Wednesday, April 22, 2009

CHEESE & WHINE: L is for Losers

M's: 4

  • Sonny. Outside of a very disappointing 4th inning Andy Sonnanstine pitched himself a decent ballgame. Sonny allowed 4 runs (3 earned) on 7 hits while striking out 7 and walking 1. Not a stellar performance by any means, but if you watched the game you walked away thinking Sonny did well, despite losing.
  • Ben Zobrist. The kid is going to make Maddon find room for him every night if he continues to show consistent power from the plate to go along with his defensive versatility . Zobrist only managed 1 hit last night, but it was a nice double to left that jumped off his bat, very reminiscent of his buddy Dirtbag.
  • Pat Burrell. Pat, who is still miles away from earning his nickname back, is starting to show signs of life. He went 2 for 4 with an RBI single in the first.
  • Flashes of leather. Longoria started the defensive clinic in the 3rd when he made a barehanded grab of a Chavez bunt and gunned him down at first. Aki followed that up with a backhand grab and throwout at first to end the inning. Longoria, not to be outdone, struck again in the 4th when he barehanded another slow (very slow) rolling bunt that just got past Sonny, and made an amazing throw to get the speedy Ichiro at 1st. I am willing to stake a week's wages that no other third baseman in the league makes either of the plays that he made- they were things of beauty. Then Kapler, aka "The Hebrew Hammer", capped-off the 2 inning clinic when he made a great diving grab in left center to end the 4th (partly because he was out of position, but we'll give him style points anyways since the ball was slicing away from him).


  • The "Big Inning". It seems like more and more games are coming down to the Rays' starting pitchers having a good outing, but allowing one big inning. What makes a pitching staff good is being able to avoid said inning. The reason they dumped the potential-filled E-Jax was because he couldn't avoid the big inning, and now his (temporary) replacement, Niemann, as well as Garza and Sonny, and Shields, and Kaz... can't seem to stay out of them either. If the Rays want to win, the starters have to level-off and pitch more consistently in order to be contenders.
  • 1 for 9. The team was 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position. Someone, anyone, has to start hammering home to these kids that they need to make productive outs. I can't even remember the last sac fly the Rays recorded. It seems like they've had 267,000 men on second and third with 1 out and have failed to score a run. Again, for the Rays to win this must change.
  • Losing. I'm already sick of losing. When I stay up until 1:00 am to watch a game I want results! Come on fellas give me a reason to stay up that late (other than Craig Ferguson).
  • Sonny. Its rare that a player gets to be "cheese" and "whine", but Sonny has managed it. In the bottom of the first with the Rays already holding a 2-run lead Sonny grabbed a Ken Griffey Jr. bunt (yeah, I said bunt), which came right to the mound, and tried making a force out at 2nd, but threw a "wild pitch" past Bartlett resulting in an error and eventually an unearned run. If you're not completely certain of making the force then you need to go to first where you know you can get Griffey hobbling his way down the line. Too aggressive with an early lead.


  • The Rays are now 1-5 versus lefties this season.
  • BJ Upton missed the game due to an upper leg issue. Bossman has missed 7 of the Rays first 14 games.

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