Friday, 18 April 2008

A frustrating week

Moreso for the Rays than me personally, though it has to be said I have not really been in a blogging mood for some reason. Its actually pretty hard to work out when you can write something when you are watching games at the time that I was watching them this week - I watched Monday night's game on Tuesday evening, Tuesday's game on Wednesday and I didn't see either of the two in Minnesota. Which, by the way, was a ridiculously scheduled two-game road trip.

So what's been going on in Rays-world?

Well firstly, I was very pleased that I saw Evan Longoria belt his first big league homerun. Six games in and he's hitting .300, with 3RBI and looking every bit like he belongs.

Pitching-wise, Andy Sonnanstine had a nightmare on Monday, giving up 7 runs (including 3 homeruns) in only 3 1/3 innings. He actually didn't get tagged for the loss, as the hitters battled back nicely with 3 homers of their own (CC, Upton and Evan). Al Reyes gave up the winning run, and has since been added to the dis-Ray-bled list. Kurt Birkins has taken his place, after finishing his rehab assignment.

On Tuesday, Edwin Jackson had his first poor start of the year, having one of those days where he just can't find the plate. He's always been a little bit wild, so lets just hope that those days are going to be the exception rather than the rule this year. Up in Minnesota, James Shields and Jason Hammel both had solid starts - Shields getting a no-decision, and Hammel a his first W of the season. JP Howell also had a solid outing in relief - I've been impressed with how he's looked coming out of the 'pen so far this season.

Onto the hitting front, and things are still something of a mixed bag. Carlos Pena hasn't found his groove yet - although you can't deny his power. He's only managed 10 hits, but 6 of them have been homers. Thats a pretty good ratio! Worrying though is the fact that he left last night's game with a tight hamstring - hopefully its nothing serious.

Aki and CC meanwhile slowly seem to be finding their rhythm, though I will be happier when their averages have pulled up more towards BJ Upton territory. He hit his first couple of homers of the season this week. Eric Hinske also went deep twice, in consecutive games against the Twins. Shawn Riggans added his second homer of the season, while Mike DiFelice has been rolling back the years - he's 6 for 18 with 4RBI at the plate, and behind it he has been just as impressive calling excellent games for the young pitchers.

This weekend its three games against the White Sox at the Trop, and I shall be doing my best to catch all of them. Jeff Niemann is starting tonight, and I'm hoping he can match the performance from his debut where he gave up just one run in 6 innings.

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