Rays 6 (1-1), Orioles 9 (1-1)
When you are watching a game on Extra Innings you often will only get the “feed” from the opposing team, For these first two games the only broadcast available has been the Orioles feed. I thought I was going to hate these Orioles announcers – Gary Thorne and Jim Palmer. But Thorne has been very competent and even handed, while Palmer often dispenses some pretty insightful comments. I have been pleasantly surprised.
LVP: Al Reyes
- Cliff Floyd smashed a three run homer in the first to right center. He has been hitting the ball hard in these first two games.
- The base running was excellent. Crawford and Haynes both easily stole bases in the first and second innings. The Rays were aggressive stretching balls that could have been singles into doubles and advancing bases when they could. A big improvement over last week.
- Pena hit a ball that looked like a pop-up, but went about 400ft. And it was a pop-up – he just has enough power hit pop-ups out of the ballpark.
- Wheeler looked pretty good. He allowed a base runner, but was able to escape the unscathed. It is only a matter of time until he replaces Reyes as the setup man.
- Not a good omen when the first batter you face as a Ray hits a bomb. This is what happened to Matt Garza. Brian Roberts took him deep on the second pitch of the game. It was Roberts tenth career lead-off homer. Garza struggled in the third too. He gave up some line shots to center and didn’t have very good command. Het got pulled in the sixth after he had given up 5 runs. Overall, a poor start to his Rays career.
- Reyes was awful. Just horrendous. Everybody hit the ball hard off of him. Sickening.
- Huff continued to butcher the Rays hitting a key homerun and ripping a game winning triple in the 8th.
- The outfield defense once again did not look good. Upton bobbled a key ball when he had a chance to throw a runner out at home. He then misplayed Huff’s triple let it ricochet over his head. To top it off Haynes (the defensive specialist) then bobbled the ball allowing Millar to easily score and Huff to get a triple. Based on this game I would have to say that Haynes looks useless. At least Gomes and Hinske can hit a homerun every now and then.
Remind anyone of last year.?The Rays first loss of the season can be blamed on the bullpen. My high came way down during that 8th inning. From the very start I just felt like something was going to go wrong. This could start out bad real quickly. Hopefully Sonny can win the one tonight, but then the Rays will be running out E jack and Hammell at Yankee stadium. It is important that this team start out well. A poor record in the early part of the season may lead to a trend. Tonight’s game is important.
This game was a battle of bullpens. The Orioles bullpen was better than the Rays. Damnit.
News and Notes from the Game
- According to Jim Palmer, Greg Lemond – the cyclist – had a very similar disease to Rocco. Greg had to retire. Rocco was hoping that because baseball requires less physical exertion he might be able to still play.
- There was absolutely nobody at the game!!! It looked like there were about 2,000 people there. Empty seats everywhere.
- Every time Huff comes to bat or makes an out the Orioles fans boo him. If you remember, he said that he basically hates the city of Baltimore this winter. Can you blame him? Baltimore sucks.
- If you rank all the pitchers under 25 in terms of ERA, Kaz, Shields, and Garza are 3 out of the top 6 in the majors.