Rookie Rockets Rays Past A’s

 

Rays 7, Athletics 6

 

Worst part of a game starting at 9:30 at night, you might not get to the pillow until maybe 1 AM. Worst part of last night’s game, what pillow?.  When you win a game like that, the “zombie” walk that is part of the next day is acceptable behavior in my book. Hopefully my customers will not ask me any questions, for I will be sleeping on my feet today……….snore….

 

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Trivia Fact of the Night:

Until 1954, players were able to leave their gloves on the field while their team batted.

 

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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

 

The Rays rookie, Evan Longoria has had a dream year so far in 2008. He is leading all AL third baseman in fielding percentage (.997), he has been rewarded with a long term contract by the club, and he is hitting the ball like a guy who has been here for a long time.

People forget he was not with the Rays for the first 10 games of the year But since then, you can’t get the kid off the hot corner.

                                 

Longoria went 3-6 last night with 3 RBI’s. Evan also got a stolen base off of Kurt Suzuki and Keith Foulke in the top of the 8th inning.  To put the icing on the cake, Longoria got his 2-run shot of former Ray Chad Gaudin in the top of the 13th inning.

 

Honorable Mention “Good Guys”:

 

*** Akinora Iwamura is siliently putting together another hitting streak for the Rays. At the beginning of the year, it looked as though Aki would not be a good lead-off candidate for this Rays squad.

Since then, he has come through in the clutch and shown he can deliver in the top spot.  With 29 hits in May, Aki leads the AL in that category and only trails Houston’s Lance Berkman by 6 for the MLB lead in hits this season in the month of May.

              

** When Jason Hammel was demoted to the bullpen after Scott Kazmir came back, he took it in stride and still worked out strong and hard to keep in the mind of manager Joe Maddon.

Hammel pitched 3 innings last night and helped the Rays protect the lead with 1 hit and three strikeouts in his outing. Hammel was rewarded with his 3rd win of the season for his efforts.

                    

* Eric Hinske leads the Rays with 18 extra base hits this season. His 2-run homer to tight in the 5th inning started the scoring for the Rays tonight.

His 8th homer this year is two more than he had all last year with  the Boston Red Sox.  Hinske also got one of the Rays 5 doubles on the night in the 3rd inning.

                               

                                                      The Bad

When Frank Thomas came to the Oakland A’s after being let go by the Toronto Blue Jays, most people felt he might be entering his last sunset in the MLB.

Do not tell Frank that, as he belted two homers off Rays starter James Shields tonight. For the night, Shields gave up 3 homers, two to Thomas and one to Emil Brown.

Before tonight, Shields had only given up two homers the entire season. His control was not amazing tonight as his cheangeup was missing the corners all night long. Shields did not look comfortable ot there and struggled in his 7.2 innings. He gave up 5 hits and 5 earned runs tonight, while only striking out 3 batters.

                                       

                                                        The Ugly

I must say the biggest “Ugly” in tonight’s game is the tarp covered upper deck area of Oakland’s stadium. It is in that ugly dark green hue that makea a great backdrop, but takes the beauty of the stadium away and just make sit look drab and dull.

                               

Players have said that this stadium is the worst for sun-aided outfield drops and mis-plays. The outfield sun backdrop is a monster in the early evening as the sun that beats down  at an 85 degree angle on you. Shades and your hand covering your eyes to adjust to the sun do not help in this stadium. Most times you just have to hope you have great positioning as the ball makes its ascent to the turf. 

Oakland’s own player Jack Cust seemed to have that same situation last night in the top of the 3rd inning on a double by Eric Hinske.

Cust looked to have the play, but when the ball got within 10 feet of him he froze and could not locate the ball in the setting sun. The ball fell a few feet to the right of where he was standing and trickled to the wall before centerfielder Ryan Sweeney retrived the ball for the A’s.

 

        

Former Rays Player of the Night:

                                                                 

When the Rays traded Brendan Harris to the Twins in the off season, more than one Rays fan cried “foul.” They did not see why you would get rid of a guy who was a working class baseball player, who did his job nightly and did not seek the limelight for himself.

Well, Brendan, you are my ex-Ray of the night because of your 3-5 night against the Texas Rangers.  Harris was listed as the Twins DH for the night, until taking over at short in the extra innings.  Harris currently hitting .262 for the Twins.

 

 

Tonight is a another late start ( 10:05 P.M.) with Scott Kazmir taking the mound for the Rays.  I am not sure if I am going to make this telecast, but we shall see………..if the kids let me catch a catnap, I might actually see a bunch of innings.

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