My Week In Baseball: 5/12 – 5/18

Pelicans

This is an installment that I’m starting simply because I love baseball. As many of you know, I grew up in the baseball rich state of Florida. Currently, I’m on something of a high by how the sport has done within the Sunshine State this year. In these installments, I’ll cover every level of baseball, in particular, the Tampa Bay Rays, Florida Gators, and Pensacola Pelicans

The Tampa Bay Rays finished off a home stand against the New York Yankees this week, taking three out of four. The pitching, as it’s been throughout the year, was solid against New York, only allowing six runs in four games. The pitching has been the major difference in the Rays’ season, so far. I would tell people over the last few years, having watched this team mature, if they got any kind of consistent pitching, they’d win.

This Rays squad, over the last three years, has always had the ability to hit and I noticed they never seemed to give up, despite losing 90+ games. When the Rays spent the winter getting pitching over everything else, I started to get the feeling they weren’t far off. I honestly didn’t think it would be this soon, but I’m glad it was. Hopefully they can keep it up.

The Rays then started their inter-league portion of the season with a three game set in St. Louis. Pitching was again the story on Friday night, allowing only one run. However, Saturday afternoon’s game turned into a slugfest with the Cardinals taking the game in extras. The Cards would then take Sunday’s game, walking off again in the bottom of the 9th, ending the Rays week at 4-3 dropping them a half game behind Boston for the AL East lead.

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The Florida Gators went 4-0 during the week, which included a three game sweep of 13th ranked Vanderbilt in Gainesville. With the wins over Vandy, the Gators not only sealed up a spot in the SEC Tournament next week in Hover, ALA, but they earned the third seed in the tourney. Ironically, Florida will face Vanderbilt in the first round on Wednesday.

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I got a special treat this week as the Pensacola Pelicans made their first ever trip into Lincoln this week to face the Saltdogs. I was giddy to see the Pels play, until they got down 8-0. But still, it felt good to get a taste of home in my home away from home. The entire night I marveled at the uniforms, the aqua “Pensacola” script on the navy blue jerseys, which in my opinion makes them look like a team from the Gulf Coast. I have photos from Friday nights game on Flickr.

Still, after a 3-1 start in Pensacola last week (against the Saltdogs nonetheless), the Pels dropped two of three in Sioux Falls and got swept in Lincoln for a pretty dismal week. The Pels return home on Monday to face the Shreveport Sports in a four game set before ending the week with a three game set against El Paso. Monday night is Mutt Monday, where fans can bring their fluffy best friend to the ballpark, so hopefully it doesn’t rain.

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~ by Steve L. on May 18, 2008.

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