Results tagged ‘ Cowbell Kidd ’

Sonnanstine Helps Himself to Victory Over the Cards


Rays 3, Cardinals 1


Because of a rainout at Fenway, the Rays are now 2 games up on Boston for the night. I was watching the Rays and the Cards and was really wanting to be at Busch stadium tonight. It looked like a great night, and the Cowbell Kidd was there. Damn it, he loves to steal thunder.  I  was all but packed to go, then my IRS Stimulus check did not get put in my account by Friday like their voucher said it would.  Federal Gov’t coverup to keep me in Florida, just kidding Secret Service guys.



Trivia Fact of the Night:

Guy Hecker of the 1886 American Association is the only pitcher to win a batting title, playing the field when he was not pitching. He won 26 games as a starter, and hit .341 for Louisville.




I have decided to let the “Good,The Bad,andThe Ugly” segment rest while we are on our Inter-league schedule. It will be back in force on Monday when we visit the Oakland A’s in “O-town”.


Rays starter Andy Sonnanstine ( 6-1) went  8 innings tonight and gave up 1 run on 8 hits. More impressive still is the fact he also did it at the plate tonight.  Sonnanstine went 2-3 tonight with a run scored and posted a .667 average for the Rays pitchers to shoot for this series. Andy was in command on the field and in the batter’s box hitting two really professional hits to show he can hit the ball. Before tonight, Andy was 2-4 lifetime as a hitter with a RBI and a run scored.



This was the Rays first visit ever to new Busch Stadium. Before tonight, the Rays had never beaten the Cardinals in a game. Tonight, only the Cincinatti Reds stand as the only team the Rays have not beaten once in the regular season. The only other ballparks that the Rays have never played in are: Dodger Stadium( LA) and Miller Park (Milwaukee).


Akinora Iwamura is continuing to improve at the plate. He just finished a 11-game hitting streak and is already laoding for another run at his personal best streak. Aki went 3-5 tonight, with a double and an RBI. He also scored a run in the top of the third after Carlos Pena singled to center.

Aki now has 6 multi-hit games in his last 7 starts. He is hitting .367 since May 2, 2008. He has also not grounded into a double play this season in 166 at-bats, and was the hardest to double-up last year in the AL.


Some times Eric Hinske looks so relaxed and at ease in Rightfield that you know he will be okay out there. The he goes and misses a easy out like this and the Cardinals Troy Glaus geta a triple on the play. Hinske was not playing the hitter correctly and did not get a great jump to catch this ball.

 I thought he had adjusted right, but then we see the ball on the turf and Glaus motoring for third base.  Thank goodness the Rays got Gabe Gross as a late inning defensive replacement. I could see Hinske cost us a game with an “iffy” hit to right in the 9th.


Rays first baseman Carlos Pena has been hitting better the last few games, and his offensive average is starting to go upwards finally. Pena still had a strike out tonight and left  two men in scoring position.  Carlos is now hitting .212, which is alot better than the .200 with no RBI’s and homers of a week ago.

He has been hitting the ball with power and  has gotten better elevation on his hits. It is a matter of time until he connects again for the fences( maybe tomorrow’s early game).


On the other side of the ball, Eric Hinske and Dioner Navarro were the only two Rays to not get a hit tonight both went a combined 0-7 tonight.

The Rays did get three doubles tonight one each from Aki, Evan Longoria, and B J Upton.  Carl Crawford got his 25th RBI of the year, and Andy Sonnanstine also had a sacrifice.

The Rays also had another double play tonight going 4-6-3 in the bottom of the third inning. Andy Sonnanstine’s omly run came on a homer by Cardinal Chris Duncan in the bottom of the 8th inning. Andy is tied for 5th in winning percentage this season (857) in the majors.



Tomorrow is an early contest, starting at 1:10 P.M. EST. The game will feature  Matt Garza (2-1) versus Adam Wainwright (3-2).




                       Hamilton should be grinning after going 5 for 5 with two homers and five RBI.  (AP)


Just want to give a shout out to a former Rays who had a “killer” day game today. The Texas Ranger’s Josh Hamilton went 5-5, with 4 runs scored and 5 RBI’s. That raises his MLB leading RBI total to an impressive 49 RBIs.

Hamilton had a triple and two homers in the game. His second homer was a two-run shot of the facade off the second deck of seats in rightfield.



Perfect Sunday for baseball under the Dome

Orioles 2, Rays 6



You know, earlier in the year going .500 so early in the season would be a upsetting situation. But with nine (9) current Rays players on the disablied list, and a few hurting but gutting their way through the games, it is totally satisfying at this moment. If we can go .500 without the big guns, what could happen when the firepower is back to normal and the trigger is set……………..think about that for a moment here.





Trivia fact for the day


Tony Cloninger is the only pitcher to hit two grand slams in the same game. He did it for the Atlanta Braves on July 3,1966.








                                        The Good,the Bad,and the Ugly


B J Upton is starting to come into his own at the plate.  Today he hit a monumental 3-run homer in the bottom of the 5th inning. Upton also raised his average to .302 today, its highest point in over a week. B J’s home run came in the 5th inning where the Rays ignited and scored all of their 6 runs of the game.


Honorable mentions for “Good” today:




*   Jeff Neimann tossed  93 pitches today, in which the Orioles only scored  a lone run and scattered 6 hits against him. This help Neimann collect his first MLB win.  At 6’9″, Neimann  got the ball down consistantly during the game, and never got himself into a bad jam. The lone run he gave up was to Baltimores’ Nick Markakis, who homered to left field in the top of the 6th inning.


** Rays outfielder Carl Crawford collected two RBI’s today also in the 5th when he singled to centerfield and Justin Ruggiano and Mike DeFelice scored to make it 3-0 before BJ Uptons at bat. BJ also currently has 11 RBI’s for the year and is in the top 10 in the American League in that category.


*** Third baseman Evan Longoria(E-Love) also collected another hit today and walked and eventually scored a run in the Rays big 5th innning today.


                                             The Bad


I know I have written about this before, and I was chatting with a Rays broadcast guy and I have come upon the conclusion that BJ Upton has a “green light” when he is on the bases. For those not knowing the phrase, a player having a “green light” can make decisions for himself about baserunning and advancing on plays after a ball is hit.  That is becoming more and more apparent with each of his baserunning blunders.


Today it was a stagger step that cost him an extra base.  He was not caught stealing today, so I will be kind to him.


Another “Bad” that is starting to rear its ugly head is the fact that Dan Wheeler is in a weird funk. I saw a ball kinda float today and it did not get hit a ton, but it was a great contact out, and could have been trouble for us.  I am not saying there is a mechanics situation here, I am not a pitching coach. But, with that said, I know it was a ball that could have been crushed if the player got good wood on it. Last night a change-up that stayed in the zone was crushed for the winning run.



                                              The Ugly


Not alot of Ugly here except in the starting shortstops batting average, and his wild throws at times. Jason Bartlett should count his stars that he has a world class first baseman like Carlos Pena. He had dug out a few balls that past first baseman would have watched  the ball skirt to the wall or beyond.


That combined with his .158 average at this moment is cause for early worry. This is the guy we were counting on for solid play and a good bat in the field.


Ben Zobrist is still out for a period of time after they inserted a pin in his broken finger to help it heal better and faster. Until that time, we are limited to Bartlett and Johnson at short, with neither player showing offensive numbers at this time.



Former Rays player of the Day.


I know it is early in the afternoon, but I am going to pick my former Rays player of the game for today.

It has to be Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers. All of us Rays fans remember Josh as the hier apparent to Rightfield before Delmon Young entered the picture.  Josh has been hitting good this year and he is showing the talent we all knew he had in prior Spring Training and minor league games.

During this afternoons’ game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Hamilton has two RBI’s and hit a homer run to right in the bottom of the 4th inning. He also singled and drove in Ian Kinsler in the bottom of the first.

Hamilton is currently tied with the Rays Carlos Pena for first with 13 RBIs    



The forecast for tomorrow game is:

Ugly with a change for a smashing good time.  With that said, come on out to the Trop. and watch your .500 Rays take on the “Evil Empire” from the Bronx in a 7:10 PM Monday night game. 




You know the Cowbell kid will be there to send kisses and wishes to his pal Joe Giardi and Shelly Duncan.


Post Script:


I want to thank Edwin Jackson, JP Howell, Scott Dohmann and Andy Sonnastine for taking the all that time today to sign for the 12 Little Leagues and their  players that were at the ballgame.


Each of these Rays players stayed out there a long time and signed everything put in front of them. I even got a few autographs I was missing for my Rays collection. I even saw Evan Longoria out there after stretching on the wall signing and jawing with the Rays hopefuls.


So, as a Season Ticket holder and a great Rays follower, Thank you gentleman for showing class and community love by taking your time to show the kids of all ages in Tampa Bay you are there for them……….