Homers help Rays take Series from A’s

 

Rays 4, Athletics 3

 

 

Starting today, my review or views of the Rays’ contests will be more like a critique or summary of the contest.

 

I will throw out opinions, facts and maybe a few answers to some questions that surface during the game.  I know that most siteslike ESPN, or even Raysbaseball.com  do a  great recap of the game.

 

So I am going to try and dig a bit deeper and try to give you some  missing information,or  a different insight into the contest. I am trying to develop a consistant style that will show both a new side to some things, but also some useful information for Rays fans’.

 

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James Shields recorded his 9th win of the season last night after fighting some control issues in the 2nd inning. Shields surrendered a solo homer to Emil Brown on the first pitch he saw in the 2nd inning. Carlos Gonzalez then turned on a hanging braking ball on a 1-1 count to deposit it in the rightfield bleachers.

 

Shields got 7 strikeouts on 104 pitches today and is currently 9th on the AL strikeout list with 111 strikeouts this season. Shields also went 8.1 innings and was on pace to secure another complete game before Jack Cust doubled in the 9th inning.

 

  

Jonny Gomes has try to make the most of his recent outfield times. Gomes has gotten the start since Oakland started 3 straight left-handed pitchers in th this series. Gomes is trying to show the coaching staff that he derserves more playing time and can hit both righties and lefties.

 

Gomes last 6 hits have consisted of four extra base hits, 4 of them homers. Gomes came into the game hitting safely in 6 of 11 trips to the plate this homestand (3-8, with 3 walks).  Gomes came up in the 5th inning, with Carlos Pena on first after being hit by a pitch. With a 2-2 count against him, Gomes drilled a 442 foot  2-run homer off the C-ring to tie the game at 2-all for the Rays

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In the upcoming roadtrip to Kansas City, Gomes has gone 10-16 (.625) with 4 homers, 7 RBI’s and a 1.536 Slugging Percentage in his last 4 games at Kauffman Stadium.  With these kind of numbers, you might see more of Gomes either as a DH, or Rightfielder in this series.

 

 One pitch after Gome’s homer, Ben Zobrist sent another into the righfield stands to put the Rays in front 3-2. Zobrist, who is going back to Durham after today’s game is giving the Rays something to think about by hitting consistantly on his time up with the club this season.

 

Jason Bartlett was posted to the Rays 25-man roster immediately following the Rays  59th victory. Bartlett had missed the last 16 games with a right knee sprained while stealing third base on July 2nd  for the Rays.  Bartlett is batting .281 in his last 53 games since April 27th, raising his average from .200 at the time.

 

Bartlett has 10 errors on the season, the last one was a throwing error on July 1st against the Boston Red Sox.  The previous 4 were throwing, while his first 5 of the year were for fielding errors.

 

 

Akinora Iwamura was caught leaning on first base in the 4th inning on a great pick-off move by A’s starter Greg Smith. Aki was stretching out his lead when Smith wheeled around and caught Aki on his right foot. Aki could not get back in time to beat the tag off former Rays prospect Wes Bankston.

 

 

Willy Aybar hit the most interesting hit of the night in the 7th inning. Aybar split the outfield tandem of Carlos Gonzalez and Emil Brown and the ball spun both fielders around before settling near the outfield wall. It was well hit ball that found the gap and got Aybar his 9th double of the year. 

 

 Aybar homered for the first time at Tropicana Field on Monday. Aybar now has 4 homers in 144 at bats this year. He previously had 5 homers on 29 lifetime at-bats in the majors.

 

Carl Crawford is hitting .137 ( 7-51) over his last 12 games since July 7th, dropping his average 20 points from .288.  This stretch followed a 4-game multi-hit streak where he went 10-16 ( .625).

 

Crawford ranks 7th among active current players in steals ( 300), but is 4 years younger than any player ahaead of him. Crawfords’  lifetime stolen base percentage of 84.2 % ranks 10th best All Time in the majors, but 2nd in the AL.

 

                     

 

Troy Percival picked up his 20th save of the season today. Percival threw 2/3rds of an inning to record his save. Percival today became the 10th pitcher to record 10 season of at least 20 saves.

 

With 344 saves, he is currently 3 saves away from tying Randy Meyers for 8th place.  All of Percival’s save have been in the American League. Only Mariano Riveria has more AL saves than Percival.  Opponents are batting .162 against him this season, 4th lowest in the American League. 

 

Troy is currently working on becoming only the second pitcher to have over 8 30-save season in the majors. The top spot is held by the Padres ‘ Trevor Hoffman with 9 seasons.

 

The Rays will begin a 7-game road trip tomorrow , and will play 37 of their final 62 games on the road.  Their last road win was June 29th in Pittsburgh.  While the Rays are 40-16 at home (.714), they are  19-25 on the road (.432).

 

The Rays have the major’s best ERA at home (2.39), but have the leagues 23rd best ERA on the road (4.93).  

 

 

 

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