Marlins Win with new “Fishy” pitch
Pitchers usually do not have new pitches during the season that are effective, and can win them, ballgames. they sometimes fiddle with a delivery, or mess with the basics of a cutter, or a slurve. But rarely does a pitch make it past a teams’ scouting report, and show up unannounced on a MLB diamond.
On Sunday, Florida Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco used the unannoiuced cutter that he had been working on for a few months into his game day pitch package. It had the Rays a bit dazed and confused at the plate becuase of its great late tailing action. Nolasco came within 1 out of a complete game, which would have been the 1st one for Marlins Manager Fredi Gonzalez.
Trivia Fact of the Night:
At the age of 20, Detroit Tiger Al Kaline became the youngest player to win a Batting Title by hitting .340 in 1955.
Open Letter to BJ Upton:
Dear B J,
I understand that you are still learning how to play centerfield for our team. I also understand that you will make mistakes and bloopers during this time. But, the play with you and Gabe Gross in the 8th inning was even beyond grade school baseball basics. I can still hear my Little League coach yell the basic outfield call-off play.
Gross heard you call for the ball, and being the seasoned outfielder, he pulled off the play, since the centerfielder aka “the on field QB”, called for the ball.
You then did not hesistate but pull up yourself and help award Cody Ross a 2-run triple for your efforts. Gross did you the same honor almost a week ago and it cost him an error in the play.
I hope Gabe has the idea now that even a called ball might fall to the turf until you understand how to run a good route to the ball. I rip into you here because I know you are better than this, not because you made a huge miscalculation here.
I hate to tell you B J , but missing the plays like this might setup an accidental meeting of the minds some night on the field, and someone might get hurt in the process. Please think smart and follow through on your actions for everyone’s sake.
In closing, B J , please think before calling the ball ( We all heard you call it in rightfield ) and then pull away from the falling sphere.
Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco owned the Rays on Sunday. His new pitch, the cutter played a bit of havoc on the guys. Nolasco got 12 strikeouts against the Rays, a season high for the team while also giving up 6 hits and 3 runs. The Rays now have 503 strikeouts for the season, which ranks them 5th in the MLB.
Rays starter, Edwin Jackson gave up two huge homeruns on his best pitches on Sunday.
Jackson’s fateful pitches were a slider and a changeup. Wes Helms swung at the slider, Mike Jacobs swung at the change and each swing produced a three-run homer. Edwin never looked to be completely comfortable or confidient in his delivery on Sunday.
“It’s simple facts once you know the chances of people scoring once you walk them,” Jackson said. “It’s nothing to be frustrated about. You know the situation, and once it happens all you can do is try and get out of it without any damage being done. And tonight, I couldn’t do that.”
Jackson fell back into his past recipe for frustration by now going 2-6 in his last 12 starts, and has not produced a quality start in his last 5 outings for the Rays. Jackson seems to be all over the plate with his fastball, which was his primary pitch most of the season.
When that pitch has problems, the rest of your selection also suffers. Edwin has to get his stuff over the plate to be successful, right now the plate is moving all over the place on him and he is lacking the consistant strike that could get him out of many of his problem situations for the Rays.
Just remember fans, last year Edwin was 0-8 with a 8.02 ERA at thie point in the season. An improvement, but not enough of one for this years contending team.
DH Cliff Floyd has been having a really successful weekend at the plate. Floyd went 2-4 Sunday with a single and a double. The double could have been a triple, but you could see Cliff flinch a bit as he motored into second base in the 2nd inning. Floyd is a lifetime .365 hitter at the Trop., 3rd best all-time.
Eric Hinske hit his 12th homer with a shot to right in the 6th inning. Hinske snapped a 0-11 streak last night with a 2-run double in the 1st inning. He has batted .292 over his last 7 games for the Rays.
With his 12th homer last night, Hinske took over the team lead from Carlos Pena. Only in 2002, when he was with Toronto has Hinske hit this homer plateau before now ( 55 games).
Jason Bartlett and Gabe Gross helped bring in the final two runs for the Rays Sunday. Bartlett hit a RBI-single that scored Dioner Navarro. Navarro had reached prior to the at-bat with a double to deep center field in the 5th inning.
Gabe Gross hit a single to center that scored Evan Longoria in the 9th inning. Longoria had walked previously and was on third when Gross hit the low liner to centerfield.
Akinora Iwamura started off the game with a single to rightfield and then stole second base. He was the only player on either team to attempt a steal on Sunday.
Edwin Jackson did have one impressive statistic from Sunday, he showed a really quick and accurate pick-off move to get Jeremy Hermida at first in the first inning. Jackson had walked him in the at-bat.
Jason Bartlett got another throwing error from short today with a wild throw that eluded Willy Aybar at first base in the 9th inning. Bartlett was trying to get speedster Hanley Ramirez at first and overthrew the ball into the 1st base wall.
Last Night’s victory gave the Rays their 8th straight series win since losing 2 of 3 to the Chicago White Sox in April. That is the longest str..eak in the majors this season.
Tha Rays are 32-17 (.653) since April 22, which is the best record in the majors since then. 45 of the Rays 68 games have been against teams over .500 this season.
Starting Tuesday, the Rays will entertain the Chicago Cubs for the first time in the Trop. It is also the homecoming for fomer Rays’ manager Lou Piniella, now at the helm for the Cubs.
As you might remember, the last series that these teams played at Wrigley Field was in imfamous Sammy Sosa corked bat incident in the first game of that series.
Former Ray Toby Hall was catching when Sosa’s bat broke on a play and showed a cork-like substance in the barrell.
Current Rays Carl Crawford and Rocco Baldelli are the only Rays still with the team and to have played in that series.