Tagged: Ben Zobrist

The little team that could

How else could the season end?

Its like the team squeezed down the essence of the year and filled it all into game 162, just to show the world, if they didn’t know already, what these Rays are all about.

A come-from-behind, battling, never-give-up, blown save, extra innings, come-back-again, amazing defense, unlikely hero win. A story that has almost become the norm rather than the exception this season. Indeed, I can barely remember a single win out of the 97 (yes, ninety-seven) this year that hasn’t either been come-from-behind, battling, or involved an unlikely hero. Its just the way things happen these days when you’re watching the Rays.

Consider that the Rays, in a final warm-up before the playoffs (how great does that sound?!) used 8 pitchers and 14 position players…

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The future arrives…but the present is disappointing

First the good.

David Price.

Major league debut, your team’s last ever game at Yankee Stadium, in the middle of a pennant race. Nervous?

Price certainly didn’t look it as he came out of the ‘pen to start the third inning against the Yankees. He retired the first big league hitter he saw, Xavier Nady, with his first pitch, and retired the next five straight…

You can read the rest of this entry HERE at RAP’s new home

Banged up, but not giving up

What a week.

I literally don’t know where to start.

I mean, if something could happen it has happened. Comebacks, injuries, improbable heroes, trades, demotions – you name it and the Rays have experienced it since I last wrote a proper entry a week ago. Unbelieveable.

And, on top of it all, we’ve somehow managed to increase our lead at the top of the AL East to 4 1/2 games over the Red Sox and 8 1/2 on the Yankees. And we did that by recording our franchise-record 71st win of the season. But more on that in a bit. Probably…

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The irony is not lost

There’s no doubt about it, I’m afraid. The Rays are struggling right now. We are right in the middle of a serious mid-season malaise.

The main reason behind it is obvious for all to see. We can’t hit. Our bats are asleep. The biggest culprits (if thats the right word) are Carl Crawford, BJ Upton and Carlos Pena, but with the exception of perhaps Evan Longoria (who homered in three straight games over the weekend), no-one has exactly been shining recently.

So don’t think that the irony of optioning Ben Zobrist back to Durham has been lost…

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Not the answer you might expect

The question? You have two pitching duels, AJ Burnett against James Shields, and Roy Halladay against Matt Garza. Who is going to come out on top?

I’m betting most people would pick the Jays’ hurlers to get the better of things nine times out of ten. Well, not this week. This week, two out of two have gone to the Rays.

Friday night, it was James Shields on the hill, looking to end our 7-game losing skid, and get the second half off to a good start. And boy did he ever do it…

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And Sonny makes 10

As it turns out, Zack Grienke is a pretty good pitcher indeed. Not quite good enough to stop the rolling Rays, however.

From a offensive show friday night, we moved to a pitching spectacular last night, with probably the rotation’s biggest surprise this year, Andy Sonnanstine, on the hill. I don’t think Sonny would be offended if I were to say that he was the least of the Rays’ five, in terms of pure natural ability. But he does have something really very special. A knack of getting the job done…

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Net lag: Another series win

Just a quick note on games 2 and 3 of the Rangers series, as I was rather doing other things while I had the two games on, and while Tuesday’s loss was very disappointing, Wednesday’s was extrememly encouraging.

On Tuesday, Andy Sonnanstine made his second poor start in a row, giving up 7 runs…

You can read the rest of this entry HERE at RAP’s new home