Our Tampa Bay Rays have once again defeated the Florida Marlins at Tropicana Field, riding a strong start from Matt Garza to win 41. Once he got home, Garza decided to stop acting like a raging 14yearold and start pitching like he should, allowing one run on three hits in seven solid innings. Hanley Ramirez and Dan Uggla were a combined 0for7. The Rays only got five hits, but took enough advantage to score four times. Former Tampa Bay starter Mark Hendrickson gave up Jonny Gomes’ fifth home run of the season in the second inning to open up the scoring. Hendrickson was later relieved by Doug Waechter, which had me believing I was in a time warp back to 2005. Another former Ray, Waechter surrendered their last run without a single hit. Three walks can do that sometimes. That’s probably why he’s a Marlin now and not with us. The Rays took six walks with their five hits in a nice display of patience and getting on base (though they did have 10 strikeouts). And, sure enough, my guarantee of 30,000 people proved correct, as 31,195 dedicated fans cheered the home team on to victory. The Rays guaranteed a series win here, and we can easily earn the sweep tomorrow with Edwin Jackson on the mound.
And now a followup to my earlier antiESPN rant: it appears that someone at the FOX network has jumped on the Rays haters bandwagon. Jeanne Zelasko, the instudio host for their game coverage, was asking Rob Dibble and Kevin Kennedy about where Ken Griffey, Jr. could be traded to this season. Dibble said that Rays management was high on him and that he owns a house in Orlando, so they would be a good fit for him. (More on that rumor if and when anything more develops.) So Zelasko immediately chimed in, “So he’s going to a noncontender?” Obviously she’s oblivious to the Rays’ talent. I never thought she was a great studio host, and now this is another new low. Jeanne Zelasko can go hide in a cave with the rest of the doubters. At least Dibble jumped to the Rays’ defense, insisting that they are a contender. Thank you Rob Dibble for saving the segment.
People around baseball are being proven wrong daily, and it happened again tonight with the Rays defeating the Florida Marlins for the second game in a row. This team is now 4028 and still in a comfortable second place in the division. Jonathan Papelbon also got tagged today, allowing a gametying home run to the Reds’ Edwin Encarnacion with two outs and two strikes. The Red Sox won, but I naturally found humor in that. So until next time, keep proving people wrong and go Rays.