- This game started at 7:08, at 9:06 the game was entering the eighth inning. At 9:46, the Rays were batting in ninth inning. That tells you all you need to know about either team's offense through the first seven innings. Give credit to James Shields and Marc Rzepczynski for pitching quickly and efficiently. As far as major league debuts go, six innings, seven strikeouts, four walks, and a pair of hits against one of the top offenses in the American League is pretty outstanding. Hopefully the Rays make up for it the next time they catch him.
- Shields yet again receives little run support. One run is infinitely more than the amount Shields got against Toronto last week, but still. The Rays average 5.4 runs per game, Shields has received more than 5 runs of support in four starts, 5 runs in three, 4 runs in one, 3 runs in six, 1 run twice (now), and no runs twice. That's 10 games with 3 or less runs worth of support. Shields is good, just not quite that good. At some point randomness will swing his way.
- Shawn Camp receives snarky comments by the pound when he pitches against the Rays. People seem to forget Camp's decent 2006 in light of the horrendous 2007. Evidently groundball pitchers and poor infield defenses do not mix, as evident by the differential in Camp's ERA and FIP:
2006 4.68 ERA/4.33 FIP
2007 7.20 ERA/5.29 FIP
2008 4.12 ERA/3.21 FIP
2009 4.10 ERA/3.82 FIP
- The "Vote Los" poster behind home plate loses the charm and warmth of the t-shirt logo by replacing Pena's head with the letter "o". I know the image is displayed on a green screen, but can you imagine the opposing pitcher looking up only to see a smiling Pena head starring back from behind the plate then adjusting his peripheral vision to see the real Pena starring back from the plate.
Joe Dillon is indeed alive, as confirmed in pre-game warm-ups. During games he sits, enclosed in glass, with Emergency written on the outside of the case.
- After Pat Burrell skied one to the left field warning track, I raised the question to Erik on whether even Ben Zobrist had homered from the right side very often while playing at the Trop. I looked it up, 5/16 Trop homers have been right-handed; more than I estimated, but with the exception of B.J. Upton and Evan Longoria, it doesn't seem like we see too many righties homer.
- Before Dioner Navarro bunted out, my browser tab was opened to Miguel Olivo's FanGraphs page. Desperate times...
- I enjoy watching Pat Burrell hit homeruns when it involves turning on 96 mile per hour fastballs. A normal Burrell is someone who could slam balls out of the Trop as well.