First Star – Carl Crawford (.243)

Second Star – J.P. Howell (.194)

Third Star – Kosuke Fukudome

Turd of the Game – Carlos Zambrano (-.269)

Those are the words of my 2 year old when he encounters something he isn’t a fan of. I thought they were appropriate words given the fact that we’re in danger of losing three straight for the first time tomorrow if we don’t start playing better against these Rays. Once again we had a chance late but couldn’t quite get it done.Carlos Zambrano this just wasn’t your night. Six innings of work and a less than desirable line of 5 runs, 3 BB, and 7 hits. Yuck. Not quite what we would have hoped for from the two pitchers we’re counting on to be 1-2 in the rotation in Z and Demp. Neither were particularly awful, but they were not exactly top of the rotation worthy either. I had a good idea that would be the case when Z had a rough first hitter. He fell behind 2-0 to Iwamura and then battled back to 2-2 only to throw two straight outside the zone prompting an angry catch by Zambrano on the throw back from Geo. He has those mini tantrums every once in a while and it’s never a good sign for the future. Oh and by the way, the stupid cramps strike again. GRRRRRR.

The Mark DeRosa is not an outfielder award goes to….Mark DeRosa.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. DeRosa, as much as I love the guy, is not an everyday outfielder and should not be out there with the regularity that he is. In the first inning he ran down an easy play and had the ball go off his glove, allowing Akinori Iwamura to score. Had that been Matt Murton who made that error it would have been the end of his tenure with the team, regardless of if they are trying to showcase him or not. What I can’t understand is why, if we really are trying to showcase Murton for a trade, are we not starting him as often as possible in Soriano’s absence? We call up Eric Patterson on two separate occasions this year only to demote him after a few days in favor of Murton. Then, we call up Murton and spot start him. Sometimes the moves we make internally just confuse the heck out of me.

Evan Longoria has really impressed me with his defensive play in the series. Tonight, in the first three innings alone he made two nice plays. One to start a 5-4-3 DP and another to get Zambrano as he had to make an off-balance throw. I know coming into the year, as a Rays fan, that Longoria would be the real deal with the bat, but I hadn’t realized how good his glove was. I saw him play last year in AA and was impressed with what I saw then. He seemed like a man among boys at that level and had a good interview presence about him when I talked with him after the game. Keep your eye on this kid because he’s going to be a good one.

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids and helps people protect their assets as an independent insurance agent. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail