THE GOOD: Carl Crawford and the Royals defense. With 2 outs and Aki Iwamura on first, BJ Upton hit a lazy bloop to shallow right field that fell in for a double. Aki should have scored, but was held up at third. CC then hit a flyball in foul territory down the left field line that was dropped before hitting his 2nd triple of the game to drive in 2 and give the Rays the lead…Carlos Pena homered for the second straight night.
THE BAD: Troy Percival was shaky again, allowing 2 hits and a run. But he did seem to have a little more life on his fastball and he was finding the strikezone. In his previous 2 starts, he threw 29 pitches, only 14 were strikes. Last night it was 14 of 22.
THE TELLING: If there is still any lingering doubt that Joe Maddon has not turned the corner this season, then take this quote from last night in reference to the bloop double from BJ Upton:
“We should have scored on the bloop,” Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. “That was the wrong part about it. We got a break, and then Carl had to come up with a triple to take advantage of the break that should have been taken advantage of prior to that. If we are going to win this thing, we can’t make plays like that. We have to beat everybody to the punch. We just got lucky tonight.”
Keep in mind that both Aki Iwamura and BJ Upton would later score on a triple by Carl Crawford. And yet, Papa Joe takes either Aki or third-base coach Tom Foley to task for not scoring earlier. And Maddon is right. With two outs Aki has to try and score in that situation.
DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA…
- As usual, Outs Per Swing has a nice roundup of the recent trade rumblings involving the Rays. [Outs Per Swing]
- Did he? Yes. Yes he did…This should be exhibit one when people ask why writers don’t write their own headlines. *shaking head in shame* [Rays Report]
- Not to be outdone by Marc Lancaster’s headline writing skills, Marc Topkin wonders what the Rays would look like as a football team…RAYSHEADS…This is your PAID Tampa Bay Rays media coverage. [St. Pete Times]
- Cliff Floyd’s wife gave birth to a daughter on Saturday…Our congrats and best wishes. [MLB]
- The Rays are now just 10 wins shy of breaking the franchise record for wins in a season. Bugs and Cranks will be counting down, and in doing, will compare this season’s 61st win with every 61st win in franchise history. [Bugs and Cranks]
- To say that TBSB is unhappy with BJ Upton would be an understatement. [Tampa Bay Sports Blog]