Kiermaier is here to Save the Day

By on June 12, 2014

 

 Kevin Kiermaier (39) is congratulated by second baseman Ben Zobrist during the seventh inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Tropicana Field.  photo:  Kim Klement / USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Kiermaier (39) is congratulated by second baseman Ben Zobrist during the seventh inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Tropicana Field. photo: Kim Klement / USA TODAY Sports

St. Petersburg, Fla. — The visitors half of the 5th came to an exciting end in the glove of Tampa Bay Rays rightfielder Kevin Kiermaier.  With the Rays up 4-3, yes I said Rays up 4-3 and the bases juiced with Redbirds, Peter Bourjos the Cards centerfielder,  put a charge in the rawhide sending it to the right center gap.  Everyone in the building was ready to watch the exciting bases clearing event that would have propelled St. Louis to a two run lead.  Everyone except Kevin Kiermaier.   Kiermaier made one of the best diving catches you will see in the outfield.  “I did,” said Rays manager Joe Maddon after the game when asked if he thought Kiermaier had a chance to catch it.  Maddon likened Kiermaier to Darin Estad, speaking of a catch Erstad made in Yankee stadium in left center. Brad Boxberger, who’s one inning pitched for the Rays looks great in the box, 1 hit, 1 walk, 2 K’s,  compared to what might have been, said, “He (Kiermaier)  just came out of nowhere.”  In the dugout afterwards, Boxberger said he said to Kiermaier, “Pretty amazing catch, THANK YOU!”  Rays’ Matt Joyce said, “He’s (Kiermaier) a great player, fun to watch.”

After that catch there was little doubt in my mind the Rays would hold the lead.  As matter of fact, I do feel the collective energy, you know in my crazy way, the Kiermaier play could turn the season around.  Well at least point it in the right direction.

Kevin Kiermaier said of the amazing play, “It was an 0-2 count, I took a few steps towards the right field line.”  Kiermaier indicated he got a good jump but the ball was slicing away.  He lost it slightly, but got back on it and was happy to see it land in his glove.  When someone eluded to the great leap he made, Kiermaier said jokingly, “That’s how they breed them in Indiana,” referring to good athleticism.  Courtesy of Jason Collette’s tweet    You Tube Video

Desmond Jennings drives in two on one of those great at bats Joe Maddon spoke of in the 4th inning. (photo: Kim Klement / USA TODAY Sports)

Desmond Jennings drives in two on one of those great at bats in the 4th inning Joe Maddon spoke of. (photo: Kim Klement / USA TODAY Sports)

The Rays go on to tack on two more runs in the 7th to take a 6-3 lead.  What seemed more unbelievable a three run lead or the Rays scored six runs, the Rays took both.   With only seven hits,  the Rays produced those ever so elusive hits with runners in scoring position.  In the 4th a single by Matt Joyce scored two, and then a two out single by Desmond Jennings scored two.  The Rays take the lead 4-3. In the 7th a single by Evan Longoria scored Desmond Jennings. Three singles, five runs… that wins you games.  Joe Maddon said the Rays win felt, “Outstanding. Great at bats… Desmond’s (Jennings) hit was a big knock.”  Matt Joyce who had a big single that brought home two runs said, “That’s a great feeling,” to get a clutch hit.  Joyce was only credited with one RBI as the second run was scored when Cardinals centerfielder Peter Bourjos bobbled the ball for an error.  Joyce went on to say,  “Baseball is a game you can’t force, it’s not designed that way. We need to relax a bit more and have fun… that was fun, that’s how we need to play.”

Well YEE Haw! It’s off to Houston for three and then back at the Trop for ten.  I am looking for the momentum to carry over  and the Rays to heat up a little.  I look forward to the show on Saturday as we will break this down, I really believe this  is a turn in the right direction.

After my first game at the Trop this year, I say, this is Rick Sassone I need to be seen at the Trop more!

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