Tagged: JP Howell

ALCS game 3 – You ain’t never going to keep them down

I’m not even sure why I still get surprised at games like last night’s. I mean, this is just what the 2008 Rays do. They take a situation where they’re supposed to fold, supposed to be overwhelmed, and they come right out swinging their bats, making their pitches, and generally taking the game right to the opposition. And they keep winning. Its a crazy, crazy thing that these Rays have got going on.

With Jon Lester making the start for the Sox, the prospects for a Rays win weren’t exactly promising. Not only had Lester not been beaten at Fenway since April, but he had never lost to the Rays (indeed, Boston had never lost a game to the Rays in which he pitched) and he was working on an impressive 20+ inning streak of postseason baseball without allowing an earned run.

But its the Rays. The 2008 Rays. So you can throw all that out the window.

It all started fairly innocuously. After a first inning that Lester sailed through 1-2-3, Evan Longoria led off the second with a walk…

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

Advertisements

ALDS game 4 – “He is a winner”

Andy Sonnanstine over Edwin Jackson?

I think it would be fair to say that there are not many managers in the big leagues that would make that call. Fortunately for the Rays, Joe Maddon is one of them.

So it was Sonny who went last night in Chicago for game 4, and by the time he left with two outs in the 6th, Joe Maddon was once again looking like the smartest man in baseball. Ok, so 5 2/3 innings isn’t the longest outing of the season, and he did give up 2 homeruns. But the way he was pitching, it was almost as if those homers were peace offerings so the White Sox hitters didn’t feel too bad about getting totally out-played by a man who doesn’t trouble 90 on the radar gun…

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

ALDS game 2 – Perseverance, thy name is Rays

Scott Kazmir was asked in the lead up to yesterday’s game which Scott Kazmir would show up for game 2 of the American League Division Series.

“Hopefully the good Scott Kazmir”

Uh-huh. With the bases loaded and nobody out in the top of the first, the good Scott Kazmir was looking like a distant dream. (Just for the record, I don’t agree with Harold Reynolds’ assertion that Kaz hit leadoff man Orlando Cabrera on purpose in retaliation for Thursday’s war of words. I think it was a pure lack of control early on.).

By the time Scotty K had gotten out of the first, he had thrown 37 pitches and faced 8 White Sox hitters. The good (nay, amazing) news was that he had limited them to just two runs…

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

ALDS game 1 – Welcome to the postseason Mr Longoria

I’m willing to bet that there’s not many people out there who had remembered that Gary Gaetti hit homeruns in each of his first two postseason at-bats.

Something tells me that you’re going to remember that Evan did it.

Because this 22-year-old rookie is a bit special. I mean, he missed a whole month of the season through injury, yet still led all rookies in homeruns. He hit three longballs in one game, just a couple of weeks after his return from a fractured wrist. And now this.

First pitch – homerun. Third pitch – homerun. Then an RBI single, a walk and just for good measure a stolen base. Just your average sort of day when your name is Evan Longoria

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

One is the magic-est number…

Or perhaps even the magic-eAst number.

One win in Detroit (or a Red Sox loss) will do it. One single game between the Rays and the AL East crown. If that doesn’t get you a little bit excited, well, I don’t know what does.

A four game sweep of the Orioles, including the franchise’s first ever sweep of a doubleheader (in fourteen attempts), means that with four games to go the Rays have a three game lead over Boston and the top is within touching distance. Today we have a tough 1.05 ET start time against the Tigers, and, if we can’t pull out the win there then we have another shot at claiming the top spot tonight, if the Indians can beat Boston at Fenway.

But I’m pretty sure I know how the team would prefer to win it. For themselves, on the field in Detroit. With all their heroics so far this year, it would be the most fitting way…

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

The rookie marches on

So, the Tigers have had to wait until August to get a firsthand look at Evan Longoria. Two games into the series, and I think that it is fair to say that they now believe the hype. He followed up a homerun on Friday night with a 3-5, 3 RBI effort last night, including his team-high 21st homerun of the season, a number that ties Jonny Gomes’ team rookie record. He obviously continued his sharp play in the field as well, and swiped his seventh base of the season to boot. If you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, then seriously, whats stopping you?!

That steal came on the back-end of a double steal, led by Carl Crawford – his first stolen base for 18 games. But while he hasn’t been swiping much of late, CC has found his bat stroke a bit more, not to mention his wheels out of the batters box. He tripled on friday night, to make it 5 three-baggers in 6 games, and move his AL-high mark to 10. I’ve said it before, but there is no play in baseball that is more fun to watch than CC flying around the bases on his way to a triple…

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

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…

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