Mentals errors cost Rays against the Astros

 

Astros 4, Rays 3

 

After a killer sweep of a series like we just had with the Chicago Cubs, you know there had to be some kind of backlash that would plague this squad for at least one night. 

 Well, we got the fatique and the mental clouds Friday night in our first contest against the Houston Astros.

Considering we also had the Astros ace pitcher on the mound, Roy Oswalt, that could combine to make for a long, long night.

 It was good to see old friends come back into the fold.

Ty Wiggington was there with his usual gruff and serious stare, Jose Cruz Junior was just chillin’, and Brandon Backe was loving every minute of it all seeing old friends and taking pictures with the fans. 

Good to see former guys’ coming in and still playing ball against the Rays. Backe will have an extra smile on his face Sunday as he faces his old squad for the first time  as an Astro.

 Should be an interesting afternoon for a few of us in the crowd who think Brandon is an outstanding pitcher and want to see him do great things today, but also want our hometown team to beat the Astros for their 10th series win of the year.

Maybe he can have 5 good innings, and we do our usual late inning push and win the game.  Win…..win for both sides Sunday.

 

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Trivia Fact of the Night:

The youngest player to reach 3,000 hits was Ty Cobb at age 32.

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I am going to get this out of the way early today. Rays starter Matt Garza  was a victim of an offense that was stymied by a great pitcher and  he took the loss to move to 5-4 for the year.

 Garza pitched 6 strong innings and gave up 7 hits and 3 runs to the Astros. He showed mental toughness and  did not show any frustration or adverse emotion on the mound. Garza got 8 strikeout before leaving tonight and showed mass improvement in his location at the plate.

 

 

The Rays Bullpen again came in and closed out the game by shutting down the Houston offense. Trever Miller and Gary Glover pitched 2.0 innings and gave up only a hit each in an effort to keep the Rays in this contest.

The Rays Bullpen this season is currently 7th in the league in ERA ( 3.23), and are first in opponent’s batting average ( .219).

 

           

 

The Rays committed 2 errors last night against the Astros.  Evan Longoria got an error on a hard hit ground ball hit well behind third base, and it should have gone for a hit.

I am of the opinion, that if a ball could not be fielded and put into play before a player can reach a base in a certain amount of time, that play can not be an error.  Evan was almost on the grass of the outfield when he got control of the ball. I guess that is why I am not a offical scorer of the MLB, I might have missed something in the translation.

 

 

The second error was a play in the rightfield Bullpen area by Eric Hinske. It was on a ball hit down the line and curling into the Bullpen area. It seemed like just  a common play, but turned into a classic example of not looking the ball into your glove and searching for the baserunner before you had total control of the ball.

Hinske unfortunately had the ball drop out of his glove and hit his foot and roll behind him a few feet to his left. The Astro’s baserunners advanced on the play.

 It is only Hinske’s 2nd error of the year.

 

 

Even with 2 errors last night, it was just their 2nd multi-error game in 58 games this season. The other recent game was June 8th against the Texas Rangers.  The Ray still lead the majors in defense with only 32 errors on the year.

 

                      

 

Dioner Navarro hit a curving blast just to the left of the rightfield foulpole for a solo homer to get the Rays close against the Astros. It was Navarro’s 4th homer of the season and set the scene for a dramatic ending to the game. Earleir in the contest, Navarro threw out Hunter Pence at second base  to stop a Huoston rally.

 

B J Upton recorded his 8th outfield assist of the year. He is currently tied for 2nd in the AL with Delmon Young of the Twins.

The play actually came about because B J  held onto the ball too long in centerfield, and Miquel Tejada decided to challende his arm and take second base. B J  got in a good throw and Akinora Iwamura applied the tag to Tejeda at second.

 

Eric Hinske did make up for his fielding error at the plate last night by going 2-4 with 2 RBI’s. Hinske hit two singles to center that scored  Carl Crawford in the 1st inning, and Akinora Iwamura in the 8th inning. Dioner Navarro and Hinske were the bulk of the Rays offense last night, getting 3 of the team’s 8 hits.

 

The  bottom of the 9th for the Rays was filled with huge amounts of excitement last night. The Astros inserted their secondary closer, Jose Valverde to pitch the inning.

He got Willy Aybar to fly out to the wall in deep rightfor the first out.

Then Navarro hit his  curving screamer down the rightfield line for a solo homer, then Valverde got Jason Bartlett to hit a liner down to third for an easy putout.

 Aki Iwamura was the last guy standing for the Rays. Aki got a ball outside with Ververde’s first pitch, then took three straight strikes, two of them swinging to end the game.

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