All of a sudden, the Rays can’t stop scoring. And can’t stop winning. Most bizarre.
Which apparently sums up nicely last night’s game against the Reds. A 15-1 win, with a near brawl, an umpire struck in the head with a pitch, and balls and strikes being called for a brief time from behind the pitchers mound. Yep, you read that right. Apparently after Marty Foster left the game having been hit in the head, and whilst Chad Fairchild ran to his car to get his protective gear, the game carried on with Eric Cooper calling the game from the middle of the diamond. I’m very sorry I didn’t get to see the madness!
Over the past week, the offense has really stepped up a gear. Last night saw homers from Jonny Gomes and Ben Zobrist, who were two of NINE Rays with RBIs (4 by Gomes, 3 by Zobrist, 2 by Delmon Young, and one each for Elijah Dukes, Greg Norton, Jorge Cantu, Aki Iwamura, Josh Paul and Shawn Riggans).
The catalyst for the change in scoring fortunes seems to be moving Ben Zobrist to the number 2 slot in the lineup. When I saw that Maddon was going to try that, I was a bit unsure, as it meant moving CC back to being leadoff hitter. To me, thats a shame – for me, on the Rays, CC is the number 3 guy. But, Zobrist has been the most consistant Ray all spring, picking up where he left off from an impressive showing in the Arizona Fall League. And, lets be honest, the Rays are certainly hitting right now.