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Hammer Time Shines; Hammel Pitches Well

Some observations I had between taking pictures of pretty girls in home made Rays dresses and getting burnt worse than Ronde Barber on a fly route...


Jason Hammel looked to be totally in control today against the Reds, too bad the bullpen couldn't keep up with Hammer Time.  Hammel mixed his pitches very nicely.  He threw a decent fastball, but what really impressed me was his curveball; I want to say he got at least two of his four K's by freezing the batter with his curve.  I don't see how he's not the team's 5th starter come Opening Day.

As R.J. noted below, as good as Jason Hammel looked that's how bad Jason Isringhausen looked.  Though he only walked one, it didn't look like Izzy had much control of his pitches.  His cutter seemed to have a lot of movement, the problem was it was moving outside of the strike zone every time.  I was sitting behind a scout with a radar gun, and I didn't see one of his pitches top 88mph.  To be effective he needs to be in the 91-92 range.  If Isringhausen doesn't want to take a minor league deal then I don't see a way in wich he makes this team.  You can't expect a guy who had major shoulder surgery in September to be ready by April. 

Those were the only two big revelations on the day.  Offensively Crawford looked good at the plate, fouling off a lot of pitches before getting two singles and eventually stealing a base.  Navarro slapped a few singles and Barlett squeezed one between the 3B and SS, other than that it was pretty boring with no extra base hits. 

The most fun I had at the game was attempting to steal glances at the Blackberry of the Red Sox scout sitting in front of me.  I briefly saw one e-mail sent to Hoyer and Epstein titled "Re: Niemann", but he sent it before I could discern any useful information.  Sorry Rays FO, no luck...this time.