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Another bad game

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I didn't think about this earlier and apparently Lou didn't either but tonight was a pretty bad game to choose for giving Cantu his first start of the year at third base. You have a lefty pitcher on the mound meaning that the lineup will be stacked with right-handed hitters, making it likely that there will be plenty of chances at third base. Why would you start Cantu over the obviously defensively superior Gonzalez? There were multiple balls tonight that I think Gonzalez would have gotten if he was there; try this another night, when a right-hander is starting. Nomo's starts especially would be great for getting Cantu used to third since he's such an extreme fly-ball pitcher.

Anyone else think that spiffy looking diving catch by Hunter was a ball that Crawford probably would have caught without having to leave his feat?

Kazmir wasn't dominant like Monday against the Yankees but he pitched fairly well. It appears that the ignorance has already started, the MLB.com article has the headline "Kazmir runs out of steam." Yeah, that's why he pitched two more innings after that. The fifth inning was just plain old bad luck, the only ball that was truly hit hard was the double over Crawford's head (which he should have caught). Kazmir struck out one hitter and had eight balls go into play in the inning, SEVEN on the ground. Now, striking out hitters helps avoid bad luck in situations like this and he certainly didn't have the dominant stuff he did on Monday but that inning just wasn't his fault. At most maybe he should allow two runs in that inning and that's being generous, it could have easily been scoreless. It won't be looked at like that by the media though, they'll report and discuss the result without bothering to stop and think about the events that led to it.

Miller came into a LOOGY situation again with runners on base and gave up an extra-base hit that allowed both to score. That's eight of fourteen inherited runners scored this season. I really don't like him in that type of situation, he does better when used more like a normal reliever.

Lots more swinging early and often tonight for the Rays. Their lack of plate discipline is going to absolutely kill them as the years goes on, the offense will have nights like tonight and last night more and more often, little offense with a lot of terrible looking at-bats.

Can we please end the Damon Hollins era? The guy's performance in the minors (.269/.334/.446) wouldn't be anything special even if he repeated them in the majors; he hasn't been a good hitter and won't suddenly turn into one just because we're giving him playing time.

I think Jonny Gomes may actually be dead.

Sometimes I see Hall have a great swing like he did on that almost-a-home-run double and think he might have a shot at being merely mediocre at the plate instead of awful. Then he goes back out there and looks like crap again.

I will be very surprised if we see Cantu at third tomorrow.

Cantu leads off the inning with a double. What do the Rays do next? Why, they give up an out of course! Who needs to conserve outs anyway, it's not like the inning ends or something if you get three. Going by the 2004 numbers since the 2005 season is still young, according to Baseball Prospectus when a team has a runner on 2nd and no outs on average it will score 1.1596 runs in the inning. Change that to a runner on 3rd and 1 out and it goes down to 0.9722 runs. Congratulations, you just bunted your way into a situation where you're likely to score fewer runs! Now, this is run expectancy, not likelihood of scoring a run. Having a man on 3rd with one out probably does make you more likely to score the run than a man on 2nd with no outs, though the difference isn't very big. However, the Rays weren't down by one run, they were down by three. You play for one run, you get one run (and the Rays didn't get one anyway). Scoring runs starts with getting baserunners; the Rays got one when Cantu led off with a hit, that's a good opportunity for putting something together and scoring a run. Giving up an out for a base ruined half the good accomplished by the leadoff hit, the Rays basically surrendered the likelihood of a big inning by using idiotic "smallball" tactics.