Saturday, July 19, 2008

Cheese & Whine: July 19

CHEESE & WHINE: Zobrist to The Rescue

Jays: 1

  • James Shields stepped up and pitched a good game when he needed it most. There were several instances throughout the game where the wheels looked like they may fall off, but Shields recovered nicely throwing 105 pitches (65 strikes) in 7 innings, giving up only 4 hits and 1 earned run (a solo homer by Lind in the 3rd). Shields retired 4 and walked 2.
  • Eric Hinske once again showed patience at the plate taking a 2-out walk from Burnett in the 7th- this translated into the tying run...
  • Ben Zobrist made up for his sub-par defense while filling in for Bartlett by blasting a first-pitch, 2-run homer deep into right field in the 7th to put the Rays up for good.
  • Grant Freakin' (and I mean it in a good way) Balfour was unhittable... That was one of the most ridiculous displays of pure pitching talent that I've ever seen- Mariano Rivera would've been impressed. Balfour faced 4 batters and struck out 3 to close-out the game. He was called in in the 8th (with 2 outs) to face Alex Rios, and inherited a runner on 3rd, Balfour struck Rios out and then dropped 'em in order in the ninth to conserve the win.
  • 23,706 attended the game, which is fairly impressive considering the 7 game slide before the break, I guess some of those "fair-weather/bandwagon Rays fans" plan on sticking around.


  • The Rays offense is still gasping for air. They only compiled 5 hits, albeit against a very good pitcher in Burnett. I honestly thought that the bats would wake up yesterday, but alas, I was wrong. The top of the lineup (Aki, Crawford, Upton, and Pena) was a combined 3 for 15 with 2 of the hits being credited to Aki.
  • Gabe Gross can't buy a start...
  • Zobrist has to make the routine play in the eighth, but instead made an errant throw to Pena, putting the tying run into scoring position- could've cost the Rays dearly if Balfour wasn't a demi-god.

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