Rays 5 (6-9), Twins 6 (7-8)
I was too pissed Wednesday to bring myself to write a Morning After for Game 14. Edwin Jackson gets the LVP, although I did not think he pitched too terribly. He now has two MVPs and one LVP on the season. In general though the Rays bats really need to wake up or we are all in for a seriously long season once again. Overall, the pitching has been better than I expected. It's the hitting that is really bringing this team down. I really hate the Yankees and even if it is only a two game series, getting swept by them sucks.
Picking an LVP for last night's game is a challenging task. Really it comes down to Bartlett and Crawford. Do you go with the guy who made the physical error or the mental error. I am going to go with Bartlett in part because he hasn't hit for shit all season.
- Coffee Can Reyes got put on the DL with a shoulder problem and Birkins was activated from the DL. Knowing that Reyes won't be pitching in a game for two weeks is a highlight in and of itself. To top it off, Birkins came in and faced four batters and pitched very well. He and Miller make a very formidable one-two left handed punch in the bullpen.
- Crawford is finally starting to hit like we all expected him to. He crushed a homer in the third to right field and legged out a double as well.
- Hinske continued to mash, crushing a homer to right in the 5th. He has really surprised me with how good his bat has been. Of course, he looks like the slowest man on earth running after fly balls in right. Not to mention that he throws like a girl. Otherwise, he is great.
- Upton came through with a couple hits and a RBI. I really have no idea what his numbers are going to look like this season. He seems completely unpredictable up at the plate. Some at bats he looks amazing and other at bats he looks awful. Strange hitter.
- Riggans came through with a two run homer to left. I've heard a lot of people clamoring for Riggans to be sent down and Defilice to stay once Navarro is activated. I disagree. Riggans is not a kid anymore. He is a 27 year-old catcher. It's time for him to be in the majors even if it as a backup. He does not need anymore seasoning. Somewhat unrelated, I am the only one who thinks it is debate-able that Navarro is better than Riggans? Riggans is a hell of a defensive catcher and he hits about as well as Navarro does. Honestly, I couldn't care less when Navarro comes back. Riggans works for me.
- The Rays squandered quite a few opportunities to score. For instance, they had two runners on in both the 1st and 2nd innings and came away with no runs. Awesome. Also, two of the three steal attempts by the Rays resulted in the runners (Gomes and Upton) being easily gunned out. Not good. The Rays have got to start capitalizing on their opportunities to score. They aren't going to win relying on home runs.
- Bartlett continues to be unimpressive with the bat. That is ok, but now his fielding has gone to complete shit. He had a routine throw to first and bounced it about 4 feet short of Pena resulting in the ball scooting by and the Twins scoring two runs. This is the fifth bad throw he has had in as many days. Usually Pena bails him out with an amazing pick, but not this time. Is Bartlett an upgrade over Harris? Harris is clearly a better hitter than Bartlett. It was his fielding that was setting him apart and since that has evaporated, I would have to say Harris seems to be better. Hopefully, Bartlett can turn things around. I think he has the ability to be better than Harris he just has not demonstrated it yet.
- Crawford made an absolutely boneheaded play in the bottom of the 8th. There was one out and runners on 1st and 3rd. A fly ball was hit deep into left field foul territory. Crawford went sprinting over there and made a nice diving catch. All the while Iwas screaming NO! NO! NO! at the top of my lungs. Crawford caught it and Young tagged at third and scored easily. That was the winning run. Is Crawford paying any attention to the game situation out there??? That is simply terrible and inexcusable. Get your head in the game Crawford.
Another very tough loss. This makes three in a row. The Rays desperately need to win tomorrow so they can have some momentum going into their home series against the White Sox over the weekend.
On an unrelated note, I really can't wait for Cliff Floyd to come back. He was hitting lasers left and right before he went on the DL. There has been a very noticeable decline in the offense since he went on the DL.
I really think this team would be better off with Ruggiano starting in right every night and Hisnke DHing against righties, while Gomes would DH against lefties. Ruggiano has showed that he belongs in the majors. I would also like Nathan Haynes to be cut immediately. He may be the worst player in the majors.
News and Notes
- Dennard Span can't hit. Does this surprise anyone?