Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Pat the Bat leads the team meeting

For a few moments last night, Pat Burrell reminded Rays fans why he was brought in.  He took us back to a time before he was on the team.  A time when there was a different hero every night.  A time when the team could grind out a win, despite only getting 2 hits in 9 innings.  He brought us back to the magic of 2008, to a time before Pat.  

Pat the bat is an enigma for Rays fans. He was the enemy last year,  now he's ours.  He's the big priced free agent brought in to counter the Rays woes against lefties.  So far, his numbers haven't reflected his salary.  But for a few moments last night, as he neared home plate for the team meeting, Rays fans saw the Pat the Bat that we want to see for the rest of the season.

Here are some of the things I noticed during the Rays 3-1 victory:

  • Offense still dead. Despite PTB's late inning dinger, the Rays offense was woefully inadequate for the 5th game in a row.  It's almost like they've completely shut down ahead of the All-Star break.  I'm starting to get a little concerned. 
  • Curse of Steve Carlton, Part 2? Earlier this season, I documented the Rays struggles versus lefties.  They appeared to have gotten over the hump... until the last week.  Ricky Romero, Derek Holland, and Marc Rzepczynski are three lefties who all gave the Rays trouble over the last week.
  • 0-3, 7.20 ERA That's the stats Shawn Camp put up in 2007 when he was with the Rays.  Last night, he threw 3 innings and allowed no hits. The offense is that bad right now.
  • Bossman's gun.  More than 1 person told me that B.J. Upton's throw out of Aaron Hill at the plate was a season saver.  That remains to be seen.  However, I will say that was one of the best put out I've seen in a long time.  Bossman and Dioner Navarro both get props for that play.
  • Vote 'Los.  Maybe I'm being a little sacrilegious here, but I'm not all that excited about Carlos Pena and the All-Star game.  Yes, his home runs are impressive... but, what else? His .228 average doesn't scream All-Star.  His 8 errors won't win him any votes.  And how about his 106 strikeouts?  Don't get me wrong, I like to see Rays players in the All-Star game, but I'd much rather see them in the playoffs.  The fact is, Carlos Pena could've made a case for himself on the national televised Sunday night game in Arlington.  That was his stage. He went 0-3 with a strikeout.

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