Today began Interleague Play. I personally hate interleague play because certain A.L. teams get to play easy N.L. teams (Boston Red Sox vs. Chicago Cubs) and A.L. pitchers can’t hit so the line-up gets switched around. Today, the Tampa Bay Rays played the Florida Marlins in the Citrus Series. After arriving in Miami at about 5 a.m. in the morning, the Rays were expected to win in order to keep their lead in the A.L. East; but, they didn’t.
Jaso: Why is Jaso batting in the lead-off spot? Jaso is only batting .221 and has been a disappointment so far this season. Though I am thankful for him scoring a run in this game, I just don’t think he should be batting first. Zobrist has some how reached first base in (I believe) the last 26 games.
Shoppach: Shoppach replaced Jaso toward the end of the game. I don’t know why, he’s only batting .164. Since the game was tied, the Rays needed offense, not a defensive move to protect their lead. Shoppach ended up striking out (surprise!); Jaso should have stayed in the game and bunted Rodriquez over to third in the 8th inning.
Zobrist: Zobrist made an error today playing 2nd base. Luckily it did not lead to a run.
Damon: Played left field since he could not DH. In the first, he missed a catch that I believe Fuld could have made. But, it’s not his fault he hasn’t played outfield since Spring Training.
Longoria: Longo is batting .221. Maybe him being in all these commercials is going to his head because he has not played Hall-of-Famer baseball in a while. He seems to be jumping at bad pitches, ending in pop-ups.
Joyce: Joyce is the only Ray doing anything in every game in the past week. He had two triples today, scored a run, and is batting .358.
Upton: Upton left early because his ass was hurting.
Ruggiano: Ruggiano arrived from the minors today. He drew a walk today, but no hits.
Kotchman: Kotchman had 2 hits today and is batting .340, which explains why Dan Johnson was sent down to the minors.
Johnson: Played shortstop today.
S-Rod: replaced the pitcher in batting and hit a double, though the Rays failed to get him in. Glad to see him hitting and being a useful utility player.
Sonnanstine: Though he only gave up 3 runs, which isn’t bad, I’m always nervous when he plays. Sonnanstine has just not shown amazing pitches at all this year. Niemann has not even begun to throw in rehab so I don’t know how long the Rays can go with Sonnanstine pitching. Maybe call up Alex Torres?
Howell: Howell was back in the majors for the first time since 2009. He had to pitch around an error by Zobrist, but was able to get 3 outs. He has alot of hair on his head and face.
Gomes: Gomes got 2 easy outs before Maddon got all fancy and replaced him with Peralta. Peralta purposely walked someone to get to Coghlan (because the Marlins’ Coghlan is hitting .187 against lefties). Maddon taking out pitchers, who are pitching well, to match-up other pitchers with batters just annoys the hell out of me. Peralta pitching had me on the edge of my seat b/c he almost walked Coghlan.
So the Rays lost 5-3 to the Marlins. I think putting in Shoppach and expecting him to hit was a big mistake. I’m also curious as to why all the Rays’ bats (except Joyce’s) have gone cold. They look like they did last year, which is missing the fast-balls-down-the-middle while swinging at balls. Its 1-2-3 STRIKEOUT! They also FAIL at hitting sac flys. All they do it hit pop-ups. Is Maddon telling them to watch the pitches like he did last year? I know Damon told the Rays earlier this season to be more aggressive. They just seem to eager and swing at everything.