THE GOOD: After all that has happened in the past 3 days the Rays still lead the Red Sox by 4 games in the loss column with the hapless O’s coming to town next and the Red Sox still have 2 more games in Yankee Stadium and then have to face the White Sox…And thanks to 4 straight losses by the Twins, the Rays magic number to clinch at least a wild card spot is now 26 with a 7-game lead over Minnesota in the loss column.
THE BAD: For a few fleeting moments on Sunday it looked like the Rays had a very good chance to stretch their lead on Boston to 6.5 games. A dropped-throw from the outfield, a horrific call by an umpire, Roy Halladay, an extra-inning win by Boston and a blowout of the Yankees later, the Rays lead is down to 3.5.
THE TELLING: We are suddenly reminded why football is so much more painful than baseball. If the Bucs have a bad loss: a) that game represents 1/16th of their season and; b) we have to wait an entire week with that loss and all the missed plays swirling in our head. A bad Bucs loss messes us up for an entire week. A bad Rays loss and there is hope for redemption the next day.
DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA…
- Dioner Navarro took himself out of last night’s game in the 6th inning with cramps in both hamstrings. He is calling it a “day-to-day thing”…If he is shelved for more than a day or two, the Rays will need to call up a catcher. The first choice would have to be Mike DiFelice, but somebody would need to be removed from the 40-man roster. John Jaso is already on the 40-man and is hitting well at Durham, but the consensus seems to be that he is not ready to catch at the major league level. [The Heater]
- Evan Longoria had x-rays on his broken wrist and everything looked good. Longoria is still aiming for a Sept. 1 return from the DL…The plan is for Longoria to start taking batting practice later this week. [MLB]
- Brittany Ghiroli reports Troy Percival threw about 30 pitches from a mound yesterday and expects to be activated on Saturday. [MLB]
- Instant Replay will be in place for Friday’s home game against the Orioles. Replay will only be used to determine whether home runs cleared a fence or whether it was fair or foul. [The Heater]
- Buster Olney says Carlos Pena got his best hitting advice from Manny Ramirez and Steve Henderson reminded Pena when Evan Longoria and Carl Crawford were injured to just “see the ball” and not try to over think things as a hitter. [ESPN]
- Marc Topkin has his list of “5 things to watch in Rays’ stretch run.” One great point he brings up is facing the Yankees. Our instincts tell us to fear the Yankees, but if they continue to fall off the pace, will their veteran players be motivated to play hard? [St. Pete Times]