Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Rays' Sonnanstine pleased with performance in bounceback outing

ST. PETERSBURG — The outing was shorter than right-hander Andy Sonnanstine would have liked.

But Sonnanstine and Rays manager Joe Maddon were pleased with his overall performance in Wednesday's 4-3 loss to the Yankees.

Sonnanstine gave up two runs on four hits in five innings and was more aggressive and sharper than in his first start in Baltimore, when he struggled to get in synch in walking a career-high four while throwing 92 pitches in just 42/3 innings.

"I felt more free and easy," Sonnanstine said. "I felt like I could locate my pitches better (Wednesday). All my pitches were working."

Maddon said the decision to pull Sonnanstine after just five innings (and 78 pitches) and turn it over to right-handed reliever Joe Nelson was partly pre-set; it was also based on how Sonnanstine was getting through the lineup and how it stacked up at the time, with Mark Teixeira beginning a string of five left-handers or switch-hitters coming up for the third time. Maddon said he liked Nelson with that group of hitters, and the reliever responded with 12/3 scoreless innings.

"I thought (Sonnanstine) had to work a little bit to get to that point," Maddon said. "And I just felt it was the right thing to do."

Sonnanstine (0-1, 6.52 ERA) said he felt good physically and "absolutely" wanted to stay in. Still, he added, "I said it last year and I'll say it this year: I have complete confidence in whatever (Maddon) does and I'll stand by his decision whatever it may be."

Sonnanstine struck out three and walked just one, giving up two of his four hits to Robinson Cano, who came up with a two-run homer to deep center in the fourth inning.

"He was being aggressive," Cano said. "I knew I was going to have to swing at his pitch."

Maddon said he liked Sonnanstine's outing, saying he was better, and "on the last strikeout, I thought he had a better depth on his breaking ball."

"He was good," Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher said. "I've always had a problem with him. When you think the ball is going to be there, that's when its not. He's deceptive, has that little funky delivery. He's a great pitcher."

Joe Smith can be reached at

Tampa Bay Rays' Sonnanstine pleased with performance in bounceback outing 04/15/09 [Last modified: Thursday, April 16, 2009 6:48am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning Strikes! podcast: Preseason storylines to watch


    In this episode of our Lightning Strikes podcast, Joe Smith and columnist Tom Jones set up the preseason with storylines to watch, as well as expectations for the season. Will defenseman Mikhail …

    Will defenseman Mikhail Sergachev make the Lightning?
  2. Florida Gators announce 2018 football schedule


    The Florida Gators announced their 2018 football schedule Tuesday, including an early SEC game against Kentucky and a matchup against Colorado State, which was part of coach Jim McElwain's buyout from the Rams.

  3. For starters: Rays vs. Cubs in Joe Maddon's return to Trop


    Joe Maddon's return to the Trop will be the main story tonight, but there is still a baseball game to be played, between a Cubs team surging toward another division title with six straight wins and a Rays team struggling to keep alive a longshot bid for the second AL wildcard spot.

    RHP Chris Archer will be on …

    Joe Maddon returns to Tropicana Field tonight for the first time since leaving the Rays to become manager of the Cubs.
  4. Cannon Fodder podcast: Bucs could run into their nemesis


    Greg Auman finishes wrapping up the Bucs' win against the Chicago Bears and looks ahead to Sunday's game at Minnesota, where Tampa Bay could run into nemesis Case Keenum, in our latest Cannon Fodder …

    Bucs outside linebacker Lavonte David (54) sacks Los Angeles Rams quarterback Case Keenum (17) during a 2016 game. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  5. Strange case: Bucs could face nemesis Case Keenum again


    Who, you might wonder, will be the first NFL quarterback to beat Jameis Winston three times?

    Case Keenum of the Minnesota Vikings drops back to pass in the first half Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. [Getty Images]