Saturday, April 18, 2009

CHEESE & WHINE: Zo Much Better

SOX: 5

  • Ben Zobrist. Zo-rilla came into the game as a pinch hitter for Gabe Gross in the 6th after the Rays had just fallen behind 5-2. He got a tough pitch down and in, but was able to send it for a ride into left field for the grand slam, giving the Rays a 6-5 lead which they carried for the win. Zobrist is quickly positioning himself in much the same way Aybar did last season- not giving Maddon any other choice but to play him.
  • Jason Bartlett. JB seems to be getting hits whenever they're needed, and the trend continued last night, hitting an RBI double in the 5th to tie the game at 2. He finished the night 1 for 2 with a double, a walk, and a stolen base (his 5th of the season). He also had some nice defensive plays including a tough grab in shallow left early in the game.
  • Carlos Pena. All he does is help this team win. His hitting streak was extended to 10 games when he hit his 6th HR of the season in the 2nd off of Colon. He also made an amazing gold-glove caliber, diving grab to prevent an extra base hit.
  • Dan Wheeler. Wheeler finally looked like a capable reliever last night pitching 2/3's , striking out 1 and recording the hold.
  • Troy Percival. Neither Wheeler or Percival looked amazing, but considering that they shoulder a lot of blame when they stink I figured I give them a little love when they actually perform decently. Percy came in in a traditional closer's roll and did his job. He pitched the 9th giving up 1 hit, walking 1, and striking-out 1, recording the save and sealing the win. Nothing to write home about, but I'll take it.


  • Pat Burrell. There is a fine marginally fine line between "streaky" and "can't hit". Guess which side of the line Pat the Bat is creeping toward. The Bat was 1 for 4 last night and his season average is now .216
  • James Shields. If Niemann had the same stat line I'd be fine, but this is our "ace", Big Game James, Mr. Awesome-at-home. He got the job done in the end, manning-up and getting some tough outs before taking a seat, but 5 runs on 7 hits, and surrendering 2 homers is not good enough when your team desperately needs a "stopper". I expect better from Shields, and I'm sure expects better from himself (or at least I hope so).
  • Carl Crawford. CC was 0-4 at the plate. It seems like that stat-line is becoming a more common occurrence. His season BA is .222.


  • Pena now has 5 homers in the last 6 games.
  • The Red Sox and Yankees also won their games last night, so the Rays basically accomplished nothing other than stopping their 3 game skid.

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