THE GOOD: Playing the game the right way. The Rays did everything right in the last two games. Coocoo Crisp did everything wrong. If Crisp walks to first base the situation is over.
THE BAD: Giving Coocoo Crisp an opportunity to win the game by getting James Shields ejected in the second inning. We really thought Crisp had something coming but we assumed it would wait until later in the game to find a less meaningful moment or a time when losing Shields would mean less. Still, there was little reason to expect CooCoo to charge the mound. And we can’t fault Shields for sticking up for his teammates. Shields had to throw at CooCoo for the bushleague slide on Wednesday and Shields handled the situation perfectly. The ball was at CooCoo’s leg. Not his head. If that pitch cost the Rays one win for the sake of playing the game the right way and for a little extra team unity, we are all for it…The umpires letting Jon Lester get away with several inside pitches and never even issuing a warning. At least one of those pitches was intentional…Pitching to Manny Ramirez in the first inning with 1 out, first base open and Mike Lowell on deck. The worst-case scenario if Joe Maddon walks ManRam is a 2-run wall-ball double. The best-case scenario is a double-play waiting to happen. Instead, Papa Joe chose to pitch to Manny Being Manny and Manny Was Manny, hitting a 3-run home run.
THE TELLING: The Rays have a 2 game lead over Oakland and a 4 games lead over Toronto and Minnesota in the wild card race.
DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA…
- The best news we heard all day yesterday? The Bucs original “Bucco Bruce” helmet was named the “2nd Coolest Helmet in History”. [Shutdown Corner]
- Don’t forget to VOTE for Carl Crawford to start the all-star game. If you haven’t voted yet today, go NOW! [MLB All-Star Voting]
- Bugs and Cranks has their weekly power rankings up and the Rays are #1 again…These posts say they are written by the “B&C Staff” but we have a funny feeling that Chalk is stuffing the ballot box. [Bugs and Cranks]
- Joe Maddon met with his hitters before last night’s game and emphasized the need to cut down on the strikeouts. After striking out 19 times in the first two games of the series, the Rays struck out 9 times last night. [MLB]