Monday, April 7, 2008

The Morning After: Game 5

I wasn't able to do a "morning after" yesterday because the game was not on EI. I did get it on gameday audio, but I was too tired to pay decent attention. I am going to go with the consensus of the readers over at DRaysBay and give thew MVP to E-Jax.

Rays 0 (3-2), Yankees 2 (3-3)

LVP: Willy Aybar


  • Upton looked great in center. He seems to always get a good jump on the ball. He made a great diving catch and then threw out a runner trying to advance from first to third. He has a cannon of an arm. There are still times when he shows his inexperience in center, but it is obvious he is an exceptional defensive talent and with time I really believe he will be one of the better defensive center fields in the majors.

  • JP Howell looked magnificent. He came in with no outs in the sixth and a runner on second and absolutely shut the Yanks down. He struck out Posado and then got the next two guys to ground out to the left side. In the 7th he sat the heart of the Yankees order down 1-2-3. In the 8th he only gave up a hit to Matsui. Great Job by Howell. Scott over at RoL must be thrilled.

  • Shields labored a lot and had to get himself out of a number of jams, but he pitched pretty well overall. I was pleased with his performance. It would have been nice to get a few more innings out of him, but 5 innings and 2 runs allowed against the Yanks is a good performance in my book.


  • The Rays had one out and runners on the corners. Aybar was at third and he obviously thought the suicide squeeze was on as he took off when Wang started towards home. Bartlett made a half-assed attempt at the bunt and Aybar was stuck in a rundown. Either Aybar or Bartlett missed the sign

  • Hisnke’s defense in right field is not good. He can’t get to anything and he just looks slow out there. Luckily, he is still mashing with the bat so his shoddy D can be easily overlooked.

  • Aybar was up in a big situation in the seventh. There were no outs and runners on the corners after Floyd and Hinske both singled. Aybar came up and faced Joba Chamberlain and looked awful (he struckout). It was a critical out. It is absolutely necessary to score runs when you have a runner on third and no or one outs. If we had done that both times the game would have been tied 2-2 going into the bottom of the seventh. Sickening.

  • Upton really got annoyed at a low ball that was called a strike in the 9th inning. After he struck out he continued bickering at the umpire. His immaturity is shining through. Just shake it off, no reason to get so upset at one borderline strike call.


No one on the Rays really played that poorly. You just have to hand it to Wang. He pitched well, mixing speeds and locations with skill.

It would be really nice to see the Rays win this series 3-1. Let’s hope Hammell can get the job done tomorrow. He will be going against Mussina. I can’t say that I am overly optimistic, but hopefully he will surprise me. It would be a big victory for the Rays to finish their first road trip with a winning record and win a series at Yankees stadium. Win or lose tomorrow I think the Rays have shown that they will be a force to be reckoned with this season. They should be able to go .500 if they can play well at home.

News and Notes

  • Matsui is a ridiculously tough out. That guy can just flat out hit.

  • After being in the “Joba is overrated” club for a while, he may have made me a believer after those two innings. Damnit.

  • Jeter is simply not that good of a defensive shortstop anymore. He still has great at bats, but he just doesn’t look that good over there at shortstop.

  • I hate the Yankees.


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