Garza Shuts Down Toronto

    Rays 3, Blue Jays 0     By 7 PM tonight, we will see what kind of talent and deals the front office of the Rays have formulated to help this team compete in the coming weeks. With…



Rays 3, Blue Jays 0



By 7 PM tonight, we will see what kind of talent and deals the front office of the Rays have formulated to help this team compete in the coming weeks. With the Angels getting another big bat, the Rays must do some kind of counter measure to ensure the Angels do not get a leg up on us come playoff time. The worst case scenario would have us play the red hot Angels before getting back to a hotly contested American League championship series.

I know I am doing a bit of fortunetelling by even thinking we are at point in our history that we have to parlay future matchups in our favor 8 weeks before the end of the season. But this team is all about calculated risk and ventured gains by hits, runs and defensive excellience.

With that in mind, the Trade Deadline deals could swing the ball farther into our court, or push us towrds a dead heat and a unfortunate ending. Either way, we can rejoice in the matter that we again will not have 100 losses this year. Last night’s victory pretty well took that demon and shoveled a ton of dirt on it.

The websites have us trying to pry Jason Bay from the Pirates outfield, and the Braves Will Ohlman to shore up an already steady Bullpen. But could there be an underlying current that has us pick up a guy under the radar? I have a gut feeling we might see a unannounced deal tonight that might make you think a bit.

You never know with Andrew Friedman, he might have had a deal sewed up days ago, but let the team use that player until the last moment to help that squad before he leaves. That does sound like a naive GM, but one who wants to find willing trade partners for years to come for the Rays.





Tell me that wasn’t a wild sight seeing Eric Hinske rattling around the bases on that “apparent” Inside-the-Park homer. Hinske started his home run trot, but the second base umpire did not signal it was a homer and Hinske strarted to get his motor revved up and pushed towards home. Jays outfielders’ Alex Rios and Brad Wilkerson also did not even make a play for the ball thinking it hit off the stadium deck fascade and would be a homer.

Roy Halladay looked annoyed that the outfield did not try and at least play the issue out and was screaming for someone to go get the ball in the outfield. It was announced several innings later, that the play had been called a homer by the 1st base umpire, and that is why the second base umpire didn’t also make the signal.



With his 15th homer in the 3rd inning, Hinske got all the runs needed to defeat Jays ace Roy Halladay for the 3rd time this season. the Rays still have 6 games against the Jays this season, and you know Halladay will be pitching in at least one of those contests. For Hinske, it helped silience the Toronto crowd a bit that has heckled and boo’ed him since he came in this series.

Toronto fans forget, Hinske left on good terms with the Toronto management and should not have any bad blood going on between himself and the Jays. But fans have short memories ans it might just be a sad attempt to show some frustration that their 2001 Rookie of the Year got away from them.






Matt Garza needs to take the Rays infield out for dinner once the team gets back into St. Petersburg. Garza pitched an amazing game where he looked calm and collected all the way through to the end. The victory was Garza’s 9th of the season, and his second complete game this year.

But Garza should not forget the 3 double plays by the Rays tonight, or the outstanding defensive play by Evan Longoria in the 7th inning where he took a big hop off the third base bag and threw out Jays’ speedster Alex Rios for the out.






Garza pitched all 9 innings for the Rays, and gave the Bullpen a much needed day off. Matt also got the first shutout on the road for the Rays this season. The Rays staff have 10 shutouts total, 9 of those at home. 

 In the contest Garza only allowed one extra base hit, a double to Adam Lind in the game and scattered 5 hits throughout the 9 innings. Garza also got 5 strikeout ans threw 106 total pitches in the contest. With the Rays needing every road victory, this one was sweet in the fact that the offense came alive and gave Garza a cushion of runs to ease him on the mound.


To show how much the Rays have struggled in the past 3 weeks, the Toronto Bluejays were 14 games back and looked out of the race. Coming into the game tonight, they are only 8 games back and have 7 out of their last 10 games.


Carl crawford hit a monster liner to the right centerfield wall in the 1st inning for his 8th triple of the season. That ties him with Brian Roberts of the Orioles for the AL lead. Coming into this game, Crawford has batted .341, with 2 triples, 5 RBI’s and is currently 5-10 against Halladay this season. Crawford went 2-4 tonight with a liner over 3rd base in the 7th inning. Crawford also scored a run in the contest to move himself into 17th in the AL.

To show a comparison of the struggles Crawford has had in the last few weeks, he was ranked in the top 6 in runs scored most of the season before going on his 0-24 streak before the All Star break.


Again B J Upton had trouble in centerfield for the Rays. You have to wonder if in the near future his learning curve for the centerfield position will turn upwards and the mis-played balls and his routes will get better. B J  is not loafing out there in center, but his stride make him look more of a relaxed runner than most centerfielder in the game.

B J  let a teaxa leaguer hit fall in that he could have gotten to if he had played a bit shallower in center. Upton was 4 yards from the wall when Marc Scutaro popped that short fly into the turf in center on Upton.


Before the Rays big inning in the 7th, they had gone 0-7 with runners in scoring position in the game. Twice they left runners on third. In the 3rd inning, Jason Bartlett was stranded at third and the Rays proceeded to record 2 straight outs in the inning.


Evan Longoria went 1-4 in the game. In the 8th inning, Longoria hit a liner over the third base bag that went all the way to the leftfield corner. Crawford and Upton scored on the play and Evan ended up on third with his 2nd triple of the season. Longoria now has 63 RBI’s, which second behind David Murphy ( 67 ) of the Rangers for the MLB lead for Rookies. Longoria has also hit safely in all 6 games of this roadtrip and  10 of his last 11 games, batting .325, with 3 homers and 10 RBI’s. 6 of those RBI’s have come against Roy Halladay.


Dioner Navarro went 1-3 tonight. Navarro singled to right to lead off the  5th innings, then was caught stealing second by Jays catcher Rod Barajas.


If you have not heard yet, the Saturday night game against the Detroit Tigers has now been called an official sellout. It is the second fastest sell out in Rays history second only to the Innagural game also against the Tigers.  The Rays are 14-1 against opponents when there are 30,000 plus fans in the seats. 

By Rays Renegade

2004 inductee to the Rays/Pepsi Fan Wall of Fame. Ex-Evening Independent Sports Correspondent who STILL misses the deadlines and writing about his hometown baseball team. Someone who has spent an entire night in the haunted Clubhouse of Huggins/Stengel Field...and loved it when he smelled the cigar smoke.

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