Kazmir Strikes a Blow to the Rangers

Rays 7, Rangers 3

 

 

I got to the ballpark a little early today and was sitting at a small bench near the Team store when I had a upsetting story hit my screen.

Former Rays pitcher, Geremi Gonzalez had died from a lightning strike at the beach in his native Venezuela on Sunday. Gonzalez had only pitched for the Rays from 2003-2004, but had struck out 121 batters in that span and had a Rays record of 6-16 while appearing in 36 games. Mostly a starter for the team, he was in the bullpen  in late 2004.

I want to send along my prayers to his family and friends in MLB. Geremi was a bit of a prankster on the team, but was well liked and respected by fans and players alike in the league.  He will be truly missed by all.

 

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Trivia Fact of the Night:

Of the 84 teams leading their divisions at Memorial Day, 46 went on to capture their division pennants at the end of the season. (The Rays are leading their division on this date).

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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

There are a lot of great stories to be told tonight, but the best is the stellar pitching performance put in by number 19, Scott Kazmir( 4-1). Since he came off the DL, Scott has been a force to be reckoned with in the league.  Tonight he pitched goose eggs until the top of the 5th inning.

How good was Kazmir tonight, he retired his first 7 of 9 batters with strikeouts, and finished with 10 strikeouts for the night. Scott pitched  7 innings of 3-hit, 1-run ball, and lowered his ERA to 1.50.

 

Honorable Mention “Good Guys”:

 

***  Rays catcher Dioner Navarro would be leading the AL in average if he had more at bats this season. Navarro is currently hitting .369. The current AL leader is Twins’ catcher Joe Mauer with a .338. Because his time on the DL cost him valuable at bats, Dioner might be the best hitter in the league by numbers, but not in the offical tallys.

Dioner hit a RBI double to deep center tonight to score Evan Longoria in the bottom of the 6th inning. Navarro legged it out to third on a throwing error.

                       

** Carlos Pena is continuing to show that he is about to breakout again this season. In the bottom of the 3rd inning Carlos hit a long and high shot that lodged itself in the “B” ring over the turf. Such a shoit is proof that Pena is seeing the ball well and is warming up this year. He is currently hitting .238 after going 3-4 tonight and had another walk.

                   

*  As with the trend the last few nights, this would be the top guy, if the pitcher of record had not been amazing.

Eric Hinske knows that a decision is lurking on who might be going to make room for infielder Wily Aybar who is currently on the DL. Aybar is scheduled to come off the DL any day now, and a decison must be made on a roster cut.  Hinske might have made Rays’ manager Joe Maddon’s mind a bit harder tonight with a 3-run shoit that sealed the vicotry for the Rays.

The homer was Hinske’s 9th of the season, and in limited play, he now has 25 RBI’s for the season. Hinske also went into the wall in the rightfield foulpole area hard tonight going after a foul ball.

                         

                                              The Bad

I am beginning to sound like a broken record on this, but I know it will spring back and bite this team soon. We left 29 guys on base tonight. Before the Rays broke this game open in the 5th inning, it was still either teams ballgame. Rangers’ starter Sidney Ponson was not great, but he kept the score close until Eric Hinske hit his 3-run shot to right.

This team plays very aggressive baseball, which I do not have a single problem with, but this LOB situation will come back to haunt us on a night when we are in a pitcher’s duel.

8 of those men were left in scoring position, a cardinal baseball sin.

                           

                                               The Ugly

I am a huge pro-Josh Hamilton fan. I am not going to hide it, and I am not going to sit there and hear boos’ for a guy who did nothing wrong in this franchise’s history.

He did not mouth off badly about the Rays, like a certain Baltimore guy. He did not leave alot of baggage at the clubhouse and front office doors like a guy in Washington. (By the way, the guy in Wash. is doing great iand is a model player right now).

Josh was a guy who made a mistake off the field. He did  cost himnself a chance to be in this outfield years ago, but I respect the journey it took to get him back on the field. I also commend and think he is a prime example that even at the bottom of the well, you can see the light.

I read in a recent article that his Grandmother was the reckoning force to get him to the right path. Good for you Granny!  At the time his grandmother saw him, Josh was a reported 185 pounds.

Now, if you look at him, you will know that he would have been mostly skin and bones at that weight. To get back to a normal life is amazing, to get back on the field and start for a team is inspiring and, to me, a godsend to sports fans everywhere.  We might be seeing another true hero in the sports coming up later, better than never.

Do not “boo” this guy. He should be the guy you point to and tell your kids to remember his name. I was there the day he stepped back onto the Rays fields at the Minor League complex. I saw him in the locker room talking to Tim M., and I saw the look in his eyes that told me he was there for real this time.

I stood up and applauded when he first came to bat, and I was not the only one in the stadium to do that. I will do it again tommorrow, becuase I think he needs to see that we have not forgotten him, or want to forget what he could have been for the Rays.

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