Yankees win Shootout in the 10th
The worst thing about not having a home game right now is not being able to remind the Tampa Bay Rays fans that daily we need to text or vote online for Evan Longoria to get into the 2008 All-Star game. With our 2 games in New York, and then onto Cleveland, the Rays are missing that special push that we could do at home for Longoria.
The New York Yankees distributed fake black mustache’s to the masses’ at the stadium in an effort to get them to vote for Jason Giambi for the game. It was quite a sight seeing over 53,552 fans wearing those cheesy mustaches. But it gave the fans a visual reminder that Giambi needs help to get into the contest.
The Rays did a small segment where ESPN Basketball Guru, Dick Vitale encouraged the Rays fans watching to continue voting for Longoria. It was a great little segment, that along with the 5 e-mails I have on the issue, surely has Rays fans noticing the teams’ push for Longoria to make the squad. A small side note, Dick Vitale was voted onto the Pepsi/Rays Wall of Fame in 2004, but could not attend due to the Duke/North Carolina game. I still have your seat sign Dick whenever you want it………..Swish baby, nothing but net!!!
Edwin Jackson pitched a great game for the Rays. This season, with every start you see more and more control exhibited by Jackson on the mound. His fastball control and off-speed pitches are miles in front of what they were last season for the Rays.
Jackson pitched 6.1 innings of 6-hit, 1-run ball for the Rays. It was one of his more controlled efforts of the season. Jackson pitched exactly 100 pitches before J P Howeel came on to relieve him in the 6th inning.
Howell pitched 2 innings and threw 22 strike in 37 pitches for the Rays. Howell is currently 2nd in the AL with 56.0 innings pitched in relief. He trails only .1 of an inning for the MLB lead. Washington’s Joel Hanrahan and the Twin;s Brian Bass are tied with 56.1 innings.
Carlos Pena continues on his home run tear. Pena hit his 14th homer of the season today to tie with Eric Hinske for 2nd on the Rays. It is also Pena’s 3rd homer in 6 games. Pena went 1-3 in the gamw to up his average to .233 for the year.
During the last homestand, Pena was 7-26, with 2 homers, 2 doubles and 10 RBI’s. He is also in the middle of a 4 game hitting streak going 6-17 .
B J Upton was again caught stealing against the Yankees to end the 5th inning for the Rays. Upton is still the MLB leader in being caught stealing this season with 11. His closest competition is Carlos Gomez of the Twins. Carl Crawford is currently 5th with 6 this year.
On the up side, B J is tied for first in Walks in the AL with 61. He also has 20 doubles on the year, and is 3rd in steals with 27 bases for the Rays. Crawford is right behind him in 5th with 23 steals. During the last three games, B J is 5-12 and is sitting on a .280 average for the team.
What is more disappointing to me is the fact that the Yankees started Sidney Ponson, who the Rays have dominated in the past. Ponson and Mariano Rivera each got 4 strikeouts against the Rays. The Rays currently have 654 strikeouts on the year to rank 8th in the league.
Grant Balfour has been great for so long we forget he was not with the club at the beginning of the season. He has been the ultimate run-stopper for the Rays this season, but Weds. afternoon was not his day.
In the 10th inning Grant began by getting Billy Gardener to strikeout. He then proceeded to walk Derek Jeter. With Bobby Abreu at the plate, Balfour got Abreu to two strike quick in the at-bat. But on the 5th pitch, Abreu hit a ball to deep center that scored Jeter from second and won the game for the Yankees.
Balfour, who took his first loss of the season, pitched 1 inning for the Rays. It was only the 2nd extra base hit he has surrendered in 19.2 innings this year.
It also snapped a 9 straight scoreless appearance streak for Balfour. This was only the 2nd time in 15 games that he had been scored on by the opposition this year. Oppoenents were hitting .123 against him this season.
Do not forget to cast your votes for Evan Longoria either on MLB.com, or Raysbaseball.com today and help get Evan into the last All-Star game at historical Yankee Stadium. Voting ends on Thursday at 5 PM.
You can vote as many times as you like. There is no limit to this voting. vote 25 or 250 times to help Longoria get to the All-Star game.