Tonight’s attendance: 36,973. That’s a sell-out.
Bringing in left-hander Will Ohman to face left-handed hitting Carl Crawford with a runner on first base and one out in the seventh inning was the definition of a no-brainer. That’s why Ohman is on the roster. He’s the lefty specialist.
Ohman retired Crawford on a soft liner to short, bringing switch-hitter Ben Zobrist to the plate.
Right-hander Cla Meredith was ready in the bullpen, but manager Dave Trembley stuck with Ohman. Zobrist grounded to third, with Miguel Tejada making a nice stop and throw to preserve a 3-2 lead.
Zobrist began tonight hitting .279 with 12 homers and 44 RBIs in 315 career at-bats against lefties, and .252 with 30 homers and 104 RBIs in 664 at-bats against righties. He was 2-for-3 against Kevin Millwood.
Zobrist was 0-for-2 lifetime against Meredith and hadn’t faced Ohman. Trembley stayed with Ohman and got the desired result.
Jim Johnson is warming in the ‘pen and will pitch the eighth in his role as set-up man. Mike Gonzalez could be facing his first save opportunity.
The lights are on. Time to turn it up.
Update: Impressive outing by Johnson, who got a strikeout and two ground balls. Factor in the Rays’ hitters - Evan Longoria, Carlos Pena and B.J. Upton - and I’d say Johnson should be an early candidate for the Cy Young.