Thursday, 15 May 2008

Best. News. Ever. Plus, Net lag: of Perci and E-Jax

The first thing I do every morning when I get in to work is, as I'm sure is the case with most people, check my e-mails. And then delete most of them. Including the one from the Rays saying 'Postgame alert for the Tampa Bay Rays'. I mean, I don't want to know what happened in last nights game until I watch it!

But this morning there was a second e-mail from the Rays. And its subject made me very happy indeed.

'Rays sign Kazmir to four-year deal'

Oh yes.

Honestly, regardless of what the score in last nights game actually was, I don't think I could be much happier about baseball-related things this morning. Because no-matter how good we are getting, the gaping hole in the long-term plan was the signing of Scotty K. We'd locked up James Shields, CC, Evan Longoria, Carlos Pena et al. But our crown jewel, the pitcher that every team would like to have, the pitcher that the Mets traded away for Victor Zambrano (what?! Thats always worth a mention!!) had not been signed up.

Well, not any more. A deal worth up to $39.5 million will keep Kaz in Rays blue until 2011 guaranteed, with a team option for 2012. And just think what our rotation could be like then. Kaz, James Shields, Matt Garza, David Price, Mitch Talbot, Jeff Niemann, Andy Sonnanstine, Edwin Jackson... Look out baseball.

Which brings me nicely on to:

New York Yankees 1 - Tampa Bay Rays 2

And I'm afraid there is not much I can say about the game. Not because it was boring or anything, but rather because, for some reason, it still hasn't been archived on No idea why. Last night's game is up already - I checked - but Tuesday's still isn't. Oh well, thems the breaks.

Still, I don't need to watch to know what happened - Edwin Jackson was outstanding, again, allowing just 5 hits and no runs while striking out 5 in 7 innings work. But, once more the Rays gave him minimal run support - this time just a solitary score in the fourth. And, once more, Troy Percival blew the save - two consecutive E-Jax starts, two consecutive Perci blown saves. Tough break, especially considering how lights out Perci has been the rest of the time. Jackson has now thrown 15 scoreless innings without getting a decision. Lets just hope that doesn't frustrate him.

But, as you will know by know from reading this blog, the Rays are nothing this year if not battlers. Two scoreless innings from JP Howell followed, and, as Mariano Riveira, unscored-upon in 2008, started his second inning of work, Cliff Floyd steps in. He belts a single. Jonny Gomes pinch-runs, and swipes second base (his third steal in 2 games). And Gabe Gross laces a single, sending Jonny hustling round to home - another walk-off, another win.

And first place all on our own in the AL East.

Last night, James Shields made the start, and I intend to watch that (or as much as I can) after work tonight, and before the series finale starts at 4.10 EST (9.10 BST). I assume that Kaz is on the hill tonight. Shields and Kaz back-to-back? What a treat for me. I think I could get used to it...


Michael Norton said...

Congrats on that first place. I haven't looked at baseball in a bit, but today I peeked at the standings and lo and behold the Rays are in first. The O's are holding their own, too. The AL East is going to be interesting this year if this keeps up.

Michael Norton
Some Clubhouse

Johnny said...

It sure is. And fun as well.

And, the best part is we're not even hitting very well at the moment. When we start getting hot at the plate, watch out!