Full Count

September 17, 2008 - 3:30 pm
The fact that the Red Sox won a coin-flip tiebreaker with the Rays in case of a tie atop the division won't matter. The first tie-breaker for the division (presuming that both teams qualify for the playoffs) is head-to-head record. The Rays, with a convincing 10-3 win tonight, won the season series...
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September 17, 2008 - 3:20 pm
The Rays bullpen has gone from the worst in baseball to the fifth best this year, and no member of that pen has enjoyed a more startling turnaround than J.P. Howell . The 25-year-old southpaw had a 7.59 ERA in 2007, making him one of just 85 pitchers since 1901 to record an ERA over 7.50 in 50 or...
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Rob Bradford
September 17, 2008 - 3:02 pm
Apathy has officially left Tropicana Field . As is customary with most sell-out crowds, there was a fight in the stands. This one, however, was a doozy, taking place right behind the Rays' dugout. While I couldn't make out the actual fisticuffs, I was privy to the Trop security throwing one of the...
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September 17, 2008 - 2:49 pm
Rays rookie sensation Evan Longoria  seemed disgusted with himself after fanning to end the bottom of the sixth inning, slamming his bat into the turf. The demonstrative behavior by the 22-year-old would seem very much in keeping with the recent tradition of the American League Rookie of the Year...
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September 17, 2008 - 2:27 pm
Brandon Puffer , who spent a Moonlight Graham day as a member of the 2004 Red Sox , was arrested in Frisco, Texas, on suspicion of burglary and intent to commit sexual assault, according to published reports . Sox fans likely have little recollection of the reliever. Puffer, a 32-year-old who...
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September 17, 2008 - 2:18 pm
Rob Bradford has reminded me that the Rays are 19-1 this year in games when they have 30,000 or more fans. That--plus the desperate desire to increase revenues (team president Matt Silverman recently corrected me when I described the Rays as a small-market club, informing me that they were instead...
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September 17, 2008 - 1:41 pm
   A baseball park, just like Abner Doubleday envisioned... While it is easy and perhaps natural to bemoan the aesthetic blight that is indoor baseball, those of you who are still enjoying fine reception via dish may want to offer a tip of the chapeau to the Trop. David Ortiz has now launched...
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September 17, 2008 - 1:10 pm
Tim Wakefield recorded just seven outs, getting torched for six runs on six hits. It was, to borrow a phrase from Dustin Pedroia , a proverbial laser show. Wakefield has made 398 career starts. This one had the distinction of being in one of the shortest of his career. Wakefield has pitched 2.1 or...
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September 17, 2008 - 12:55 pm
Garza had a tidy second inning: seven pitches, seven fastballs, three outs. THAT is a more typical approach of a pitcher on short rest. Tony LaRussa once undertook an even bolder experiment in 1993. His team was terrible, and so LaRussa thought that he would use his A's pitching staff as lab rats...
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September 17, 2008 - 12:41 pm
There is no secret about Tim Wakefield 's historic success indoors. The knuckleball, forced to contend only with air-conditioning, tends to be a more reliable weapon that when employed in, say, the gruesome heat of Texas. Wakefield entered tonight with a 20-11 record and 3.76 career ERA, the latter...
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