Monday, May 2, 2011
By Jeff Flinn - Contributor

Thumbs Up

*The starting pitching, aside from a couple of inning hiccups was again rock solid. Santana settled down after Aybar's pop up error opened up the Rays offense and ultimately gave them a 3 run lead following Joyce's 3 run homer. Piniero pitched a masterful game, going 7 innings in his 2011 debut on Saturday. Chatwood recovered after a 5 run first inning to keep the Halos in the game, showing moxie beyond his 21 years of age.

*The bullpen, aside form Rodney's WP hiccup, continues to pitch great baseball. Over the past 20 games, the bullpen's ERA is 1.61. Overall, it leads the AL with an 2.39 ERA. This is a night and day difference from what it was a year ago. Downs pitched very well in his return from the DL. Thompson continues to mow batters down and has a ridiculous 15/1 Ks/BBs ratio so far. Rodney, after losing the game for the Halos on a wild pitch on Saturday and after issuing a four pitch walk on Sunday, recovered to get 3 outs while facing just 2 batters.

*The offense had a solid game on Friday and Sunday, as the Halos were solid with RISP and they showed signs of emering from its season long slump, aside from the ChiSox series. 

*Kendrick continues to feast on Rays' pitching (something like a .450 BA in his past 100+ at bats against them). Trumbo broke out of his slump with 4 RBI's on Friday, followed by 2 more hits on Sunday. Hunter continues to show some signs of shaking his long slump. Callaspo is also showing signs of emerging from his recent slump. Bourjos got on base once in each game, and on Sunday finally seemed to be taking bigger leads from 1B. Hopefully this will lead to him stealing more bases with his speed. Conger continues to flash his power-hitting with another homer on Sunday. Wells FINALLY had a solid game at the plate on Friday, with a hit and a run scoring flyball.

*Defensively, Callaspo made a great throw to get the speedy Upton to end Sunday's game. Conger made THREE strong throws Sunday, getting one runner and nearly getting 2 others. He clearly has a better arm than Mathis.

*Even the baserunning improved in the series. Wells gets props for knowing to stop and make the 2B throw the ball to the 1B to prevent the traditional GIDP, and thus allowing the tie breaking run to score Sunday.

*Best of all, for the first time this season the Halos rallied from at least 3 runs down to win a game, and did it again Sunday for good measure.

Thumbs down

*Rodney's WP cost them Saturday's game. Then he walked the first batter faced Sunday on four not even close pitches. He did recover after a visit from Butcher however.

*Hunter grounded into YET another double play this weekend. He's on pace for about 50-60 of them.

*Aybar hopefully learned his lesson on pop ups, after Friday's near disastrous flubbing of one. 

*Mathis started on Friday. 
Love to hear what you think!

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