First Star – Grant Balfour (.174)

Second Star – Ryan Dempster (.161)

Third Star – Kosuke Fukudome (.150)

Turd of the Game – Reed Johnson (-.204)


I went to bed last night after the Cubs hit in the 8th inning and came up empty. Down 3-1 at that point and no offense in sight, it made more sense to call it a night and get ’em tomorrow. If you’ve read the site for awhile now, you know I’m not a big fan of writing on games we lose. It’s mainly because I’m frustrated at the loss and would rather look forward. I’m going to muster the strength to instead award some special honors as we look ahead to game two tonight.


The Send Me Back to AAA Award goes to….Matt Murton.
A big 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and a weak fly ball was what Matty could muster in his first game back in the lineup after being recalled from AAA Iowa. The first at bat was abysmal as he looked completely lost at the plate and missed awkwardly at each of the three pitches he saw. He managed to get some wood on the ball in the second at bat with some foul balls but was again struck out swinging. Thankfully there were no miscues in leftfield to compound the rough night.

The Charlie Hustle Award goes to….Reed Johnson
Reed made a double out of a single in the the 7th inning by hustling out of the box from the word go. If everyone on this team would do that , and I’m not naming names, we would see a lot more doubles and triples and in turn a lot more runs on the board that don’t come from the homerun. Thankfully it hasn’t been a huge issue this year, but it has in the past.

The Rey Sanchez Fielding Award goes to….Ryan Theriot
Rey Sanchez? He gets an award named after him? Of course he does. He was my favorite shortstop growing up. I used to think he was the best fielder and loved to watch him play. I swear I’m not still that naive. Ryan Theriot gets the award for the great play to go back on a low soft duck snort off the bat of Dioner Navarro in the 6th. He robbed him on a play that won’t make Web Gems on Baseball tonight, but at the time, kept the Rays from making more of the inning than the already had done with the Evan Longoria home run to lead off.

The What the Heck Award goes to….Scott Kazmir
After yesterday’s performance, his ERA at home is now a ridiculous 0.59. That’s insane and really makes you say “What the Heck?” Thank God we don’t have to face him again.

The I’m Thankful for the NL Award goes to….American League Baseball.
My god did that game seem like it took forever. There were no easy outs, no quick pitch innings. Say what you want about how the DH keeps pitches healthy, Hank Steinbrenner, but I’m sticking with NL ball. I’ll sacrifice a little offense to watch a quick moving, well pitched game any day of the week.

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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