Rays Bats Fall Silent, Sonnanstine Struggles in 7-0 Loss to Mariners

SEATTLE - JUNE 03: Miguel Olivo #30 of the Seattle Mariners rounds third base after hitting a home run off of starting pitcher Andy Sonnanstine #21 (foreground) of the Tampa Bay Rays at Safeco Field on June 3, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)


Unless every Rays starting pitcher, be he prospect or veteran, falls deathly ill this season I believe last night's start was Andy Sonnanstine's final in a Rays' uniform.

Andy, you were a great surprise in the 2008 season, but you've lost your asset as a pitcher: control. To steal a line from Jonah Keri, when your fastball can't dent a piece of bread you need to be able to locate it. Last night you definitely couldn't.

Over five innings Sonnanstine walked five batters and gave up only four hits...but allowed seven runs. That's the sort of thing that happens when you walk in a run, give up an RBI ground out, and let Miguel Olivo and Adam Kennedy take you deep. I can understand Justin Smoak hitting a home run, but Olivo shouldn't be hitting home runs to left field. Hey, at least the bullpen was good, right? Adam Russell, Cesar Ramos, and Kyle Farnsworth pitched the final three innings and allowed just one base runner.

Once again the offense was non-existent. The Rays racked up four hits - just like the Mariners! - but didn't exactly score seven runs. They hit a few balls to deep centerfield that likely would have been homers at other parks, but it wasn't to be at SafeCo. A runner didn't advance past second base all night, and only three actually made it to second. Vargas dominated, getting 13 ground ball outs in the process of throwing his complete game.

Hopefully the Rays can pick up a win with Hellickson on the mound tonight.

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