MVP: Carl Crawford
- The bullpen came through in a big, big way once again. Combined the relief corps pitched 6 innings and gave up only on run. Howell (2.69 ERA) did not have his best stuff out there but he dug deep and managed to go three innings. Glover (1.69 ERA), Dohman (2.49 ERA), and Wheeler (1.38 ERA) were fantastic. Dohman deserves special recognition. He came in with one out and runner on the corners and got Ortiz to hit into a double play. Just fantastic. Wheeler also had a great moment when he blew away Manny in in the 9th.
- Garza was not great. His command was obviously off, as it has been through out his rehab starts. He got into a lot of trouble because of all the walks. However, his overall stuff seemed quite good. After that rough 2nd inning, he bore down and gave the Rays three very important innings.
- The defense was spectacular. BJ and Carl both made diving catches in the outfield. Gabe Gross intimidated runners all night long with his run. In the infield, Hinske made a number of good plays with a difficult catch on a foulout in the first being the most impressive. Bartlett showed his impressive range and good hands many times through out the night. He is great at getting the DP started.
- Carl Crawford had a great day at the plate. He had two triples. One that got a rally going and another that drove in a run. However, his most memorable at bat was probably in the 11th when he slapped a single the opposite way to get the rally started. He went on to steal second base and score on Nathan Haynes singles into right.
- Speaking of Nathan "no hit" Haynes," all I can say is "wow." Way to step up.
- Longoria had another good day at the plate. He has a great eye and just gets the job done at the plate. Not only that, but he can definitely run a little. He has showed some pretty decent speed with his triple the other night and his stolen base tonight.
- Hinske and Gross may not show up in the stat line as having had great days at the plate, but each of them significantly contributed to the win. Both players showed the definition of professional at-bats. They fouled off pitches, hung in there, had good eyes. They made the Sox pitchers work.
- Luckily Aki's boneheaded play did not come back to hurt the Rays. There was a grounder to second with a runner on first. Instead of tagging out the runner trying to make it to second or throwing it to second, he stood there and looked around for a few seconds. By the time he decided to throw to first the batter was already safe and, to make matters worse, the runner from first made it into second safely.
- This game might not have been so close if the rays could have capitalized on scoring opportunities in the early going. Twice the Rays had a runner on third with one or no outs and failed to get that runner home. The hitting needs to be more timely for this streak to keep up.
This is a game the Rays would not have had a chance of wining last year. The bullpen has suddenly become a real asset instead of a huge dead weight. This is the first time all season I have really thought about the playoffs and been able to take myself seriously.
Who was at the game? It looked like there was a lot of Sox fans in the stands. It must have been nice to be able to talk a lot of crap after the game.
This makes for a four game winning streak for the Rays. That is their longest of the season. They need to keep this momentum going and win tomorrow night. The match-up is pretty decent for the Rays. The vastly overrated Buchholz faces off against E-Jack. Here is hoping that E-Jack will be brilliant and not mediocre. You never know what you will get out of E-Jack. This is a very winnable game. Let's get it done.
News and Notes
- Kazmir will be back either May 3rd of 4th in a start against the Sox at Fenway.
- Cliff Floyd is looking at returning May 9th, which will be after the Rays 9 game road trip which starts after this series against the Sox.
- If you're interested in reading the texts of a drunken Rays fan please read previous post.