Yankees 7, Devil Rays 6.
The Devil Rays lost three of four games to the Yankees, but for the first time in almost a month, the Rays were competitive. The starting pitching was better, but they still don’t put in enough time on the mound. And the bullpen is…well the bullpen is what it is. In the four games, the bullpen threw 11.2 innings and gave up 10 hits, 7 walks and 8 runs. The key number is 11.2, as Andy Sonnanstine was the only starting pitcher to work into the 7th inning. To expect any bullpen, especially the Devil Rays, who are missing their only two decent relievers (Al Reyes and Juan Salas), to hold the Yankees lineup scoreless for three innings is asking too much.
Manager Joe Maddon was up to his usual Pollyannaisms this weekend.
[After Sunday's loss] We played a hard-fought game and they got it in the end and we didn’t…But our day will come. [tampabay.com]
[After Saturday's loss] I’m looking at the effort. I’m looking at us doing the little things better. Good pitching tonight from our perspective. [devilrays.com]
For the record we do not have a problem with maintaining a positive attitude in the face of yet another last place season. Our problem is that as fans, we want the players and the coaches to be held accountable. When all we ever hear from Joe Maddon is how he sees so many “good things” it gives the appearance that he doesn’t see the “bad things” and that losing is an acceptable outcome. Nobody is expecting a winning ball club in 2007, but we would like to see signs that this team can be a winning ball club soon. Despite losing 3 of 4 to the Yankees, the competitiveness of the team was better, but in the end they still lost 3 of 4.
We envision little Joey Maddon as one of those children whose mother would always turn a movie off before the sad ending. Unfortunately we have yet to learn to turn the TV off before the 7th inning.
DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA…
- Saturday night and Sunday afternoon’s games were the 6th and 7th sellouts in Devil Rays history. Four of the previous five sellouts were on opening day. The only other non-opening day sellout was also against the Yankees on July 19, 2004. [tampabay.com]
- On Friday night, Scott Kazmir’s pitch count was once again too high forcing him from the game before the 7th inning. Still, Kid K seemed to have regained some of his confidence that has been lost most of the year. [tbo.com]
“I’ve been through a tough stretch where I’m trying to figure out what’s going on,” he said. “I’m switching sides of the rubber and changing my mechanics a little bit, but now I’m just going back to what I did last year and the year before. I’m just going to attack the strike zone and not worry about how I get the ball to where I want it, but just toe it up and throw it there.”
- Jonny Gomes brought a “good luck rooster” to the clubhouse before Friday night’s win. [DevilRays.com]
After Friday night’s win, Rays manager Joe Maddon sounded like he was ready to ride the rooster: “The rooster is a permanent part of the environment now.”
- James Shields leads Major League Baseball with 7.14 innings pitched per start. At the other end of the spectrum, Edwin Jackson averages the second fewest innings pitched per start (4.64). [Roto Authority]
- Carl Crawford has had an up-and-down season and thinks taking more walks will be the key to finding consistency. [DevilRays.com]
- Carl Crawford likes his women with a good left jab. [St. Pete Times]
- Marc Lancaster discusses several players that could be traded. [TBO]
- So far, signing bonuses for players from this year’s amateur draft are down approximately 10% from last year. Major League Baseball has made a concerted effort to curb signing bonuses. With a very early deadline for signing draft picks (August 15), it will interesting to see if more players will decide to re-enter the draft in 2008 and whether this will have an effect on whether the Devil Rays can sign David Price. [Sports Agent Blog]
- The Devil Rays recent 11-game losing streak is a rare achievement. Since the Devil Rays inaugural season in 1998, only 17 major league teams have experienced a 10-game losing streak. The New York Yankees have not lost 10 in a row since 1913. [SFGate.com]