napoli, who covered the plate perfectly and tagged out Bartlett.

 

Bartlett did not run through a “stop” sign at third, but was given the sign to go for the plate with two outs in the inning. The play ended the Rays scoring chances, and left the score close at 1-0 going into the top of the 8th inning. Third base coach Tom Foley did not even hesistate to stop Bartlett, but took the gamble to maybe secure another run for the team.

 

Former Rays player of the Night:

               

 Tonight’s former Rays player is current Cincy outfielder Ryan Freel. Ryan went 3-5 with two runs scored in the Red’s loss to the New York  Mets 12-6. Freel hit two singles and a double tonight and stole his 5th base of the year.

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