Diamondbacks 10, Devil Rays 8.
Remember the second moment that we were bracing for? Al Reyes blowing a save was that moment. We were starting to get a little too comfortable with Reyes at the back end of the bullpen. No closer is perfect and Reyes proved that last night surrendering a 2-run home run in the 9th inning to tie the game, and another in the 10th inning to give the D-Backs the victory.
We understand that the bullpen was thin and that only Brian Stokes was left, but we are big believers that once a closer blows the lead that they need to be removed from the game. Closers pitch on adrenaline more than any other pitcher and quite often once that lead is surrendered, there seems to be a little air that is let out of the balloon and they don’t pitch with the same intensity. Joe Maddon was worried about the game going deep into extra innings. A manager can’t think that way. If the game does go deep you worry about that when it happens. If Stokes tires in the 12th inning, then go to Josh Wilson if you have to, but a manager can’t worry about the 12th inning in the 10th inning. Most 10th innings never turn in to 12th innings.
On a related note, most teams will not blow a 5-run lead all season. The Devil Rays have now blown three 5-run leads in the month of June. If they win those three games, the Devil Rays are 34-35, only 1 game below The Charlie Hough Line, in third place of the AL East, only 6.5 games back in the wild card race and only one James Shields win tonight away from positive national news coverage…for once.
DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA…
- It’s Wednesday, soooo…Alex we’ll take “Elijah Dukes is a mischievous badger” for $500…If you haven’t heard the radio “interview” with Mr. Dukes from yesterday, The Big Lead has it in all it’s glory.
- Not surprisingly the Rays front office is frustrated by the distractions caused both directly and indirectly by Elijah Dukes.
- It seems that every story we read mentions three options for the Devil Rays in regards to Elijah Dukes. They could trade him, release him or demote him to the minors. We would be absolutely shocked if the third option occurred, even though that may be the one the team prefers. The Rays and Bulls already have a shaky relationship after all the trouble that occurred there in 2006. With the current agreement between the two clubs set to expire following the 2008 season, the Rays are not about to rock that boat, and sending Dukes to Durham would do just that. Dukes was a major player in the problems that occurred in Durham in 2006 and his most recent transgressions are not going to endear him to the team management, coaching staff or fans any further. A demotion would certainly be viewed by the team and the fans as the Devil Rays “dumping their problem” on the Durham Bulls. While the team may want to do that, whether it be as a punishment or to get his head straightened out, we can’t see the Rays risking their already tumultuous relationship with the Durham Bulls. If they did, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays would almost certainly be looking for a new AAA affiliate in 2009.
- Joe Henderson doesn’t have any interest in seeing Elijah Dukes sent to Durham. He wants Dukes out of the organization and he wants him gone yesterday.
- Marc Lancaster reports that Elijah Dukes has told the Devil Rays that he feels he would be better off playing someplace other than his hometown.
- In related news, an online poll indicates that 78% of Devil Rays fans are sick of reading about Elijah Dukes and 100% of the writers at Rays Index are sick of writing about him.
- blah blah blah Rocco Baldelli blah blah blah hamstring blah blah significant setback blah blah frustrated blah blah.
- Rocco Baldelli’s latest “tweaking” could cost him another month on the DL.
- We were a little surprised that Joe Maddon’s favorite football team is the Arizona Cardinals. We are not surprised that Papa Joe thinks that the 5-11 team is on the verge of winning the Super Bowl. In other news, Joe Maddon thinks Dennis Kucinich will win the presidential election in 2008 and Harvard is only a decent kicker away from winning the BCS next season.