Rays give KC the Royal Treatment

 

Rays 11, Royals 2

 

 

I was sitting there during BP last night, and Jonny Gome strolled by me. I have had this question on my mind about an ever growing urban legend concerning Jonny, so I asked him about that faithful at-bat in Pittsburgh last Sunday.

According to the legend, Jonny was up to bat and had tossed off about 14 pitches, when he banged his bat end on the plate to see if he might have cracked it on the prior foul ball. The Pittsburgh catcher, Ryan Doumit said, “It doesn’t sound cracked.”

To which Jonny was quoted to have said, “Yeah, but it must be bad, it has only gotten me foul balls.”  So Gomes went back to the bench area and got another bat to continue his at-bat. 

And with the next swing, Jonny connected on a fastball and deposited it all the way into Shawn Riggans glove in the Rays Bullpen for a pinch-hit homer.

“Yeah, I said that.” quoted Gomes, ” I also told him when I got back to the plate that the other bat was just out of luck and this one felt like magic”.   Gotta love the Rays cult hero Jonny Gomes.

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Trivia Fact of the Night:

On January 21, 1953, Joe Dimaggio was passed over by the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. In fact, it was not until 1955, his third year, that he was voted into the Hall.

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Can Tampa Bay fans finally believe that Edwin Jackson can pitch in this league. Will you admit, that at 5-6, Jackson is starting to pitch the best stuff of his career. That he is starting to live up to the expectations of the Rays’ faithful and putting the Rays in position to win in his starts.

All the above is true, Jackson has 10 quality starts this year out of his 15 starts. That is a pretty telling fact there. That means that by he has been pitching actually pretty good most of the season.

By comparison, James Shields and Matt Garza only have 9 quality starts each.  Jackson has been doing all this with only 2.67 runs per start in support of his pitching. That figure is the lowest on the Rays staff.

 

 

Carlos Pena was in a bit of a zone last night, Pena went 2-4 with 5 RBI’s today against the Royals. Carlos hit a Sacrifice Fly to the warning track inright during the 1st inning to put the Rays up 2-0.  But that blast was only the beginnig for Carlos.

In the 3rd inning, Pena hit another Sacrifice Fly to right to score B J Upton and put the Rays up 4-0. But, in the 5th inning, with Carl Crawford and Upton aboard, Carlos connected on a 3-run homer that bounced off the front of the facing of the centerfield restaurant to put his stamp on this game. It was Carlos’s first homer since June 3rd, in Boston.

 

          

 

Carl Crawford now needs only 1 stolen base to hit 300 for his career. In hitting that mark, he will be only the 9th player since 1900 to get 300 before his 27th birthday.  Crawford stole one base today and went 3-5 today with 2 RBI’s.

 

       

 

 

Crawford hit  a  2- RBI single to right in the 8th inning to score Jonny Gomes and Reid Brignac. Carl also scored 3 runs to give him 59 runs scored, which puts him in 5th in the AL in that category.

 

               

 

The much anticipated arrival and MLB debut of Reid Brigniac got off to a rough start  as he went 0-3 today at the plate. Brignac walked in the 8th inning and was driven home by Crawford’s single to record his first run scored in the league. 

 

 

 

Reid performed great at the shortstop position, taking several hot plays, and helping turn a 1-6-3 and a 3-6-1- double play in the game. He was composed and had great at-bats in his first action for the Rays.

 

 

The Rays are the first team since 1900 to have the best record in the league at this point in the seasno after having the worst record in baseball the prior year.

Only the 1967 Chicago Cubs have had a better record later than the 4th of July. The Cubs did not hit that number until July 24th  1967.

The Rays are a franchise best 21 games over .500, and with their 53 wins, are the best team in baseball this year. The Ray’s 53 wins also makes them the best team turnaround by the All-star break in the history of the league. The previous mark was 51 wins by the 1969 Washington Senators and the 2001 Cubs.

The Rays are on pace to win 100 games this season, only the 1999 Arizona Diamondbacks, and the 1903 NY Giants have had a better win differential.

The Rays currently entertain a 3-game lead over the Boston Red Sox in the AL East.  The last time the AL East was led by someone other than the Soxs’ or the Yankees at this point in the year, was the 1997, when the Baltimore Orioles on Sept 25th, had a 4-game lead  in the division.

According to Elias Sports Bureau, the Rays two sweeps  at home over the Red Sox is the first time in MLB history that a team has swept a World Series winner at home the next season.

 

I know people have been wondering why tomorrow’s game is still listed at 7:10, even with the Loverboy concert.

Well, the game is being broadcast on Fox TV and under contract, the game has to have a 7:10 first pitch for the broadcast. So what, we will still all rock out and have a great time supporting our Rays. 

 Be sure to come on out and  see Loverboy.  They were my first rock concert I ever attended in the old Bayfront Center. Back then both Mike Reno and I had more hair, and a huge crowd of women were the majority of the concert goers’ that night.  But I suspect, now the guys will also be rocking out tonight to the band’s many hits.

Rock On Rays!!!!! 

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