- Willy Aybar. Aybar had a great night from the plate; going 2 for 3 with a 2-run homer, 3 RBI, and a walk.
- Carl Crawford. Another day another pair of hits for CC. Crawford went 2 for 4 from the plate with an RBI. He was also credited with an outfield assist when he gunned down Abreu at home to save a run (it was Abreu though- he had no business trying to stretch that out).
- Ben Zobrist. Ben was 2 for 3 with a walk and scored 3 times.
- Carlos Pena. El Gato is heating up again (thankfully) and is making great contact. Carlos finished the game having gone 2 for 4 from the plate, hitting his 18th homerun of the season and scoring twice.
- Lance Cormier. Cormier to the rescue, again. After Niemann struggled Cormier was called on as the long-reliever again, and represented himself well; pitching 2 and 1/3 innings, allowing 2 hits and zero runs, while striking-out 2 and walking one. That'll do.
- Jason Isringhousen. 1 inning, 2 K's- that's all I want.
- Jeff Niemann. Niemann is technically still the 5-guy, and a rookie, so we can't forget to cut him a little slack, but he's got to find the strikezone a bit more consistently (48 of 91 pitches for strikes) no matter where he falls in the rotation. Niemann finished the game having pitched only 3 and 2/3 innings, allowing 5 runs (4 earned) on 7 hits while striking-out 3, and walking 3. The sad part is that he was this close (picture my fingers really close together) to squeaking out a W despite it all.
- Evan Longoria. Evan's recent struggles continued last night with another 0-fer. Longo was o for 4, and looks fairly awkward in the box right now. I understand the caution with the hamstring, but if he can't even try to run out grounders because he's still worried about reaggravating the injury then he needs to sit back down until he can.
- Dioner Navarro. Here's a big, giant surprise; Navi was 0 for 4, again. This guy has done very little this season to show that he belongs in a starting lineup. Navi did record a pick-off last night with a nice little snap-throw to third to catch Figgins who was taking a generous secondary lead.
- Yesterday I wrote an article called Sweet Friday in which I speculated on what the lineup card would look like on Friday if all went well, but apparently I jumped the gun on Bartlett being ready.
- The Red Sox beat the Yankees last night and are now 7-0 against their New York rival this season. These two teams beating up on each other is supposed to help level the playing field, but New York isn't doing the Rays any favors by giving away 7 division games to the stinkin' Sox.
Carlos Pena. Although his homer may not have been as productive as several other hits last night, Pena's making good contact- and the ball is jumping off of his bat again. Pena heating-up again is about as important as any other circumstance surrounding the Rays right now, and for that he gets the gameball.