Results tagged ‘ Justin Ruggiano ’
You know, earlier in the year going .500 so early in the season would be a upsetting situation. But with nine (9) current Rays players on the disablied list, and a few hurting but gutting their way through the games, it is totally satisfying at this moment. If we can go .500 without the big guns, what could happen when the firepower is back to normal and the trigger is set……………..think about that for a moment here.
Trivia fact for the day
Tony Cloninger is the only pitcher to hit two grand slams in the same game. He did it for the Atlanta Braves on July 3,1966.
The Good,the Bad,and the Ugly
B J Upton is starting to come into his own at the plate. Today he hit a monumental 3-run homer in the bottom of the 5th inning. Upton also raised his average to .302 today, its highest point in over a week. B J’s home run came in the 5th inning where the Rays ignited and scored all of their 6 runs of the game.
Honorable mentions for “Good” today:
* Jeff Neimann tossed 93 pitches today, in which the Orioles only scored a lone run and scattered 6 hits against him. This help Neimann collect his first MLB win. At 6’9″, Neimann got the ball down consistantly during the game, and never got himself into a bad jam. The lone run he gave up was to Baltimores’ Nick Markakis, who homered to left field in the top of the 6th inning.
** Rays outfielder Carl Crawford collected two RBI’s today also in the 5th when he singled to centerfield and Justin Ruggiano and Mike DeFelice scored to make it 3-0 before BJ Uptons at bat. BJ also currently has 11 RBI’s for the year and is in the top 10 in the American League in that category.
*** Third baseman Evan Longoria(E-Love) also collected another hit today and walked and eventually scored a run in the Rays big 5th innning today.
I know I have written about this before, and I was chatting with a Rays broadcast guy and I have come upon the conclusion that BJ Upton has a “green light” when he is on the bases. For those not knowing the phrase, a player having a “green light” can make decisions for himself about baserunning and advancing on plays after a ball is hit. That is becoming more and more apparent with each of his baserunning blunders.
Today it was a stagger step that cost him an extra base. He was not caught stealing today, so I will be kind to him.
Another “Bad” that is starting to rear its ugly head is the fact that Dan Wheeler is in a weird funk. I saw a ball kinda float today and it did not get hit a ton, but it was a great contact out, and could have been trouble for us. I am not saying there is a mechanics situation here, I am not a pitching coach. But, with that said, I know it was a ball that could have been crushed if the player got good wood on it. Last night a change-up that stayed in the zone was crushed for the winning run.
Not alot of Ugly here except in the starting shortstops batting average, and his wild throws at times. Jason Bartlett should count his stars that he has a world class first baseman like Carlos Pena. He had dug out a few balls that past first baseman would have watched the ball skirt to the wall or beyond.
That combined with his .158 average at this moment is cause for early worry. This is the guy we were counting on for solid play and a good bat in the field.
Ben Zobrist is still out for a period of time after they inserted a pin in his broken finger to help it heal better and faster. Until that time, we are limited to Bartlett and Johnson at short, with neither player showing offensive numbers at this time.
Former Rays player of the Day.
I know it is early in the afternoon, but I am going to pick my former Rays player of the game for today.
It has to be Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers. All of us Rays fans remember Josh as the hier apparent to Rightfield before Delmon Young entered the picture. Josh has been hitting good this year and he is showing the talent we all knew he had in prior Spring Training and minor league games.
During this afternoons’ game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Hamilton has two RBI’s and hit a homer run to right in the bottom of the 4th inning. He also singled and drove in Ian Kinsler in the bottom of the first.
Hamilton is currently tied with the Rays Carlos Pena for first with 13 RBIs
The forecast for tomorrow game is:
Ugly with a change for a smashing good time. With that said, come on out to the Trop. and watch your .500 Rays take on the “Evil Empire” from the Bronx in a 7:10 PM Monday night game.
You know the Cowbell kid will be there to send kisses and wishes to his pal Joe Giardi and Shelly Duncan.
I want to thank Edwin Jackson, JP Howell, Scott Dohmann and Andy Sonnastine for taking the all that time today to sign for the 12 Little Leagues and their players that were at the ballgame.
Each of these Rays players stayed out there a long time and signed everything put in front of them. I even got a few autographs I was missing for my Rays collection. I even saw Evan Longoria out there after stretching on the wall signing and jawing with the Rays hopefuls.
So, as a Season Ticket holder and a great Rays follower, Thank you gentleman for showing class and community love by taking your time to show the kids of all ages in Tampa Bay you are there for them……….
Here is my Trivia nugget before I get to my Good,the Bad,and the Ugly for tonight’s
Richie Ashburn hit the same fan twice with foul balls in the same at bat on
August 17, 1957.
Here is tonight’s Good,the Bad and the Ugly following the Rays 7-1
shellacking by the Seattle Mariners.
Actually, this is going to be another two-fold “good”
tonight. I want to give kudos to the best offensive,and defensive people
tonight. Offense was not
at a premium tonight as the Rays’ only collected 8 hits. Tonight’s two
offensive stars were third baseman Willy Aybar,and shortstop Jason
Bartlett. Aybar went 3-4 tonight with two doubles to improve
his average to .292 for the year. He also made some great diving grabs for
outs and started a pretty 5-4-3 double play for the team. This was also Aybar’s
first three hit game since Sept 26,2006 when he was with the Atlanta
Braves. Bartlett also gets game kudos for going 2 for 2 and
raising his average to a modest .222. The left side of the infield produced 5 of
the Rays 8 hits.
Getting an honorary mention is newly arrived
Right fielder Justin Ruggiano, who was brought up from Durham today when DH
Cliff Floyd went on the disabled list. Justin got a nice double over the head of
Ichiro in his first at bat of the night. Getting a ball out of Ichiro’s range is
a feat all it’s own.
The bad was the Rays hitters combining for
two errors on wild plays. The first was a fly ball misplayed by Ruggiano in
Right field that flew several feet over his head and produced runs for the
Mariners. J P Howell was on the mound and had a ball hit
back to him. He collected the ball and threw to Pena.
Only problem was Howell threw a 55 foot throw
53 feet and the ball had to be scooped out of the dirt by Pena, who could not
finish the play for the out. Luckily, the ball did not get by Carlos and roll
into the Bullpen area for extra bases.
The ugly part is knowing growing for the
second day in a row. The injuries to starting roster players is beginning to
take a toll on both the teams record and the mindset of the
The Rays, who did not lose a series before
coming home to Tropicana field are now in danger of being swept by the Seattle
club. The team has lost another starting pitcher in Matt Garza, and Cliff Floyd
will be having knee surgery to repair a torn medial meniscus that will sideline
him for 4-6 weeks. Floyd will have surgery on Friday. This new injury is a
fresh wound and an MRI conducted during Spring Training came up clean a few
weeks ago for him.
With staff ace Scott Kazmir still a few days
or weeks away from rejoining the team, and Dioner Navarro still recovering from
a freak accident, the injury bug is hitting the team hard early this
season.Before Batting Pratice on Weds., Rays manager
Joe Maddon took the squad into the outfiled and preached the essence of positive
thinking and renewing the vow of upward mobility in the standing and in his
“I felt it was important,” Maddon said. “We’ve got so many major items going
on at the same time. A tough loss Tuesday night, and then you find out you lose
two of your better players in one fell swoop. Plus, Kaz is still not here yet,
and Navi’s down, too. They’re starting to pile up a bit. So, I just thought it
would be wise to bring everybody together and have everybody understand that
this is somebody’s opportunity now to shine.” **
If there ever was a skipper who could right
the Rays ship, it is the always positive Maddon.
“We’ve got some key people out of the lineup, so everybody’s trying to do
more, that kind of a thing,” Maddon said. “Just go back to what we had been
doing, working good at-bats, using the whole field, that kind of stuff. We’re a
whole-field team, more of a line drive team. We have some power, but we just
have to get back in the middle of the field on a more consistent basis.” **
Another “ugly” that Maddon does not want to
bring up is the fact the first four hitters in his order are battling for hits
so far this season. Lead-off hitter Akinora Iwamura is hitting .182,
and went 0-3 Weds. night.
Left fielder Carl Crawford is struggling at
the plate hitting .167 and had a single in the game. 2007 Silver Slugger winner
Carlos Pena is handcuffed with a .200 average, but leads the team in home runs
and RBI at this moment. Pena also had two of the Rays 4 strikeouts during the
game and has a team leading 12 for the season. Center fielder B J Upton is mired with a .222
average. a bright spot for Upton is he is leading the team in walks with 7,
which shows he is seeing the ball well, so maybe he is just in a batters’ funk
Former Rays’ players’ of the night is Boston Red Sox starting Shortstop Julio
Lugo, who went 2-3 tonight to bring his average up to .321 for the season. You
might remember that Lugo got in a batting funk in the beginning of 2007, and it
took him most of the season to right his ship. It is great to see that he is
hitting the ball well and doing it on the diamond for the Red Sox.
Another guy who is just hitting the cover off the ball is former Ray, current
Twin Brendan Harris. He went 3-4, with 3 runs scored in the Twins 12-5 win over
the Chicago White Sox. Harris is hitting at a .348 clip so far this season.
Also want to send a few cheers to former Rays Jorge Cantu who hit his first
HR tonight for the Florida Marlins.
Tomorrow is an afternoon affair, and I might have to mail that games recap in
during the evening hours. I will get with all you fine readers and let you know
how Rays pitcher Edwin Jackson does tomorrow.
** Quotes from Interviews were obtained by Marc Topkin of the St.