June 2009

100-100 Club

How balanced are the Rays? Try this one on. B.J. Upton’s solo home run leading off the Rays’ half of the third was the team’s 100th homer of the season. The Rays had already reached the 100 stolen base mark, but now that they have 100 homers they have earned the distinction of reaching 100 steals and 100 homers faster than any team in Major League history.

Pretty night balance, huh?

–Bill Chastain

Good Sign with Pena

Carlos Pena just hit a solo home run in the fourth for his 23rd homer of the season and his 100th career home run as a Ray, surpassing Fred McGriff to move into second place in club history.

If you’re a Rays fan the best part about his home run is the fact he went the opposite way with the blast. Whenever Pena begins to hit the ball the opposite way, it always seems as though a series of home runs follow. Wait and see.

–Bill Chastain

Longoria Leaves Game

Evan Longoria left Wednesday night’s Rays-Phillies game after the seventh inning as a precautionary measure when he felt soreness in his left hamstring.

Longoria missed six games earlier in the season due to tightness in his left hamstring.
–Bill Chastain

Scott Barry Goes Behind the Plate

First base umpire Scott Barry has now taken over behind home plate and the Rays are back on the field after home plate umpire Jerry Crawford left the game.

Crawford is said to be suffering lower back pain.

–Bill Chastain

Rays Leave the Field

Not really sure what’s going on right now, but here’s a guess.

Home plate umpire Jerry Crawford left the field limping even though replays didn’t seem to show that he got hit with a ball. In the aftermath of Crawford leaving the game, both teams were called off the field. So I’m guessing that one of the other umpires is in the dressing room putting on his equipment to get behind the plate.

–Bill Chastain

Window Closed

At approximately 6:04 the Rays-Mets contest got halted with one out in the top of the eighth due to rain. A tarp has been spread onto the infield and it’s raining pretty hard.

The players from both teams are still in their respective dugouts, so there still might be a window out there for the remaining innings to be played. If play does not resume, this one will go in the books as a Rays win as they were leading 2-1 after seven innings of play.

The fate of the remaining innings is in the umpires hands. The home team decides whether the game begins, but once play starts, the umpires assume control.
–Bill Chastain

Longoria Awakens

You have to wonder what Angels starter Ervin Santana was thinking when he buzzed Evan Longoria in the third — actually nicking him with the high and inside pitch.

Until Longoria’s recent hamstring problem, he had been one of the hottest hitters in baseball. But since returning he had gone 0-for-19. That all changed in Longoria’s third at-bat against Santana when he re-routed a 2-0 pitch over the 404 mark on the center-field wall.

A perfect example of the old saying that you never awaken a sleeping giant.

–Bill Chastain

Aybar a Late Scratch

Willy Aybar has been scratched from the Rays’ lineup for Monday night’s game due to a migraine headache.

Aybar had been slated to start at second base and hit sixth in the order. The change in the lineup prompted Rays manager Joe Maddon to move up DH Joe Dillon to the sixth spot and Michel Hernandez from last to seventh. Ben Zobrist moved from shortstop to second base and Reid Brignac was put into the lineup to play shortstop and hit ninth.
–Bill Chastain

Longoria Out on the Field Early

No word whether Evan Longoria will play in the rubber game of the Rays’ series with the Yankees, but as I am writing this, the Rays third baseman is working out in left field with Rays trainer Ron Porterfield to see if his sore left hamstring is sound enough to play.

Among the drills they have gone through is one in which he had a harness around his waist to pull along Porterfield, who ran behind him but offered resistance. From up here in the press box, he looks like he’s going to be fine. I’ll be surprised if he does not start tonight.
–Bill Chastain

B.J. Back in Fashion

Who can forget the last time B.J. Upton fashioned a Mohawk haircut at the end of the 2008 season.  He started a fashion statement for the Rays and the Tampa Bay area that remained in vogue throughout last season’s playoff run.

So Rays fans will be glad to learn that prior to Sunday’s game, Upton could once again be seen sporting a Mohawk. And guess who drove in the Rays first run, non other than Upton. Don’t know if it’s karma or what, but Upton has played some pretty nice baseball wearing a Mohawk.
–Bill Chastain