THE GOOD: BJ Upton’s catch in the 2nd inning, maybe the best we have ever seen from a Rays player…With both the White Sox and Twins losing, the Rays still managed to knock one off the magic number to clinch at least a Wild Card spot. The number is now 18*.
THE BAD: The offense managed 12 hits, including 4 doubles and yet could only score 2 runs…Eric Hinske. After a leadoff single by Willy Aybar, Hinske hit a ball off the wall. Aybar stopped at third. Hinske either assumed Aybar would score or he forgot Aybar was on base and never looked at third as he rounded second. Both players ended up on third with Aybar being tagged out. Instead of second and third with no outs, it was man on third with 1 out and the Rays would fail to score…Aki Iwamura and BJ Upton were a combined 2-10 with 6 strikeouts.
THE TELLING: Troy Percival was activated prior to yesterday’s game…
* The White Sox and Twins play each other 3 more times, so the second place team in the Central is guaranteed 2 more losses. So technically the Rays’ magic number is 16. We could choose to knock off those losses now, or we can choose to knock them off when they actually happen. We choose the latter.
DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA…
- For those of you that think Jonny Gomes never got a real chance to make an impression this season, here is more ammunition…The Durham Herald-Sun recently interviewed Gomes. When asked why he struggled hitting right-handed pitchers: “I don’t think that was the problem. It’s just that they signed [Eric] Hinske and [Cliff] Floyd and [Gabe] Gross, and they wanted them in the lineup. I never even hit [batting practice] off right-handers. I was always hitting off Dave Martinez.“…Kinda hard to hit right-handed pitchers when you never even get a chance to take BP against a right-handed pitcher. (Thanks, Chris) [Durham Herald-Sun]
- Joe Maddon would not rule out a return for Evan Longoria this weekend in Toronto…The team has said Dirtbag needs 3 days of BP before being activated. He has yet to take BP. [St. Pete Times]
- This has to be a first…Tom Jones has the story of a Bucs season-ticket holder who is trying to trade tickets to a Bucs game for tickets to a Rays game. [St. Pete Times]
- In Spring Training last year, we showed you a video of a fan getting Carlos Pena to sign his taco…We missed it, but apparently it happened again this season…Think Pena will be looking for this kid next spring? [Deadspin]
- Tom Jones gives us 10 reasons “it’s cooler to be a Rays fan than a Bucs fan.” [St. Pete Times]
- Jason Bartlett batted .389 in August, the second-highest one month mark in franchise history. [MLB]
- Stories on how strong the attendance was this past weekend? Nope. Rather we have more stories on how bad the attendance is. [Newsday]
- There is even one in the New York Times. [New York Times]