THE GOOD: Edwin Jackson. His biggest moment came in the 6th when the Jays got men on first and third with no outs. Jackson got the next 3 batters on a line drive to Jason Bartlett, an infield pop-up and a groundball to third to get out of the inning…In 8 of his last 10 starts Nuke has allowed 1 or 2 runs. Since the beginning of July, he is 7-2 with a 2.98 ERA. We hate to admit it, but in the second half of the season, Edwin Jackson has been the Rays’ most consistent pitcher…Joe Maddon. At one point or another we all wanted Jackson’s head on a platter. Maddon and Andrew Friedman had the guts to stick with Jackson. That is why they run a major league baseball team and we are but lowly ole Molecular Biologist.

THE BAD: It is a moot point since the Rays won the game. But Carlos Pena’s long foul ball in the 3rd inning was a home run and we are not sure instant replay, which begins at the Trop tonight, would have picked it up. The ball does travel in front of the foul pole. But we watched it about 15 times in super slo-mo, HD. And as the ball passes the pole, the ball changes direction ever so slightly indicating that it just nicked the pole. It took several replays to convince everybody watching the game, but by the end, even the dog was convinced and that dog usually doesn’t agree with anything we say unless BBQ is involved. Did Dewayne Staats and Joe Magrane think it was a home run? We had the Blue Jays broadcast and their friggin‘ in-inning 15-second commercials. We fall for it everytime. We start screaming about how there are only 2 outs, and sure enough they just decided to blast us with a commercial in the middle of an inning. Really annoying.

THE TELLING: The Rays magic number for the Wild Card is 23…It has been a foregone conclusion for a while, but last night’s win guaranteed the Rays’ first-ever non-losing season…From time to time, we like to look at search terms that people use to find our little corner of the interwebs. For those that are not familiar, people that have websites can track not only the number of visitors but exactly how you got here. Well at some point yesterday somebody typed into their google search engine the terms “Tampa Bay Rays Lingerie” and they found our website. We were a little perplexed. So we did it ourselves and sure enough, there it is. The third link. And here is the relevant post. Who knew? Not even us. Still. We are not sure what is more disturbing, that somebody found our site looking for Rays lingerie or that somebody was looking for Tampa Bay Rays lingerie.

DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA

  • Dioner Navarro was out of the lineup again last night and may not return until Saturday. [The Heater]
  • Troy Percival threw batting practice yesterday and is still on pace to be activated Saturday. [Rays Report]
  • Bad news for the Red SoxJosh Beckett was scheduled to return to the mound tonight, but has been scratched and is now off to have his elbow examined by Dr. James Andrews…A small part of us is happy about the April injury to Scott Kazmir, the several DL-stints by Troy Percival and the recent injuries to Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria. It would be very upsetting to have to listen to Yankees and Red Sox fans tell us that the only reason the Rays won the division this year was because of injuries. Of course, they still will, but at least we now have ammunition to fire back. [AP]
  • John Romano answers emails after his critique of the Rays lack of attendance…Something we don’t recommend columnists do very often. That is a can of worms that is hard to close once opened. [St. Pete Times]
  • Scott Kazmir was pretty hard on Rays fans on Jim Rome is Burning. [Larry Brown Sports]
  • Her Rays breaks down Joe Maddon’s traffic laws. [Her Rays]
  • Doug Eddings and Major League Baseball have admitted that Eddings was wrong to call obstruction on Willy Aybar during Sunday’s game with the White Sox…The Rays still have no recourse and Eddings will not be disciplined. All this means is we no longer want to kick Eddings in the groin…In that “you and I are cool, but you know I want to kick in the groin, even though we both know I won’t” sorta way. [The Heater]
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6 Comments

  1. steve-o1285 says:

    Pena was hurt for a few weeks as well...a little more ammo.

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  2. Tommy says:

    Jackson is also consistently walking as many batters as hitters. 25 K's and 22 walks since the all star break. His WHIP since the break is also 1.54, but he's keeps getting himself out of jams some how.

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  3. Tommy says:

    "consistently walking as many batters as hitters."

    This is a true statement, but I meant to say consistently walking as many batters as he's striking out

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  4. The Professor says:

    strange as this may sound, i think that might be by design.

    control is not his problem. look at his last 10 starts and he has only walked more than 2 batters 3 times. it is not that he is walking a lot o batters. It is just that he is not striking anybody out. i think Hickey has Jackson pitching to contact. in other words, he doesn't want Jackson trying to strike everybody out. Learn to pitch first. And of course, the more contact, the more hits.

    i think we will see a different Jackson next season that takes a step forward. Hickey will take the leash off and Jackson will start blowing people away with the fastball. And now that he has learned to not walk so many batters, Jackson could be a force in '09.

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  5. krewezer says:

    I agree that Pena's foul did touch the pole. As the TV replay showed a slight change of direction, Magrane commented that it just had to touch the pole to be fair. So that makes two homers Carlos has lost. In the feature on instant replay, he said that he was sure that on one occasion, a "stitch" of the ball he hit struck the catwalk, but was not ruled a home run. That third inning "foul" probably hit the pole with one stitch, too.

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  6. Scot says:

    Cork is correct - according to Baseball Prospectus model for neutral support wins and losses, overall, Jackson is more likely to win his games than other pitchers on the Rays. That said, the difference in probabilities between Jackson, Garza, Kazmir and Shields is essentially insignificant. Hey - be happy, most teams don't have 4 (or 5) better than average pitchers!

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