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Carlos Pena beats the Red SoxHey everyone, I’m filling in for Brenda as she will be away from the computer for a while. What a game last night in Boston as the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Red Sox 4-2 in 14 innings of action. As I was watching the game on ESPN, I was thinking wow is this game every going to end lol.

Carlos Pena delivered the big shot in the 14th inning when he hit an opposite field three-run home run to give the Rays the lead. It was a huge shot by Pena as he really picked up the team and that is what a leader has to do at this point in the season. Pena finished the game with three rbi Willy Aybar had one rbi on a triple in the second inning.

The pitching staff did a great job of holding the Red Sox down. Starting pitcher Andy Sonnanstine tossed seven innings and only allowed four hits and one run. The one run that Andy gave up was a rbi double to Dustin Pedroia in the third inning. Trever Miller ended up picking up the victory while Jason Hammel recorded all three outs in the bottom of the 14th inning for his first save of the season.

Troy Percival attempted to get the save but loaded the bases up and then was taken out of the game even after trying to talk the manager into staying in. People have to wonder if Percival is still a little bit hurt. If he is, he shouldn’t be out there on the mound.

We will be back blogging about the Rays on Friday when they take on the New York Yankees. Rays are up 2.5 games on the Red Sox and look to extend their lead this weekend!

Rays Blog

Post info: By TBRays01 on September 11th, 2008
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OK, you’ve all heard the saying the good pitching beats good hitting….let me assure you however that bad pitching makes the game interesting! WOW! I am still emotionally spent from that game yesterday, it was amazing!! The Trop was packed and most stayed to see the walk off win!

This game really didn’t get “started” until the bottom of the 8th inning. Armando Gallaraga had the Rays shut down for 7 innings allowing only 4 hits and 1 ER. James Shields did not pitch his best, allowing 9 hits and 2 ER in 6.1 innings. Shields left the game behind 2-1. Grant Balfour followed Shields and gave up a monster blast to Tampa native Gary Sheffield to run the score to 3-1.

The Tigers then brought in newly acquired Kyle Farnsworth in the bottom of the 8th and this is when the game got interesting. Eric Hinske led off the 8th facing the 98 mph fireballer Farnsworth. Hinske promptly deposited a Farnsworth fastball over the right centerfield wall to move the Rays to within 1 run, 3-2. Bartlett was over matched by Farnsworth for the first out of the inning. Akinori Iwamura sauntered to the plate and drove a firm single to centerfield. BJ Upton walked to the plate with the tying run standing on 1st and only 1 out. BJ launched a 3-1 fast ball to over the centerfield fence to put the Rays up 4-3 in the bottom of the 9th!

The Rays bring in Troy Percival to collect his 25th save – NOT!! Curtis Granderson deposited the first Perci pitch he saw into the RCF seats to tie the game in the top of the 9th at 4-4. Uggggg………… The Tigers and Rays then went down quietly into the top of the 10th inning. Once again we run Perci out to toe the rubber and try to keep the Tiger bats quiet. Perci faces Miguel Cabrera with a bad outcome – you guessed it – another home run! Now the Tigers are up 5-4 in the top of the 10th. Finally Perci had thrown his last pitch. Trever Miller came in to close the door.

Now I have been watching baseball for many years and cannot remember a time when I’ve seen such dramatics in the potential last at bat of a game. Willy Aybar, PH for Gross, walked to start the bottom of the 10th. Jason Bartlett squared to bunt and took a pitch right on the tip of his finger splitting open the nail and causing a lot of bleeding. This and I’m sure the intense pain he was feeling, sent him to the showers with a 0-1 count. Off the bench to PH for him was our last remaining position player — Shawn Riggans. Fernando Rodney throws as hard as anyone, mid to high 90’s. Riggans turned to swing and was hit directly in the middle of his sternum by a 93 mph Rodney fastball running in on him – the crowd went silent as Riggans hit the dirt! All 33,000 + stood and watched with anticipation for Riggans to get up under his own power. I think we all stopped breathing for a few seconds or so! After a few minutes of clear agony Riggo regained his breathe and walked ever so slowly to first base.

Next Ray to go against Rodney was Aki. Aki laid down a beautiful sac bunt to advance the runners to 2nd and 3rd with only 1 out. Carl Crawford came to the plate and deposited a single past the drawn in infield to score Aybar with the tying run! The crowd went mad!!!! With runners on 3rd and 1st Upton walked to load the bases. Longo stepped to the plate to become a hero once again. But, it was not to be this time as Rodney clearly overpowered our beloved rookie and struck him out.

So, here we go fans!!! Bases loaded, bottom of the 10th, tie score, 2 outs …. Up steps Carlos Pena. Carlos hung tough fouling off several pitches and bringing his count to 3-2. Now, isn’t this every young boys dream??!! Bases loaded, bottom of the 10th inning, 3-2 count, 2 out??!! WOW – the stage is set for tonight’s hero. Pena takes ball 4 and, appropriately, it is Riggans who jogs in from 3rd with the winning run!

WOW – I’m worn out just by reliving the excitement! What a game and what a series!! The Rays appear to have found that intensity they had lost for a bit. They looked great this weekend. Even when the chips were down they picked each other up and played hard as a team! Great to see!

Get some rest fans! We owe the Indians a sweep! Go Rays!!!

Post info: By Rays6 on August 4th, 2008
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I’m not quiet sure what team that was that appeared against the A’s yesterday but it sure didn’t look like the AL East leading Tampa Bay Rays!  Not only was their offensive effort pathetic, the defense was slow and lazy and the bullpen imploded late in the game once again.  Andy Sonnanstine made 1 bad pitch to give up a 3-run blast to Jack Hannahan.  Other than that his effort was adequate as he left the game with Rays in position to win.  Sonny pitched 7 innings scattering 5 hits, only 1 BB and 5 K’s.  Trever Miller then entered the game in the 8th and it was downhill from there.  Miller, whose effectiveness has been declining with each passing month, did not record an out in the 8th but gave up 1 hit, 2 BB and 3 runs.  Al Reyes then followed Miller’s disappointing performance with one of his own.   Reyes actually recorded 3 outs but not before he gave up a hit, a BB and another run.  Jason Hammel capped the bull pen performance by “mopping up” the 9th inning allowing 1 run on 2 hits and a walk. 

 The offensive effort in this game matched the bullpens’.  The Rays actually had runners on base in just about every inning but only managed to push across 1 run.  A base running blunder by Carl Crawford took the Rays out of a possible scoring opportunity.  With bases loaded and 1 out Carlos Pena hit a sac fly to left field.  The throw in was cut off, as there was no play at the plate with Aki scoring the lone run, and CC was hung out to dry between 2nd and 3rd for the 3rd out of the inning.  The offense managed to rack up 7 hits and 5 BB with only 4 K’s.  Looking at that line you’d think we’d have won the game.   

The defensive effort was less than stellar also.  Ben Zobrist was charged with 2 errors.    

This performance was reminiscent of days gone by…..the old Devil Rays.  The team showed no hustle, no grit and determination.  They were standing out there just going through the motions.  Clearly the Rays front office must make some tough choices if we are to make a late season push for the playoffs.  The Red Legs are lurking only .5 games behind and playing a weak schedule.  Those that wear the pinstripes also gained a game and are now just 3.5 games back.   

It seems painfully obvious they really need to make a deal for a RH hitter with some pop.  Someone we can sign to be a part of this team for years to come.  NOT a player on “loan” until the end of the season.  It seems pretty clear that bull pen changes need to be made also.  Rumor has it that Andrew Friedman and Joe Maddon spent about an hour behind closed doors after the disappointing loss last night so stay tuned Rays fans…..trades/moves may be on the way!

Post info: By Rays6 on July 23rd, 2008
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The Tampa Bay Rays banged out 10 hits, including 2 HRs, and scored 6 runs Saturday night en route to a series victory over the Toronto Blue Jays!  The Rays sleeping beast – their offense – appears to have come out of hibernation.  Evan Longoria led the charge blasting his first career GRAND SLAM in the 6th inning.  Cliff Floyd added another HR to dead centerfield on the first pitch he saw in the 8th.      

Until the 6th inning the game was locked in a pitchers duel between Matt Garza and Roy Halladay.  Garza pitched an almost flawless game.  The only marks against him were 2 hits in 7.2 innings which included 6 K’s!  He was outstanding against a tough hitting Toronto team.   

The ineffective bullpen made the game interesting allowing the Jays 4 runs on 5 hits in the 9th inning!  The Rays ended up using 3 pitchers in the 9th inning alone.  Trever Miller, Al Reyes and Dan Wheeler were off the hook when Wheeler eventually managed to shut the door.

Great to see the bats come alive!  The Rays also put a lot of pressure on the defense by lying down several bunts. Akinori Iwamura and Dioner Navarro took the defense by surprise and beat out bunts for base hits. Adding the bunt to the Rays offense is going to put a ton of pressure on opposing defenses and they need to KEEP DOING IT!   

Great game and looking forward to another today!  Get out to The Trop!  See you there!

Post info: By Rays6 on July 20th, 2008
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James Shields pitched an outstanding game and 6 different Rays came through with RBIs to secure a win over the Kansas City Royals 9-2 on Sunday. Shields pitched 7 innings allowing only 4 hits, 2 ER, 1 BB and 8 K’s. He hit a little bump in the 2nd inning allowing the 2 ER but pitched masterfully for the next 5 innings. Gary Glover and Trever Miller pitched the 8th and 9th respectively giving up only 1 hit each.

The offense was clicking on all cylinders as well. Evan Longoria and Gabe Gross each belted a HR. Longoria, BJ Upton and Carlos Pena had 2 RBIs each to lead the team. Pena looks as if his bat might be heating up. He beat the right side shift in the 2 inning by laying down a nice bunt for a single. He then added another single, a 2B, scored 2 runs and had the 2 RBIs for a GREAT day at the dish. He looked as if he was swinging within himself and NOT swinging for the fences. Hopefully this is a look at what’s to come for him!

The Rays go for the series sweep over the Royals today sending Matt Garza (7-4) to oppose Gil Meche (6-9). The Rays record in the last 10 games is 9-1! Today the Rays go for a complete sweep home stand that would leave their record for the last 13 games 12-1 – that is AMAZING! It’s hard to fathom that there are still non believers out there but they do exist. For them I say — PAY ATTENTION! THE RAYS ARE NOT GOING ANYWHERE!

Post info: By Rays6 on July 7th, 2008
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The Tampa Bay Rays rode the long ball to victory in the opening game of the 3 game series.  Evan Longoria led the charge having a GREAT night at the dish going 4 for 5 with a HR, a 2B, 3 RBI and 3 runs scored.  He was followed in the home run parade by Eric Hinske who blasted a 3 run shot and Carl Crawford who hit a solo bomb.  The Rays did a nice job at the plate banging out 15 hits with only 6 K’s. 

Scott Kazmir had a less than average outing for him in his 7th victory.  He allowed 3 ER on 4 hits, 2 BB and a HR while compiling 4 K’s in just 5 innings pitched.  Kaz pitched well but he lacked the ability to get the final strike by the Buc hitters.  He went deep into far too many counts elevating his pitch count to 103 in just 5 innings. JP Howell followed Kaz and struggled with his control a bit.  Howell allowed 1 hit, 1 ER and 2 BB in just 1 inning pitched.  Grant Balfour and Trever Miller finished the game and quieted any hopes of a Bucs comeback.     

The return of Carlos Pena saw him go 0 for 3 with 1 BB.  Joe Maddon had him batting 6th in the lineup behind Longoria which is a great call.  Pena wasn’t leaving too many runners in scoring position before his stint on the DL so good to see Maddon take some pressure off him in his return. By the way – the #4 hole was filled by Hinske who went 2 for 3 with 3 RBIs and 3 runs scored.  

The Rays have been taking advantage of mistakes made by opposing pitchers both in the series with the Florida Marlins and in the first game of this 3 game set.  If the Rays are willing to continue to be patient at the plate and force opposing pitchers to go deep they will sweep the Bucs.  This road trip should breed a ton of confidence in the Rays as they will return to The Trop with a winning road trip without having their full compliment of players but for 1 game (Iwamura will being to serve his suspension tonight). 

It’s a great time to be a Tampa Bay Rays fan!

Post info: By Rays6 on June 28th, 2008
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The Tampa Bay Rays only recorded three hits on Wednesday as they lost to the Oakland Athletics by the score of 9-1.  The Rays were never really in this game as they got man handled the entire game at every aspect of the game.

Andy Sonnanstine pitched six innings and allowed nine hits and seven runs as he took the loss for the Rays.  Sonnanstine is now 6-2 on the season.  He couldn’t keep the ball down as he gave up two home runs in the game.

Jason Hammel pitched the seventh inning and did not fare well at all.  Hammel gave up two hits and two runs to go along with three walks.  Talk about having no control…  Trever Miller came in and pitched a scoreless eighth inning.

The only Rays run came in the eighth inning when Jonny Gomes hit a solo home run.  Other then that the Rays only had two other hits in the game.  It just wasn’t the Rays day at the plate.

Rays Blog

Post info: By TBRays01 on May 21st, 2008
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It was another low scoring game tonight and this time it was the New York Yankees beating the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1.  The Rays were only able to push across a run in the seventh inning Dioner Navarro had a rbi single.

James Shields took the loss for the Rays as he dropped his record to 4-3.  Shields didn’t really pitch bad as he only gave up six hits and two runs in 7 1/3 innings.  There was just no run support for Shields.  Trever Miller and Al Reyes pitched the final 1 2/3 innings without giving up a run.

Not much on the offensive side as Navarro had the only rbi for the team.

The Yankees and Rays will battle again on Thursday.  Rays Blog

Post info: By TBRays01 on May 14th, 2008
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The Tampa Bay Rays won their fifth straight game as they beat the New York Yankees 7-1 on Monday night.  What a way to open up a four game series against the Yankees!

Matt Garza tossed seven innings of shutout ball.  Garza only allowed five hits in the game as he struck out three batters and only walked one to pick up the win and improve his record to 2-1.

Gary Glover and Trever Miller both pitched a inning of relief after Garza left the game.  Glover gave up one run but Miller pitched a scoreless inning.

Dioner Navarro and Jason Bartlett both had two rbi in the game.  Akinori Iwamura, Jonny Gomes, and Eric Hinske all had one rbi each in the game.  Great production by the Rays at the plate donight as it just wasn’t one player doing all the damage.

The Rays are now six games over .500 with a 22-16 record.  Rays Blog

Post info: By TBRays01 on May 12th, 2008
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The Toronto Blue Jays held the Tampa Bay Rays to only four hits on Wednesday night as they beat the Rays by the score of 6-2.

Matt Garza took the loss for the Rays even though he pitched pretty good.  Garza tossed six 1/3 innings and only gave up six hits and one run.  It was the bullpen for the Rays that cost them the game as they gave up a combined five runs.

Scott Dohmann and Trever Miller both gave up two runs while Jason Hammel gave up one run.

At the plate for the Rays, B.J. Upton was the only player to have any RBI in the game.  Upton had a two run double in the ninth inning to score both of the Rays runs.

Rays Blog

Post info: By TBRays01 on May 7th, 2008
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