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
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]