THE GOOD: Looonnnggggg home run by Carlos Pena in the 1st inning. That is 7 in the last 18 games. Pena’s bat couldn’t have woken up at a better time…Great relay to end the 3rd inning. With a runner on second, a single to left was sent home by Eric Hinske with a perfect relay from Willy Aybar to nail the runner and keep the lead at 2-0. The A’s probably don’t send the runner if there were less than 2 outs, but the Rays still had to make the play, and they did…The 5th inning could have been much worse. A double, single and intentional walk loaded the bases with no outs. A single to Gabe Gross scored 1, again leaving the bases loaded 2, leaving first and third with no outs. Andy Sonnanstine got the next batter on strikes and then delivered the big blow, a 5-4-3 picture-perfect double play to end the inning…Dioner Navarro’s arm. With Troy Percival again struggling with his control and walking the leadoff hitter in the 9th inning of a 1-run game, the A’s used a pinch-runner. Navi threw out Rajai Davis trying to steal for the first out. If Davis gets to second base with no outs, Percival would have very likely blown the save.

THE BAD: Troy Percival again struggled with his control, walking 2 in the 9th including the leadoff hitter. 1-run leads in the 9th are going to be an adventure from here on out…Rays batters struck out 12 times.

THE TELLING: For all the naysayers that think the Rays will fall back to Earth after their recent slew of injuries should note the Rays magic number for a playoff spot is now 38 over the Twins. There now appears to only be 4 teams competing for 3 spots as the Yankees are now 3rd in the wild card standings, 6 games back of the Red Sox. So the important numbers now for the Rays are the 3 game lead in the East and the 5.5 game lead over the Twins. No way Yankees will make up 9 games in 6 weeks. As we said last week, The Yankees are dead. The Yankees are roadkill.

DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA

  • OK, OK…Fine. We’ll do it. Today marks the long overdue return of the “Rays Index Live Blog-A-Baloo of the Week”. So see you guys back here around 3:30 and we will try to help you through the last couple of hours at work.
  • Joe Maddon would not rule out a return of Jason Bartlett to SS this afternoon, although tomorrow sounds more likely. Bartlett is still battling a “bad bone bruise.” He played catch yesterday and Tom Foley said he looked better than the day before. [MLB]
  • Mike Francesa of “The Fatso and Fruit Loops” “The Mike and the Mad Dog” show, finally admits he was wrong about the Rays…If you have never listened to this NYC radio show, let’s just say it is a rare day when Mikey admits he is wrong about anything. [Mike and the Mad Blog]
  • John Romano of the St. Pete Times takes a look at some recent contenders that also suffered key injuries down the stretch. What we learn is we have no idea what will happen. [St. Pete Times]
  • The only one of the Rays’ top draft picks yet to sign is 2nd round pick Kyle Lobstein. Both sides are expecting a deal to get done by Friday’s deadline. [Tampa Tribune]
  • In case you missed it in the early post, The Immaculate Inning was on hand last night for David Price’s triple-A debut and wrote a detailed account. [The Immaculate Inning]
  • Gerry Fraley thinks Evan Longoria’s trip to the DL could actually help his chances at winning the MVP. [Sporting News]
  • A Brewers fan offers advice to Rays fans on how to cope with this current rough patch…Listen Brewers fans: Keep your ’07 taint as far away from the Rays as possible. Thank You. [The Grand National Championships]
 
 

7 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    “I know that Price is pitching,” Maddon said. “I hate to tell you, but I’m not curious.”

    I’m note sure why but that annoys me. I know hes in a pennant race, but he should be a little curious.

  2. Robert Rittner says:

    I lived in NY all my life and stopped subjecting myself to WFAN early on, tuning occasionally to get scores or if somebody interesting was guesting. Usually those moments weren’t worth the trouble either.

    In any case, Francesa was not wrong because he dismissed the Rays, so he did not really admit he was wrong. He was wrong because he had no reason to dismiss the Rays, and that fatal flaw I imagine he did not address.

    In June or July, and even now, it is entirely reasonable to question whether the Rays can stay competitive and come to the conclusion they won’t. But that requires thought and analysis, not cliches like “the Yankees are still the Yankees” or “they are too young and inexperienced” (which by the way is not true as a fact let alone an interpretation) or “I never heard of them”.

    The format of shows like Francesa’s do not admit of real discussion or analysis, so admissions of error are meaningless. It’s like saying “I thought the dice would come up 5 but they came up 8. I was wrong.”

  3. Sean G says:

    agreed. If Price was still in AA and nobody was talking about how it was a sure thing for him to be called up, then fine ignore him tip next spring. But there is a real chance he is pitching for you in a few weeks. You might want to at least take a peak or talk to a scout.

  4. The Professor says:

    I agree about Mike and Mad Dog but I listen a lot because they get a lot of big guests and the interviews are worth it even if M and MD often try to dominate the interviews. Of course even that is waning as ESPN stopped allowing there guys on the show.

    As for Maddon. I suspect he is paying attention a bit but his message to the team is probably along the lines of “only today matters” and to a large extent that is always how Maddon has managed. Right or wrong. Also keep in mind that Price will take somebody’s job. Maddon is still responsible for those guys.

  5. Michael says:

    Or maybe everything Maddon has seen and heard so far indicates to him that regardless of the results of a single minor league game he already knows that Price has the stuff, makeup, and maturity to pitch in the majors this year.

  6. Jim says:

    “A single to Gabe Gross scored 1, again leaving the bases loaded with no outs.”

    I’m pretty sure that Patterson’s single scored two and left runners on the corners with no outs.

  7. The Professor says:

    you sir, are correct

    /fixed

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