Thursday, April 3, 2008

So much for win streaks; Rays drop game late to O's 9-6

Final Score
Orioles 9
Rays 6


Carl Crawford 2-4, 2 runs scored
Cliff Floyd 1-3, BB, 3 RBI(3 run Home run)

Al Reyes 0.2 IP, 3H, 2BB, 4ER (BS)(Loss)
Dioner Navarro 0-4, 5 LOB

Tommy's Take: I checked the Rays promotional calendar and believe it or not last night was not turn back the clock night, but it sure felt like it. The Rays played more like the Devil Rays(Go ahead Matt Silverman sent me a letter please)last night in Baltimore. Leaving RISP stranded with less that two outs: CHECK; Getting burned by Aubrey Huff: CHECK; 8th Inning Meltdown: DOUBLE CHECK.

The Rays had two bases loaded situations last night, one with no out and another with one out. The Rays scored a combined one run in those situations, and you can blame Dioner Navarro for that. The one that hurt was the GIDP with no outs, which I called by the way. Navarro is AWFUL with the bases loaded. With the bases juiced Navarro is hitting .179/.194/.286. I thought this several times last year, but any time the bases are loaded past the 4th inning and Navarro is up the Rays should pinch hit.

The Rays had Eric Hinske, who is a career .321 with the bases loaded, on the bench last night...I'm just saying.The reason Hinske wasn't playing last night was because he has 10K's in 21AB in his career again O's starter Daniel Cabrera, but by the time Navarro came up with the bases loaded Cabrera was out of the game.

It's only one game and the optimism is still here, but our old friend reality stopped by last night and gave us a nice slap in the face.

Erik's Take: New name, new uniforms, new season...Same result. It nearly made me sick to my stomach last night, watching the Rays bring back the Devil. I thought Stu, Matt and Andy did some sort of exorcism on the team, I guess not. They were the Devil Rays last night, and hopefully that's the last we see of that this year.

I'm still impressed by the offense. I love the 1-5 hitters, and if Uncle Cliffy can stay healthy all year I may have a new favorite player. I agree with my colleague's take on Navarro with the bases loaded, he's terrible. Last season whenever Navi was up with a man on we would instantly predict he would ground into a double play, and more often than not he did. I don't believe in pinch hitting for him in that situation, but it's getting to be almost comical.

As for the pitching, Garza looked good sans that one pitch to Huff. I'm still very high on him and expect good things. Speaking of Huff, why is it that he kills the Rays? In 19 games against his old team Huff is throwing up a line of .366/.423/.775 with 8HR, 18RBI and a Bonds-like 1.198OPS. Maybe the O's should hypnotize Huff to think he's always playing against the Rays. The goat of the night was Al Reyes. Since the All Star Break last year Reyes has a 5.86ERA and a 1.30WHIP, as opposed to his pre ASB numbers of 4.09ERA adn 1.03WHIP. Let's hope this doesn't last all season.

Like Tommy, we can let one game go, but for one night the Devil came screaming back.