Some people don’t think Tropicana Field is all that charming. I must confess that when I’m in Tampa in late July, there’s nothing like being under the cool roof of the Trop. Is it in my top 20 ballparks? No. Top 29? No.
But I’ll take the AC. It’s an oven out there.
Nobody loves this place more than Tim Wakefield. He’s now 8-0 here with a 2.33 ERA. Do you think the Devil Rays ever say to themselves, why doesn’t this man just retire? Wake will be 41 on Thursday by the way.
Interesting nugget about Youkilis, who returned to the No. 2 spot in the batting order tonight for the first time since July 1. In actuality, he stopped hitting second with any regularity at the end of May.
At any rate, when Youkilis hits second this season, he is hitting .349 with 8 homers and 28 RBIs. He only has two homers hitting anywhere else in the batting order. While batting fifth, where Youkilis has spent a lot of time of late, he’s at .217 with no homers and 12 RBIs. His other favorite spot is third, where he’s at .359 with two homers and six RBIs in 39 at-bats.
On to other topics: Schilling held court before the game and it’s amazing the change in his disposition from the night he pitched in Atlanta to now. He has that look to him again that he’s ready to pitch and dominate in big games down the stretch. That’s a big thing for this team. He’ll be on the mound either at Safeco on Aug. 5 or at Anaheim one night later.
I can only imagine how Julio Lugo must have felt tonight playing for a team with legitimate World Series aspirations while watching the Devil Rays — his old team — play out the string with more than two months of season left.
The Red Sox must be going through Ping Pong and Nintendo withdrawals today. No such excitement in the visitors clubhouse here, where there were a few card games going on, but other than that, not much. Im sure everyone was a little tired tonight. The team probably got to the hotel after 3 a.m. This life is not as glamorous as you might think sometimes. But they still found a way to win.
All for now,