June 27, 2008
Evan Longoria is playing at a level well beyond his years. He has already emerged as one of the if not the best third baseman in the league and his offensive production has been steadily rising as well. Last night Dirtbag went 4-5 with a 2B and a 3-run homer to start off the scoring. That's 4 homers in the last 5 games and he now leads the team in HR's (15), Doubles (20), and RBI's (46)... not bad for a rookie.
Carl Crawford's offensive production has finally picked up as well; he was 3 for 5 with a solo HR in the 6th.
Hinske got the start in RF, again and it paid dividends on the offensive side; he was 2 for 3 with a 3-run homer.
Although Pena went hitless in his return to the lineup (although he did record a sac fly resulting in an RBI) he looked solid at the plate and I see no reason to believe that he won't get right back to crackin' 440 footers sooner than later.
Grant Balfour pitched 2 1/3 allowing 0 runs on 0 hits while striking out 3 and walking none.
If the Rays plan on being playoff contenders they cannot let a team like Pittsburgh get back into a game in which they (The Rays) led by 7 in the third; especially when its your Ace (Kazmir) versus a first tim starter.
Kazmir, although he pitched fairly accurately (70 of his 103 pitches were counted as strikes), packed it in as soon as the Rays mounted a nice big lead, and he's lucky it didn't cost him another W. If Kaz wants to continue his career as the Ace he is going to have to learn how to keep that pitch count down.
visit Rays Index.