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THE GOOD: The Rays have been here before. July 18. Rays enter second-half losers of 7 straight. A loss out of the break and the season is over. The Rays win. September 9. Rays have lost 4 in a row including series opener in Boston. Lead in the AL East is down to half-game. Experts say one more (inevitable) loss and season is over. Rays win. September 16. Rays have lost 3 in a row and lead is down to percentage points. Experts say one more (inevitable) loss and the dream run is over. Rays win. Game 7 of the ALCS. The Rays have lost 2 in a row to the Sox and one more (inevitable) loss and the Rays go home. Rays win. It is now game 5 of the World Series. One more loss and the season is over. Of course, one more win and the Rays suddenly have home-field advantage in the World Series again…This must be killing the Red Sox and their Pink Hat Nation. They had to play the Rays while the Phillies somehow get the Devil Rays.
THE BAD: We don’t know this team. Nothing is working in Philly. If it is just the Phillies playing well, then we tip our cap. But if it is because the Rays are playing tight then we would like to tip our foot up their asses…Andy Sonnanstine. Whether it be the 12-day layoff or the nerves of pitching in the World Series or a combination of both, Sonnanstine was not being Sonnnanstine. Of his first 14 pitches, 10 were balls. His 3 walks matched a career-high at any level. Of course the 6 hits in 4 innings is nothing new. We have always said, when Sonny is good, he can be very good. But when he is bad, he is very hittable. For Sonnanstine, he has to be near-perfect to get by with only a mid-80s fastball. Last night he was not…Edwin Jackson. Really? The pitcher? Jackson should be ashamed and embarrassed. And if he ever pitches in a Rays uniform again it will be too soon. The pitcher? *banging head on desk*…Joe Maddon. And why is Edwin Jackson in the game at all. Shit on top of shit is just more shit…The offense. 3 of the Rays 5 hits came from the 9-spot in the lineup…Carlos Pena and Evan Longoria. 0-29 with 15 Ks. Longoria is back to guessing. In the 6th inning he swung at a first-pitch breaking ball that was 6 inches outside. Instead of looking for pitches to attack, he has made up his mind to swing at anything and hope for the best…The Defense. 10 errors in last 8 games…Phillies leadoff hitters. On base 16 times in the first 3 games and they were on 4 more times last night.
THE TELLING: Cliff Floyd was removed from the World Series roster due to an injured shoulder and replaced by Eric Hinske…Ben Zobrist, or “The Good Christian” as Mrs. Professor likes to call him, got the start in right field over Gabe Gross, “The Shitty Christian” (The “Good” and “Shitty” of course refer to how she feels about their play, not their particular religious beliefs)…According to CoolStandings.com the Rays have a 13.5% chance of winning the World Series. According to the national media it is a 0.0% chance…After hearing the “Rocky” theme 36 thousand times last night, we are burning all of our “Rocky” DVDs today. Of course, we probably should have burned “5″ a while ago.
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Why is “lack of experience” suddenly a problem for the Rays? It wasn’t a problem when they were playing in Chicago or Boston? And exactly how many current Phillies were on the 1980 and 1993 World Series teams? [USA Today]
- Joe Maddon spoke with the home plate umpire after the second inning about what he believed was pine tar on the cap of Joe Blanton. [MLB]
- John Romano says that the behavior of Phillies fans towards Rays family members and employees has been more suitable for a prison yard than a major league baseball game, going so far as to pour beer on a 9-year old boy…Stay classy Philadelphia. [St. Pete Times]
- Phillies fans were even throwing mustard packs at Joe Maddon’s granddaughter…Strange. We expect better from Phi…Never mind. [LA Times]
- You can tell from Evan Longoria’s quotes that he has no idea what he is doing right now. [Boston Herald]
- Jerry Crasnick takes a closer look at the struggles of Carlos Pena and Evan Longoria. [ESPN]
- Ken Rosenthal says the Rays hitters have lost command of the strike zone. [Fox Sports]
- Joe Smith takes a look at the rare errors committed by Akinoria Iwamura. [St. Pete Times]
- Gary Shelton says that even this is a lot to overcome for the Rays. [St. Pete Times]
- Who doesn’t know what “WPA” is? Duh. Clearly the reason the Rays are losing the World Series is because they suck at wireless security. [DRays Bay]
- The Hardball Times takes a look at how both managers mismanaged game 3. [The Hardball Times]
- Just in case we didn’t make it clear enough how awful Edwin Jackson was last night. [Sully Baseball]
- Joey Johnston takes a look at how the Rays bullpen handles hostile fans and each other. [Tampa Tribune]