Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Rays make sure status quo remains in AL East.

Just like that, all is right in the world of Red Sox Nation.  Yankees lose. Check. Red Sox win at Fenway. Check. Rays lose on the west coast. Check. The reason Red Sox fans can be so smug this morning is that they woke up and realized their 6 game losing streak didn't really hurt them that bad.  They're still in 1st in the wild card standings. They're still within striking distance of the Yankees. And the Rays missed the opportunity to slingshot themselves past them into the wild card driver's seat.

It's time to face facts. The Rays are not a playoff team.  They lose games they should win. They're not getting quality starts out of their starters on the road.  The bullpen is a ragtag group of other people's has-beens. The center fielder is moping. The high priced DH doesn't come through in the clutch. The manager's forcing lineups. And they just can't get the bounces.

I'm not writing the season off, just yet.  But time is running out on these guys. If they're going to turn the corner, they need to do it now.  Pitching performances like we saw from Matt Garza last night and Scott Kazmir the day before are unacceptable.  The starters have to go out there and give their team a chance to win. The Rays need to make their own luck.  They need to stop hanging their heads and get angry... show some heart.

The Rays are doing just enough right now to keep us interested. For every step forward they take, they go back a step. That's not going to be enough to get it done. At some point someone's got to step up and say: We're not going out like that! I'm not sure who that person is, but they better hurry up. Time is wasting and everything is right in Red Sox Nation.

Things I noticed from last night's 8-7 loss to the L.A. Angels:

Just a few more inches higher, please? Ben Zobrist was so close, yet so far.

Matt Garza turns in to Scott Kazmir. Honestly, that was the worst I've seen Garza pitch all year. The Angels really could've broken this game open in the 4th when Garza went into full meltdown mode.  Fortunately for him, Lance Cormier came in and got a double play ball to keep the damage to a minimum.  The Rays can't afford those kinds of starts from Garza. 

No love from the bottom half of the order. The radio guys kept harping on this last night. One hit from the bottom 4 of the line-up.  That's unacceptable.  It's hard to keep a rally going when you've got that kind of dead zone going.

The Willy Aybar at 2nd experiement. Still a failure. I'm not sure why Maddon keeps running Aybar out there at 2nd base.  Last night his error gave up an early run and in a 1 run ballgame that could be the difference in the game.  Of course, we'll excuse those kind of miscues if we get the Applebottom Bat... instead, we got 0-3 with 2 strikeouts.  One thing this experiment is showing me: Expect Akinori Iwamura to take his rightful place at 2nd when he comes of the DL. Ben Zobrist will probably become the everyday right fielder.

MVB, almost a cycle.  Jason Bartlett knocked off the hard part of hitting for the cycle: the homer, triple, and double.  He couldn't close the deal in the 8th, striking out in his final at bat. The Rays have never had a player hit for the cycle.

Entertained in Anaheim. If nothing else,  Angels versus the Rays series are always entertaining. I would love to see these two teams and their managers get the chance to battle it out in a postseason series. It would be fun to watch.

B.J. Upton. Really? You're better than that. 

1 Comment:

Bud Light said...

Want to know what I see..you probably don't but tuff!!
1) Pitching staff worse than last year..
Two rookies are now the best on the staff
A staff that was too good for E Jackson
2) Hitters like: last night
Burell 0 for 4
Upton 0 for 4
We lose by one run!!
But Aybar made an error early in the game..so its his fault!!
Maddon has got himself stuck with mistakes made early... and he rode them out..now he suffers!
How's the loyality thing working out..Joe??

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