Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Back in the saddle

To my loyal readers: I apologize for my abrupt absence from the Rays' blogosphere. For the past week, the Rays were on the back burner in my life. However, I'm climbing back in the saddle today to give you the Rays Revolutionary opinion on the state of the team!

Last night, the Rays battled back from plenty of adversity in yet another battle against the Toronto Blue Jays and their ace, Roy Halladay.  They did a good job of staking a lead against Doc early, only to see it evaporate with a Rod Barajas grand slam.

Fortunately, Carlos Pena once again put the team on his shoulders and knocked his 35th homer of the year.  Pena lead a devastating offensive comeback that showed no resemblance to the farce we saw on Sunday.

And you've got to give credit to Jeff Niemann. He really battled back after the nasty 2nd inning, took control, and pitched like a veteran.  If all the Rays pitchers can summon that kind of grit, the playoffs are a no-brainer.

Here are some of things I noticed in the Rays 12-7 victory of Toronto:

  • The hunger. I will say one thing about the 2009 Rays, they certainly don't let the Toronto Blue Jays off the hook too often.  Last night's victory was one of those that showed me the type of grit and determination this team is going to need to make it to the playoffs. The only problem is that we need to see that every night.  At this point, every game is a must win and should be treated as such. A bad inning out in the field needs to be countered with a good inning at the plate.  A good inning at the plate needs to be followed by a quick inning in the field. That is what will get the Rays back into the playoffs. Last night, the team showed no signs of folding after that Grand Slam.
  • Toasty Pena.  Pena's hot bat is going to translate all the way down the lineup.  Managers are starting to fear him again and that only means good things for Ben Zobrist and Pat Burrell.  Both need to make the other team pay dearly for their fear of Pena.  As for Carlos himself, he needs to keep it going and continue to carry the offensive load for this team.  It will go a long way in catching the Boston Red Sox or the Texas Rangers.
  • Crawford's Back.  The Rays are saying that Crawford's back isn't serious and he should be back in a couple of days. That's very important. The Rays are going to need CC in the upcoming days. If he's not available by the time the team gets to Detroit, the Rays may have to make a roster move.
  • James Shields, do your thing. Don't worry about run support. Don't worry about anything but getting Blue Jays out. I know you've had a run of bad luck this year, but now is the time to start running good. Keep your head in the game and let it fly.
  • Which mullet is better? Gregg Zaun or Jeff Niemman. I'm not sure. But, I'm already working on mine. Expect some pictures in a few months.


Anonymous said...

I'm not a Rays fan but I'm glad to see you writing again. Hope whatever put the Rays on your back burner has improved. I agree that every game the Rays play is urgent. For the Rays, Rangers & Red Sox the playoffs start now. Good luck!


Michael Weber said...

Thanks, Lynn. I forgive you for not being a Rays fan. LOL

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