Rainout last night. Day/night doubleheader today, with the first game starting in about an hour and a half. James Shields will be pitching game one, and Matt Garza in the nightcap. Thats a pretty good 1-2 punch right there.
But, if that is good, then what about the trio of arms that the Rays added to the bullpen last night.
Joining the team on Monday will be Mitch Talbot and Jeff Niemann. Not bad. I think there are many teams who would be happy enough to have that pair of arms in their ‘pen.
But, and no disrepect at all as they are quality pitchers both, their recall is hugely outshadowed by the guy who has joined up with the teams ahead of today’s contests in The Bronx.
He is here.
David Price has arrived.
He’ll be available from the ‘pen today, and with the doubleheader I would not be surprised to see him make his Major League debut. Exciting.
Also rejoining the Rays in New York is Jonny Gomes, and he’s gone right into the lineup for game one against Mike Mussina. You know how big a fan of Jonny I am, and I would like nothing better than to see him play a big role for the team down the stretch.
Oh yeah, and theres the small matter of Evan Longoria being back in the lineup.
With a Rays-Yankees doubleheader and a Boston-Toronto twin bill, today is going to be a big day. I could not be more excited.
Joe Maddon’s lineup for the opener (according to the St Pete Times) is stacked with righties to face Mussina – Bartlett (SS), Zobrist (2B), Pena (1B), Baldelli (DH), Longo (3B), Gomes (LF), Perez (CF), Hernandez (C) and Ruggiano (RF).
There are certainly easier ways to a sweep.
Not letting a (admittedly impressive) rookie one-hit you into the seventh inning for one. Not having your closer blow a save with his first pitch, and then give up the go-ahead run to the first batter in extra-innings for another. And not having your shortstop get hurt in trying to put together a second comeback after the first two have occurred.
But who wants the easy way, right?
2-0 down, and nothing to show apart from an Evan Longoria infield hit is where the Rays found themselves at the seventh-inning stretch yesterday…
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…
Over a week since I last posted anything, but things at work have now pretty much moved into laid-back summer mode, so hopefully I shall be getting back to something like normal here. In the meantime, lets try to get up to date with all things in Rays-world.
I shall start very briefly with yesterday’s game, which I haven’t watched yet. In fact, I had intended to avoid the score until I sit down and watch it this evening, but the problem with being the story in baseball is that it is now all do easy to accidentally see a headline giving away what happened… So all I shall say for now is that win number 50 is in the bag, and the Rays are happy atop the AL East. And indeed the whole of Major League Baseball. Its a nice place to be…
Blitz recap from the weekend (and last week actually), before I get on with what I’m supposed to be doing… I am going to be super busy at work for the next couple of weeks (boo!), but then super un-busy for the following two months (yay!), so blogging might be a stop-start affair until then.
Right, here we go. The Angels series (and road-trip) ended with a hard-luck loss after another outstanding start from Scott Kazmir. Then it was back to the Trop for a three-game weekend series with the Marlins…
Due to various things going on I got to watch exactly five innings of the Rays-Red Sox series. And, considering it resulted in a second Fenway-sweep of the year, thats not a bad things.
But one of the five innings was inning two of game three, perhaps the most significant of the series. I had seen, of course, the highlights of the controversy in game two. Now, maybe I’m biased, but Coco Crisp’s slide on Aki was completely unjustified. It was out of order.
Just in case you haven’t seen it, let me recap…
At the moment, its really fun to be a Rays fan. Really, really fun. And its not just because of the winning either. I mean sure, thats a very nice bonus after 10 years of losing, but it is just a bonus. Because this team is just flat out great to watch.
Its a very strange combination that we’ve got going at the moment. Its part never-say-die battling, and part super-clutchness. I can’t think of any other way to explain it…