Hey Devil Rays fans, Patrick Kennedy here! Well, so much for my 8-3 drubbing prediction. The Rays used an absolutely brilliant day from Jonathan Gomes to lead the Rays to a 6-3 win over the "Power Rangers".
In my game predictyion, I failed to add the Rays' offense to the equation. Not really the entire offense, just two kids California Dreamin'. On my part though, it was like doing an addition problem and not carrying the one. These two studs obviously played a big role in the Rays' win, which guaranteed a sweep to go along with their first ever winning record in a season vs. Texas.
What can you say about Jonny though. His day speaks for itself. Gomes went 3 for 4 with three runs scored and two RBI. His 17th home run of the year extended his Rays rookie record, and gives him a decent shot at 25 by season's end. Just imagine if this guy had been here the whole year. Damon Hollins also went 2 for 4 with a run scored and two RBI, and together, the two Northern California 'mates accounted for all of the Rays six runs.
I wasn't too far off about my prediction on Casey "Mac" Fossum though. He didn't blow up, but he did give up three earned runs on seven hits in five innings, while walking three. He was tagged for the longball twice, both solo shots, but to his credit, he did strikeout five. But anyway you shake it, an average of two baserunners per inning is horrible, and Mac needs to reverse himself in his next start, in which he has a good shot of doing so, vs. the California Angels.
The rest of the offense manages only two hits off of Kenny Rogers, but the bullpen absolutely shut Texas down following the departure of Mac, surrendering just one hit in the fianl four frames. Travis Harper actually managed not to blow the game wide open by pitching 1 and 1/3 solid innings, Trever Miller got the one out he was brought on to get, and Chad Orvella bridged another 1 and 1/3 to ridge the JoeBo-less gap to Danys Baez, who picked up his 29th save of the year.
I do have one bone to pick with Lou though. In the seventh inning, when Travis Harper ran out of gas, Lou decided to make the call to the bullpen and bring on Trever Miller to face Hank Blalock, going with the "traditional" stats and going lefty on lefty. But Lou needed to look a little harder at the stats. Also warming up would be Chad Orvella, and he would be bought on to face the next hitter, Phil Nevin. Now, Lou did the same thing in Anaheim when we were playing the Angels, ignoring the precident and going with Miller to face a lefty over Orvella. Here are the pair's stats vs. left-handed batters this year:
That is a difference of over three runs! And there was not any particular strong history in either's past vs. Blalock, as Miller faced him today for the first time, and Orvella has faced him once. Lou has got to stop his assumption that...
- Miller is a situational lefty
- Miller does better vs. left-handed batters
FIRST PERSON NOTES:
Nothing special really to comment about at the Trop today that the average viewer on TV, or listener on radio wouldn't spot. Lots of brooms, and the fans seem to be getting more well-informed. So this is good. I brought a radio out to the ballpark, and for those of you not listening to the excellent broadcast team of Dave and Andy, a foul pop up in the eighth went right through Andy's hands and smashed into his laptop computer, and Dave couldn't control his laughter. Oh well, at least you can write off the repairs to the laptop or the purchase of a new computer as a "Business expense", Andy.
I will try to make it down to St. Pete for one of the games in the Tribe series, but should I not, I'll be with you next time fans for another First Person Report.