Yes folks that’s right! Rays SP Andy Sonnanstine not only pitched well but aided his own cause by belting a run scoring double in the 4th inning in the series finale against the Tribe! Why was our SP batting you may ask yourself. Well here’s the story – Evan Longoria was slated to DH while Ben Zobrist was to play the field at 3B. An error on the scorecard showed both players playing the #5 position. After the completion of the top of the 1st inning Indians manager Eric Wedge brought this to the attention of the umpires. After a 13 minute delay the umpires correctly ruled that the Rays had lost the DH for the game and the pitcher would have to bat. Obviously Joe Maddon shouldered the blame for the scorecard snafu but let me tell you this was awesome to watch! The crowd went nuts when Sonny stepped to the dish batting in the #3 hole in the bottom of the 1st. He had a nice shot to short but ended to be a fielder’s choice – he beat the throw to first to avoid the DP. His 2nd AB he K’d but his 3rd attempt was golden. The outfield was playing him short and he knocked an opposite field shot over the LF head to the fence. This scored Michel Hernandez, who himself had just knocked a 3 run 2B, from second base. The crowd went wild ringing cowbells and cheering. I’m sure this totally pissed off the opposition!
By the way, Sonny pitched well going 5 2/3 scattering 7 hits and 5 ER while walking 1 and striking out 3. I know it doesn’t look like he pitched all that well by just looking at his line. But 4 of those runs came off 2 Ben Francisco HRs. Other than that damage Andy looked as good as he’s looked in a while. I think he should hit every game – LOL! The bullpen came in and kept the Tribe quiet for 3.1 innings giving up only 1 hit and 2 walks while striking out 5. The 3rd outstanding BP showing in a row and look 3 wins in a row – think there’s a correlation?!
The offense had outstanding at bats today! Not only did they hit well (8 hits, 4 for XBH) they showed their great eyes for the zone collecting 8 free passes! They did strike out 8 times as well but no one had a multiple strike out day. Jason Bartlett carried the big stick of the day going 3 for 4 with a 3B, 2B, 2 runs scored and an RBI. Yes, a HR away from the cycle! Hernandez came through big for the Rays belting a line drive 2B to LF to score 2 runs and put the Rays up for good in this game.
And I have yet to even mention the bench clearing incident in the 8th – LOL. The Tribe brought in Kerry Woods to take revenge on BJ Upton in the bottom of the 8th inning. Why you ask? Apparently it hurt the Indians feelings the BJ would try to spark his team Thursday evening when they were down 9-0 and steal a bag. Are you kidding me?! So, Woods through the first pitch behind BJ and the second in tight. This upset Maddon and he let everyone know. Tempers flared, words were exchanged then benches emptied. Luckily no one through any haymakers and order was restored. The best sight was seeing Pat Burrell, just placed on the 15 day DL, charge out of the dugout putting on his shirt the whole way. It was comical. Look, most of the time I can get a clear understanding of retaliation but in this case, are you kidding me?! The Rays are down and are supposed to just quit? I don’t think so. That is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve every heard. Get a grip Cleveland – just because you are not living up to expectations this year do not think anyone else is quitting!
What a game! This was a great game to be at. Oh and did I mention the game’s final out was a beautiful diving catch in LF by Carl Crawford. The Trop went crazy once again. We have now won 3 games in a row against a team we should have beaten. The Rays are 1 game under .500 and have a 4 game set at home against the bottom dwelling Athletics who we owe a whoppin’ to. Remember we played very poor against them out in Oakland – payback time!