Greetings Rays fans, I’m back to tell you all that we have struck first, hardest, and best against the Yankees, laying down a 13-4 beating in Yankee Stadium. Two days after Aubrey Huff, he of eight home runs against Tampa Bay since the beginning of 2007, burned us yet again, and one day after a rainout in Baltimore, the Rays pulled it back together and dropped the hammer on the Evil Empire. Andy Sonnanstine, who thought he would be facing the Orioles until yesterday, turned in a decent performance–6 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 4 K, and best of all, zero walks and a win. He also retired the last 10 batters he faced. The bullpen trio of Dan Wheeler, Trever Miller and Scott Dohmann pitched very strongly to hold the big lead right where it was. Hopefully that’s a sign. Cliff Floyd hit a line drive home run off LaTroy Hawkins (six runs allowed–so much for stealing him from the Rockies), then Carlos Pena teed off that Benedict Arnold Kyle Farnsworth for a three run blast into the upper deck. Despite Akinori Iwamura getting caught stealing by Jose Molina, Carl Crawford stole his third base of the season and Nathan Haynes his second, in just their third game. Nobody was hitless, everyone contributed, and against a team like the Yankees, that is always a strong sign of team chemistry and a stacked lineup. Just a great game overall, and I believe that not only will we strike first, we will also strike last and hardest.
In other news, Scott Kazmir had another great mound session throwing 60 pitches, including 10-12 of both sliders and changeups. His rehab is slow as the Rays try to acclimate him to longer stints on the mound, but it continues to go just how they want it to.
Finally, in News of the Weird, Dioner Navarro slipped on the entrance of the dugout in the third inning of last night’s game, and has been placed on the 15-day disabled list. He needed 12 stitches in his hand following the freak accident, while Shawn Riggans stepped in and played very well in his place. Mike DiFelice, from the 1998 Devil Rays, will be called up to take his roster spot during this time. Now I’m sure Navarro will be the first one to vouch for an early opening of that new stadium in the Bronx.
Speaking of new stadiums, Waterfront Stadium’s design plans are now about to go before the St. Petersburg City Council. Check out the support group at http://www.fansforwaterfrontstadium.com–I joined their mailing list at FanFest, and now you can do the same. Until next time, go Rays.