Devil Rays 5, Blue Jays 4.
PLAYING A LIL’ PEPPER WITH LAST NIGHT’S GAME…

  • My alma mater played a rare night game last night, so I was otherwise preoccupied and did not watch most of the game. Somehow I managed to avoid seeing the final score all night. I got to it this morning on the DVR fast-forwarding through most and watching all of the 9th inning.
  • Apparently the wind was blowing out to right field at the Trop last night. First of all, you know the wind is blowing out when Dioner Navarro hits a home run and I didn’t think either of the 9th inning home runs had a chance when they first jumped off the bats.
  • The Delmon Young home run showed both his immense power, as he hit a line drive to the opposite field with a one-handed swing, and it showed me that unless he changes his approach, he will never be a 40 home run guy. He is actually too good a hitter to hit a lot of home runs. He hits the ball so square so often, that he rarely gets enough elevation to hit a lot of home runs. Obviously I don’t remember each one, but I am willing to bet that of his 12 home runs this season, 10 were line drives, just like last night. But while he is more likely to be a 20-25 home run hitter each year, he will also be a .330 hitter year-in and year-out.
  • When Delmon Young hit his 2-run home run to make the score 4-3 with 1 out, we actually thought that took away any hope the Rays had for winning the game. Home runs can actually be rally killers. Other than making an out (obviously) the worst thing a batter can do with runner(s) on base is hit a home run that makes that only cuts the lead. The home run takes the runners off base. There is no longer any pressure on the defense. The pitcher get a chance to “start over”.
  • Papa Joe Maddon is either a genius or he got away with one last night. We were screaming for Upton to pinch-hit for Brendan Harris after the Delmon Young home run. Sure Harris is a decent hitter, but with 1-out and Jonny Gomes on deck, you don’t want to go down with a bullet left in the chamber. Harris is no threat to tie the game by himself. Gomes is. So you know he is not pinch-hitting for Gomes. But after Harris grounds out, there is now the threat that Upton does not get a chance to bat.
  • We HATE the “catcher’s indifference” ruling on 9th inning stolen bases. How does that make any sense. If a pitcher intentionally walks a batter, that batter still gets credit for a walk, so why wasn’t Carl Crawford given credit for a stolen base. It is not like they turned to CC and just told him to go to second base.
  • In our stuper last night, I definitely would have pulled an oblique if I had watched this game live.
  • I truly hope that if Rocco Baldelli ever comes back and plays for the Rays again that A) He never hits a walk-off home run and B) If somebody else hits a walk-off home run that Papa Joe Maddon is smart enough to assign a batboy with the responsibility of not letting Rocco out of the dugout. There is no way Rocco would come out of the celebration without going on the 15-day DL.
  • I can’t decide which Bucs jersey to wear today…I am seriously considering dusting off John Lynch and hoping that some good karma comes out of it.

DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA

  • The Devil Rays became the first team to be officially eliminated from the postseason contention. Both Baltimore and Chicago won, so the Rays remain 3 back of the O’s in the AL East and 2 behind the White Sox for the worst record in baseball.
  • With 20 games remaining the Rays only need to finish 4-16 to avoid 100 losses. You may want to sit down for this next one. A 12-8 finish and the Rays would set a franchise record for wins a season! WOW. It really doesn’t mean much, but who would have thought that was possible at the all-star break. A 14-6 finish and the Rays will avoid 90 losses. A-MAZING.
  • Last night’s win was the Rays 9th walk-off victory of the season. [tampabay.com]
  • While it is now official that Joe Maddon will be back next season, the fate of the rest of the coaching staff will not be known until the off-season. [tampabay.com]
  • We are big fans of yellow-tail sashimi also. [tampabay.com]
  • Let’s hope that the mustache is the only thing that Josh Paul has in common why John Holmes. [tampabay.com]
  • The Rays payroll will increase considerably in 2008 due to existing contracts and arbitration alone. We will have to wait and see if that handcuffs the team in the free agent market. [tampabay.com]
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3 Comments

  1. rob says:

    Good to see Jim Shields pick up another win tonight.

    Did you ever expect a Rays game to be decided by home runs on our side?

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  2. The Professor says:

    I'm not sure if i have ever seen a stretch like this from the Rays. off the top of my head is it 13-5? and at one point this team was on pace to be the worst version of the rays, now they have a chance to be the best ever...what ever that means (not much).

    I never thought i would type these words, but the Rays are actually making it easier to take the crap that the Bucs put on the field.

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  3. Robert Rittner says:

    To me the best part of this is that it is being done by players who will get better and be here for a while.

    In Piniella's last year here, the Rays played better than .500 ball over the last 2 or 3 months, but it was a mirage, led by players such as Hall, Lee, A. Gonzalez, Lugo, Holllins and Huff with Hendrickson as the #2 pitcher and Baez as the closer. True, Crawford and Kazmir were here and it was reasonable to hope Cantu & Gomes could repeat their great years, but overall it was a team of older players &/or mediocrities who managed to contribute over a 1/2 year. (Lee had a terrific second half.)

    This time, the core is Crawford, Upton, Young, Iwamura, Pena with Kazmir & Shields apparently settled in and Sonnanstine showing promise as well. So we may expect the team to mature and improve, with this run just the appetizer.

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