Orioles 8, Devil Rays 4.
If anybody is still wondering why the Rays struggle against the one team in the AL East that they should be able to compete with, they need look no further than Aubrey Friggin’ Huff. We are here to anoint Huff as Chuck LaMar’s replacement as the official Rays Killer. Some players play better against certain teams but we have never seen a player make an entire season out of playing against one team.
|vs TB Devil Rays||17||.373||7||14||.439||.797||1.236|
|vs other 28 teams||120||.260||8||51||.309||.502||.811|
And with one swing of Aubrey Friggin’ Huff’s bat, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays now fall four back of the Orioles in the AL East and more importantly five back in the loss column. The Rays have 23 games remaining while the Orioles have 25. If Baltimore goes 10-15 down the stretch, the Rays would need to finish 14-9 to pull out of the cellar. This will be a difficult task, at best, considering the Rays have two series remaining against the Red Sox, and series with the Yankees, Angels and Mariners, all playoff contenders. The other two series are against the Blue Jays.
Surpassing the Orioles is not impossible but it will be a long shot. If the team wants to have any thoughts of a 4th place finish, the Rays must win tonight’s game.
DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA…
- Not that anybody was holding their breath, but the loss last night guarantees that the Rays will finish with a losing record for the 10th consecutive season. Having already been officially eliminated from the division race, the Rays’ elimination number for the wild card is now 4.
- Marc Topkin thinks Josh Wilson’s fielding problems are “more mental than physical”. We think they are more because he is just not a very good defensive infielder. Either way, Mr. Anonymous is likely to be a one-and-done member of the Devil Rays as the team looks for an upgrade up the middle this off-season. [tampabay.com]
- If Rocco Baldelli does not return this season, he will have played in exactly 138 of the Rays last 486 games. John Romano believes that “it is impossible to know where Baldelli fits in the equation (team’s future)”. Oh. It is possible, because Rocco does not fit in the team’s future. It is clear that the team wants BJ Upton in center field and Rocco in another organization. Still, Romano believes that the team should pick up Rocco’s ’09 option and just cross their fingers. [tampabay.com]
- With 276 hits combined, Delmon Young and Aki Iwamura could become just the 5th pair of rookies in the past 20 years to combine for 300 hits. Also, Young (.297), BJ Upton (.311) and Carl Crawford (.313) could become the first outfield since 1996 (Cleveland) to have all three members hit .300. [Devil Rays]
- Scott Kazmir and BJ Upton both make the list of “Top 25 Under 25″with Delmon Young named as honorable mention. Nick Underhill does bring up a good point in regards to Upton. He may be a better center fielder but will Upton push for a return to the infield where he has a better chance to be a perennial all-star? [Im Writing Sports]
- In a case where “no news is apparently news”, Carlos Pena has yet to be contacted by the team concerning a contract extension. Pena is not a free agent, so nobody should expect any negotiations until after the season. [The Canadian Press]