Friday, May 15, 2009

Not so sweet homecoming.

The expectations were there.  The Tampa Bay Rays were returning home to face a last place team with their workhouse on the mound. What could go wrong? This should be the start of something good.  Unfortunately for the Rays, no good came of Thursday night's game against the Cleveland Indians.  The Rays showed they're closer to last place than they are first place.  It was a game that highlighted much of what was wrong with the team.

Here are some of the things I noticed:

  • "Big Game" James Shields turned into "Big 3 innings" last night.  Look, I understand Aki's error made you mad, but I don't understand 10 hits.  The first time through the order, Shields looked pretty good and then it all fell apart the 2nd time through.  Maybe it's time for "Big Game" to visit Garza's sports psychologist. This guy's supposed to be our ace! Not to sound the alarm, but he's only won 1 out of his last 5.
  • Fausto Carmona? This guy has struggled out year, but the Rays couldn't hardly sniff a hit off of him until the game was out of reach. Maybe if "Big Game" got some run support early, he wouldn't have blown his lid when Aki made the error.
  • Indians catcher Victor Martinez worked his average right up to .400 on the backs of Rays pitchers. 4-5 with 2 RBI's.  The Rays need to figure out a way to get this guy out.
  • Akinori Iwamura's error highlighted how different this team is than last year.  First off, the Rays didn't make those types of errors in 2008.  The Indians were able to tack on 3 runs after Aki missed what should've been a routine grounder.  The other big difference is that when the 2008 did make those types of errors, the pitchers usually bailed them out.
  • Ben Zobrist, aka Zorilla, made anther bid for become the Rays hero.  Unfortunately, he could only knock in 3 runs on that homer when they really needed six.

All in all it was a rough night at the Trop.  As the Indians began to pile on, the Cleveland fans behind us got louder and louder.  Not only was there something magical missing on the field, but the magic was missing in the stands.  I feel like I'm watching the magic go away and the Rays are finally coming back to earth.

1 Comment:

DirtbagFan said...

All good points.

As far as Shields goes, its not atypical for a pitcher who rises beyond his originally perceived ceiling to revert back to that original ceiling.

Kaz, on the other hand, has no excuse.

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