- Dioner Navarro. 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI.
- The Bullpen. Nelson, Wheeler, and Howell combined to pitch 3 and 1/3 innings of 1 hit baseball. Oddly enough, none of the three recorded a strike-out, as Howell was credited with the win.
- Gabe Kapler. Another clutch homer for Kapler, but don't expect me to change my stance on this guy. Last night's homer came on a check swing (seriously) and was a testament to The Hammer's strength. He's still the weakest (figuratively) link on the roster (Navi's a close second).
- Matt Garza. For the second game in a row I'm putting a pitcher up here that most people think should most definitely be in the "whine" section instead. Here's my logic (and if you watched he game you'll probably agree): In the first Garza gave up 3 runs on 4 hits and had absolutely no control. He continued to fight his control for the rest of the outing, but managed to fight through it without allowing another run and only giving-up 3 more hits in the next 4 and 2/3 innings. Last year Garza would've completely melted down in the first and wouldn't have made it through 3. So although it wasn't pretty I give Garza credit for fighting through a tough night and doing what it took to keep his team in it.
- Joe Maddon. Not for the Kapler move (pinch hit for Gross in the 8th), but for finally giving Gross some consecutive starts in right field. Gross has proven time and again that he is a really good fielder with a rocket arm, and that he isn't half bad at the plate either and its about time Maddon has given him a chance to show that he can do it consistently. Last night marked Gross's 4th consecutive start.
- Steals. The Rays recorded 5 stolen bases, 1 each for Crawford, Brignac, and Zobrist, and 2 for Upton.
- Evan Longoria. Come on Dirtbag, the last thing the Rays need is for you to become a streaky hitter. Another night, another 0-fer. Longo finished the night 0 for 3 with a K and a walk.
- AL East. During the 8th inning of the Rays' game it looked as if every other AL East team would lose and the Rays would have a chance to make-up ground on all 3 teams that they're behind, but an error by Luis Castillo of the Mets gave A-Rod a walk-off winner, and the Phillies (who were robbed of a walk-off homer in the 12th when a towering shot that went 20 or 30 feet above the foul pole was judged to be foul and the umps refused to even review the call) lost to Boston after giving up 3 runs in the 13th. The Blue Jays did lose however (in more ways than one); not only did they lose the game they also seemingly lost their ace, Halladay, to a strained left groin.
- Pat Burrell made his return to the lineup last night and was 0 for 3, but he looked like the bat speed was there, and he made a bid for a homer to dead center that was caught at the warning track. Having Pat back should have a positive impact on the hitters on either side of him even if he can't get hot right away.
- Mrs. Dirtbag Fan will be in attendance for tonight's game at the Trop with her lady friends while yours truly takes care of Daddy duty back home, and tries to find the game on the radio. What's this world coming to.
Gabe Kapler. Kapler hit the homer that put the Rays over the top, and he did it with a half swing. If I didn't know any better I'd be impressed.