Rays Bats Come to Life

August 25, 2007 at 8:05 pm 4 comments

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Yes, I know, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays are out of the playoff and have been out since, well, May. But they are still an exciting team to watch, especially when they are scoring runs in tons.

The Rays had a stretch of 13 games, form August 10-23, where they only scored 31 runs (an average of 2.38 runs per game). They were, to no surprise, 4-9 in those 13 games. Their pitching also gave up 66 runs in that span, an average of 5.08 runs per game. Something changed on August 24th.

“Hendu (hitting coach Steve Henderson) gets the game ball with his motivational speech yesterday,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said.

Rays hitting coach Steve Henderson called a postgame meeting after Thurday’s 12-2 loss so he could fire the Rays hitters up. “He [Henderson] just wanted to, I think, get it out of his system – he couldn’t take it no more,” catcher Dioner Navarro said. “And we did listen.” “It was good just to start hitting again as a team,” Crawford said. “I just think guys wanted to put their best effort out tonight, no matter what it took. Just wanted to try and play hard today, by any means necessary.”

The Rays opened up a can of Jackie Chan on the A’s, rolling to a 12-2 win on Friday. And tonight they kept on rolling, this time to the tune of 14-3. “I hope we save some runs for tomorrow” said Rays pitcher Scott Kazmir after Saturday’s game.

The Rays scored a total of 26 runs the past two games. In contrast, the Rays scored 31 in 13 previous games. But not to be outdown were the Rays ace pitchers: Scott Kazmir and James Shields.

Shields took a shutout into the 9th on Friday and Scott Kazmir set a Rays franchise record with 13 strikeouts. Kazmir also had his most efficient pitch count ever through 7 innings with 73 pitches. His previous best was 90! When you score runs it’s much easier to pitch. “It’s a lot easier to pitch [with a big lead], believe it or not,” Shields said. “You’re able to be more aggressive and make pitches you want to make.”

This is a team that can spoil playoff hopefuls and might even be in contention as soon as next year. Rays fans, plan on seeing a lot more of this in the future!

-Jonathan C. Mitchell

some quotes were taken from tbo.com

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. charlie  |  August 27, 2007 at 11:09 am

    Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the DRays won’t get out of the cellar this year as I thought they would. Hopefully they can finish strong, and take the experience into next season.

    Reply
  • 2. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  August 27, 2007 at 1:23 pm

    I agree. I actually thought they would get out of last this year. I think they will approach .500 next season and contend in 2009.

    Reply
  • 3. MikeMcGinnis  |  August 27, 2007 at 10:51 pm

    you know i’ve been hopeful of the d-rays before only to be disappointed. i hope you guys are right because i can tell you right now they don’t crack .500 by 2009. i can see them relocating because how long can you sell irrelvancy like that?

    it’s a harsh analysis but, let’s remember something here gentleman: this game is actually a business first sadly enough.

    and while they’re at it they should move the marlins because that situation is a running joke and that town doesn’t deserve at team.

    Reply
  • 4. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  August 28, 2007 at 7:05 am

    You do have to remember that the Marlins have won 2 World Series since their inauguration. The Rays won’t move. If anything happens I think MLB will add two more teams to the AL, one in Portland and one somewhere like Vegas or Mexico City. That will give each league 16 teams. The Rays have the making of a young team that will contend soon. Ownership knows it’s a business first and they are making their money, but they do know that profits will continue to drop if they don’t put a winner out there soon. One is coming, mark my words.

    Reply

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