Garza Returns to Form Against the Fish



Rays 4, Marlins 1


I have to tell you, I like Bobby Ramos. The guy can make you laugh in a second with just a simple Salsa step near the Bullpen mound. Put a International Recording Artist who specializes in Salsa music, and you got a night of abstract Rumba and Salsa steps to the Bullpen phone almost all night long.

I have seen Bobby go into the waterfall at the Colorado Rockies stadium, do a bit of chair humping on Youtube, and had the pleasure of talking to him on a multiple amount of times from my chair in rightfield.

He can make my night sometimes with just his flip of the cap towards our section, or a toss of a used BP ball for a young fan.  Bobby is a great example of what is great about this new Rays team. He is real, he is fun and he can be real fun.


Trivia Fact of the Night:

In 1979, Bob Watson became the first player to hit for a cycle in both leagues. John Olerud duplicated the feat in 2001.


What a difference a week can make to a pitching battery. Last weekend in Texas, Dioner Navarro and Matt Garza ( 5-3) had a few meetings of the minds both on the mound and in the visiting dugout during the game.


Both guys came out of the game saying it was just like a family with the Rays, and the frustrations would be settled and cooled within the confines of the Rays’ family.  And on Sat. night, the proof was in the pudding,or the pitching.



Matt turned in one of his best pitching performances by using his off speed pitches to dazzle the Marlins batters into his 5th victory of the season. Garza pitched 7 innings of 3-hit one run ball as the fish fell to the Rays 4-1.



DH Jonny Gomes has not had alot of opportunities the last few weeks to showcase himself. Sat. night, he needed just one swing, his first swing of the night to put the Rays up 1-0 in the 2nd inning. Jonny hit his 5th homer off former Rays Mark Hendrickson and looked to be in for a great night at the plate.

But, in his next 3 appearances at the plate, Jonny struck out 3 times, usually letting the first pitch go by to gauge the pitcher.  Jonny is getting limited at-bats right now, and needs to capitaslize by getting walks, singles and aggressive wood on the bats to show Rays Manager Joe Maddon that he too, can have a hot bat when pressed into service.   Jonny was trying too hard to put the ball into play and it showed in his at bats.



Rays shortstop Jason Bartlett went 1-2 with 2 RBI’s last night. In the last two nights, Jason has gone 4-5 at the plate bringing offensive power to the number 9 slot in the lineup. Bartlett got the scoring going in the 4th innings by singling to center and scoring B J Upton and Willy Aybar.
Bartlett also made several great plays at short to twarp Marlins scoring drives in the game.



Justin Ruggiano got a start in leftfield tonight for the suspended Carl Crawford. Justin used this opportunity to show the Rays why he should stay up here at this level. In the first inning he doubled to deep center and stole third base. He went 1-4 on paper, but he did so much more for the Rays in the field.

Justin went for a ball going foul into the Corona Beach bar area duirng the game and came flat onto the tabletops trying to catch the ball. Replays showed he got wiothin a cats’ whisker of getting the ball before it fell into the party area and he collided with the wall and got tossed onto the table top.  It was a valiant effort and just another example that this team will do what it takes to get it done this season.



BJ Upton made am incredible catch in left center in the game running from dead center to grab a ball backhanded in the gap in the 4th inning. B J  has shown remarkable improvement in his path to the balls hit into the gaps in recent games. Just another example of his willingess to upgrade himself to be a premier centerfielder in the sport.




Troy Percival came on in the 9th inning and shut down the Marlins for the second night in a row to record his 15th save of the year. For the second night in a row, 7 of Troy’s 12 pitches were strikes.

 Last night’s save was number 339, just two saves away from Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers’ totals for 9th place All-Time in saves in the MLB. Batters are hitting .123 against Troy this season, the lowest among relievers in the league.




It’s great to see Percival back pitching just like before. I think he was the single biggest pickup, at least in the short term, during the offseason. He has owned most of the league’s hitters this season, and if not for him and Wheeler, the Rays would not have 40 wins right now.

Troy is just a short step away from 9th in the All-Time saves category, and might hit that plateau this weekend.
I think he might not make the All-Stars, but he is the heart of this team right now in the clubhouse.

We need to vote for B J Upton, Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena to get them up in the voting ranks before the end of the month. We each can vote 25 times, and that could make a huge dent in the voting results if we vote the maximum.

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