Rays White Sox Baseball

The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.

click above image for boxscore

THE GOOD: Apparently it was “just one game.”

THE BAD: Mark Buehrle threw Major League Baseball’s 18th perfect game, against the Tampa Bay Rays.

THE TELLING: So that happened. 27 batters went to the plate against Mark Buehrle and 27 were retired. It may have been the most efficient performance in the history of baseball as Buehrle was only on the mound for a grand total of 32 minutes in order to execute perfection.

So what did we learn? This incarnation of the Tampa Bay Rays just isn’t very good. They are not going to the playoffs unless something drastic changes and it needs to change now.

It was just one game.

No. It is more than one game. Good teams don’t lose 3 of 4 to mediocre teams. I can’t find a single power ranking that has the White Sox in the top 10. And it is not just the White Sox. This was the fourth time this season the Rays have lost 3 games in a series. In fact, the Rays have only won 15 of 30 series this season. They are mediocre. End of story.

It was just one game.

Good teams don’t get no-hit. Good teams don’t let another pitcher throw a perfect game. Are we supposed to be comforted by the ’88 Dodgers and ’04 Braves? Those are the only two teams to be the victim of a perfect game and still make the playoffs. Those two teams also played in crap divisions and did not have to worry about chasing down the two best teams in baseball.

It was just one game.

How many times this season do we have to hear “it was just one game.” Yeah, it was one game. Sometimes teams miss the playoffs by “just one game.” What are we supposed to say in October when the Red Sox and Yankees are in the playoffs and the Rays finish 4 back. Can we cash in those “one games”? ENOUGH! I am sick of it! Play like you are capable of playing or move aside for somebody that will. STOP THE DAMN POOZLE-FOOTING!

It was just one game.

That might work in the NL East if the Rays are chasing the Mets. But the Rays are not chasing a team that is destined to choke. They are chasing THE NEW YORK YANKEES and THE BOSTON RED SOX. Those teams are not going to roll over and die.

And what makes this worse is that the Yankees and the Red Sox have been SERVING UP THE AL EAST ON A SILVER FRIGGIN’ PLATTER. AND ALL THE RAYS CAN DO IS CONTINUE TO PLAY LIKE THEY HAVE BEEN WEARING THROWBACKS ALL YEAR! Mark Buehrle has had five votes for the Cy Young IN HIS ENTIRE 10 YEAR CAREER!

And now I have to walk up and down the streets of New york and Boston with those smug fans thinking that everything is back to normal in the world. Their precious playoff birthright is about to be handed back to them. AGAIN! When was the last time the Yankees lost a damn game? June? I’ve had it!

It was just one game.

Yes. I keep hearing it. All these Rays fans “tipping” their damn caps to Buehrle. I DON’T GIVE A RAT’S YOU KNOW WHAT ABOUT MARK BUEHRLE! I care about the TAMPA BAY RAYS. Oooh. We got to witness history! You know who else witnessed history? EVERY OTHER TEAM THAT LOST A HISTORIC GAME. The Rays weren’t a part of history. They were the punchline of a joke.

You think fans of other teams are surprised a pitcher threw a perfect game against the Rays? Hell no. To them they are still the Devil Rays and this game was just proof that the Rays are the next Colorado Rockies. Proof that 2008 was a fluke. Proof that the Rays were one hit wonders. Proof that the AL East really is just a two-team division.

And when this team falls 10 back in a couple of weeks, do you think fans are going to the Trop to watch the Rays play the Orioles? They’ll be lucky if there is 12,000 at that Wednesday game. And then the laughing and pointing will start. “Rays only have bandwagon fans…Tampa Bay cannot support a baseball team…Nice stadium.” I’m tired of hearing it. NO MORE!

I’m mad as hell. I’m mad at the rotation which has consistently underperformed all year. I’m mad at an offense that has needed to be carried by Ben Zobrist for over a month. BEN ZOBRIST! He started the year on the bench! THIRTY-TWO DAMN MINUTES!?!? Way to make him work guys.

It was just one game.

I have heard it all. “It was just one game…Calm down…Have a beer…Relax…What’s the big deal…Get some sleep…It was just one game.” SCREW THAT. Why should I calm down after my baseball team just sh!t themselves in front of the entire world? And this is not the first time the Rays played like a little league team this year. This just happens to be the bottom of the proverbial barrel.

It was just one game.

Yep. It was just one game. Just one of 18 perfect games. Maybe 12 or 13 have video footage. So now, every time they talk about the great moments in baseball history and every time they show Buehrle’s gem, I have to watch Jason Bartlett hitting a ground ball to end it. I have to watch the White Sox dancing on the field with the Rays in their dugout. Yep, it was just one game. Just one symbolic game that will always remind us how the 2009 Tampa Bay Rays underachieved all year. Great. Awesome. Fan-friggin-tabulous.

It was just one game.

Yeah. It was just one game. One game that proved this team is going nowhere. One game that proved this team is done. One game that proved this team is roadkill.

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59 Comments

  1. Brett says:

    That was a new experience for me. Watching (or listening to, in my case) your team get no hit is a lot more painful than I ever thought it could be.

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  2. Jim says:

    Calm down... Have a case...

    I have to agree with the anger/embarrassment of the Rays being no-hit, but I don't think they are done. It was one of those rare days where the tv was off all night, cause I didn't want to see highlights over and over of that shit. This series sucked, but at the end of the day they are 4 games behind the Red Sox, who haven't exactly been playing like world champs either.

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  3. Joel says:

    So this is your last post of the year then? I mean, the team's done, right?

    Well, I guess despite your countless interesting, insightful posts in the past, this one post proves RaysIndex is the New York Post of Rays blogs.

    By the way, the Yankees have a 7-game winning streak - we had one of those less than a month ago.

    Nevermind, I'm done presenting evidence; I'm going to go talk to a Rays fan with some sense.

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    • I covered this team in '06 and '07 when they were done before the season started. I will continue to cover this team this year.

      And i would love for somebody to explain to me why this loss is somehow less important and less meaningful than blowing a late-inning lead? Everybody is jumping up and down screaming after one of those games. They go out and post arguably one of the worst one-game offensive performances in the HISTORY of the sport and now I am supposed to be calm?

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      • Joel says:

        Oh, who am I kidding, I can't walk away from an argument.

        Well, for one, I wasn't jumping up and down after the Cleveland game - I was upset, but I wasn't calling Dr. Kevorkian.

        Here's the enormous difference between these two games: the leaky (or gushing) bullpen we saw in the Cleveland game was consistent with the leaky (or gushing) bullpen we had seen up to that point. It wasn't an aberration - it was part of a trend. The Rays' weakness this year is pitching.

        As for Buehrlegate, a game without walks or hits is a complete aberration for a team that ranks in the top 5 in the entire majors in walks, hits and runs. Yes, the Rays have been struggling at the plate in the last couple of weeks; but again, you can't throw out 90+ games because of a few games. The Rays' weakness this year is NOT hitting; maybe it is for this game, or this week, or this road trip - but it's not the problem for the season.

        And I cannot keep repeating this enough - maybe you should quit dumping on the Rays and admit that Buehrle and the White Sox are good. Cy Young voting means nothing - I wants stats. Buehrle's ERA at home this year is 2.50 - last year, 2.65. The White Sox are in first place and were in the playoffs last year (get over your AL East snobbery, the AL Central is a perfectly good division).

        Look, the Rays are underachieving - if anyone tells you otherwise they're lying. We should be a little alarmed by the team's play of late. But guess what - despite some terrible play of late, we're still only 4 games back of the wild card, which is currently held by a Boston team that lost more games and scored less runs than the Rays from Friday to Wednesday (Boston didn't play on Chicken Little Thursday).

        I'm not saying the Rays don't have problems. I'm not guaranteeing the playoffs. But, yes, it is just one game when compared to the prior 95. A very painful, embarrassing one game, but one game nonetheless.

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        • C'mon. Somehow we are supposed to justify this bc Buehrle has a 2.50 ERA at home? If that's all it took, people would be throwing perfect games every night. He is not Koufax. He is not Randy Johnson. He is more David Wells. But the Rays should be much better than that Twins ballclub.

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          • Joel says:

            You're trying to teach me a lesson on player evaluation based on Cy Young Award votes. My evidence is a bit more solid.

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          • I'm not trying to teach anybody a lesson and I am certainly not offering a full-on evaluation of Mark Buehrle. My point is simply that he is not an all-time great. If this was Johnson or Clemens or Pedro or Ryan or Seaver or Koufax in their primes THEN you tip your cap and move on. THOSE guys were capable of perfection any night out and it didn't matter who they were facing. But Mark Buehrle should not be throwing a no-no against a very good offensive team.

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          • Myrna says:

            I'm was delighted to see the Professor vent...nothing swept under the carpet there! I was happy to see Bartlett come to the plate because I just knew he'd get that hit to mess up the perfect game. I could not believe it. Any other team but ours!!! Ohhh, say it isn't so!!! Just too impossible to believe that none of our players came through with one teenie tiny hit. I am a season ticket holder and will continue to support this team, but I am feeling very disheartened right now. They lost four to the Indians and Texas and that was no fun to watch either. Would have preferred to watch a perfect game against any other team but ours. Simply made me sick. Wonder what Friedman and the boys think about this. I am also tired of watching Kazmir's victim face. I am mad too Professor.

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          • Beth says:

            Myrna, I agree about the Kazmir thing....indeed, if we weren't all reeling from the no-no -- had this been a more typical 5-0 shut-out -- we'd have time to consider the disaster that is Scott Kazmir. He lobbied for this start, insisting that his arm felt fine all week, and after the game he complains it was hurting from the first warm up pitches? Scotty, either you are healthy -- in which case you need to concede that you've just been lousy -- or you are not healthy, in which case let them bring someone up to take your next turn in the rotation.

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          • Michael says:

            I fully agree. With two on, two out, and the White Sox #8 and #9 hitters due up it looked like Kazmir would get out of the inning. Instead, he gives up a single to the #8 hitter batting something like .168 and then a grand slam to the #9 hitter batting .228. I can't believe this wasn't mentioned in The Bad.

            And I don't see how anyone can say 'it was just one game'. The late-inning comebacks against a terrible Royals bullpen have helped hide the fact that his offense, supposedly one of the tops in the league, has been absolutely atrocious since the All-Star Break against some really bad starters. They need to start hitting better soon, but with Halladay on the hill tonight it doens't look good.

            Please prove me wrong, Rays.

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          • MikeWas says:

            I agree with Michael that the real problem here is less the pitching - since July 1, we've given up an average of 4.588 runs per game, just slightly higher than the league average - but we've only scored an anemic 3.647 runs per game in the same time. Somehow, we've only lost 9 of those games, going 8-9 for the month of July to date.

            Our problem is offense. Navarro has been a huge black hole at bat, and even our DH, Pat Burrell, is only the fifth or sixth best hitter in the lineup. Everyone keeps talking about trading for pitchers before the deadline... but what about trading for bats?

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          • bobrittner says:

            I have no problem with the rant, and I think the irritation over the Rays' erratic play is perfectly legitimate. But here is where I part company with you. It is not simply that Buehrle is a much better pitcher than you allow for but that the presumption about who "should" be able to pitch a perfect game against a good offensive team is flat wrong. And it is not just no-hitters which, as we all know, have often been thrown by downright bad pitchers, but perfect games as well.

            Of the 18 pitchers who have thrown perfect games, I count 10 who are either no better than Buehrle or considerably worse. (Charlie Robertson, Don Larsen, Len Barker, Mike Witt, Ken Rogers, David Wells, David Cone, Tom Browning, Dennis Martinez, Harvey Haddix.) Not one of those has an ERA+ of 123 for his career as Buehrle does. In fact, Robertson's is 90 and three others are also under 100.

            As for beating good teams, it is not usual, but not unheard of either. Aside from the World Series champion Dodgers of 1988 you mention (who actually were a lousy offensive team), there were some fine offensive teams beaten. The most obvious example is Larsen (OPS+=99) vs. the Dodgers who were an outstanding offensive unit. And Robertson beat a Tiger team that scored 828 runs in 1922, second in the league, and had Ty Cobb (.401 that year) and Harry Heilman (.356) on it. The Haddix gem was against a Braves team that came in second after 2 consecutive World Series appearances and had Aaron (.355) and Matthews (.306) in their primes. (I suppose one could quarrel with this example as the Braves eventually won that game, of course.)

            There are bad signs for TB, but losing a perfect game to Buehrle is not one of them, or not a significant one anyway. That claim and the comparison to Colorado are not legitimate. As for the rest, no matter how frustrated we may be, the season is not over and the fact that the Rays are still contenders is a plus despite failing to take advantage of Boston and NY problems at various times this year. Good teams sometimes play poorly or do not live up to expectations. It is important to try to find explanations for their erratic play, but it is not to be found in one game, nor will scapegoating a particular player or coach help clarify anything. That is lazy thinking.

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          • Scot says:

            Bob, I agree that losing a perfect game is not the issue. Instead I would ask, does the running game actually hurt the team - to me that is the true question.

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        • Dirtbag Fan says:

          Here's a newsflash: Unlike most cold, calculated media types, we Bloggers typically have a true and deep passion for the team we spend everyday of our lives covering.

          That being said, it is perfectly normal and acceptable to act-out after a frustrating loss- one, because it's enfuriating, two, because its his blog and he can post about whatever the heck he wants without having to answer to his readers...

          Prof, is typically the most level-headed blogger in the Rays' blog-o-sphere, so for him to blow off some steam is certainly within his rights...

          I don't think the average blog reader understands the time and effort we bloggers have to devote to these sites (most of us do it for little or no money)- it gets tough to write about a team that continues to squander its opportunities; much tougher, in fact, than writing about a team that is either consistently good or endlessly terrible...
          frustration is inevitible, so cut Prof some slack.

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  4. bobrittner says:

    Ok, perfectly legitimate to blow off steam. My own initial reaction is similar to yours.

    Now we can get back to talking sense. The Rays have not been playing consistently good baseball and a number of players have been disappointing. But the season is not over, and the team is not the Rockies who ended up 14 games under .500 after being in the World Series the previous year. The Rays are 8 games over .500 and are proving last year was not a fluke. (After 96 games last year, Colorado was 39-57.)

    I am not particularly optimistic either, but what we should want from our team is that it remain competitive and in contention. The Rays are doing that even if not up to last year's standard and not up to what we think they are capable of. There is no evidence of a lack of effort or of the team folding, and there is no such thing as momentum in baseball, so in that sense it is simply one game.

    After all, in 1956 a pretty good team lost a perfect game in the World Series. They won the next game 1-0 in 10 innings and lost game 7 badly, 9-0, but I doubt that loss two games later was because of the 5th game. And they lost on a bigger stage to a real non-entity in Don Larsen. Don't underestimate Buehrle. He has been a consistently outstanding pitcher every year for 9 years and has been having one of his better seasons in 2009.

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  5. rayhawk says:

    Nice game S__t happens, but can someone please put a gag on Scotty im really tired of hearing how he's got things worked out Shut up already just pitch.

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  6. Michael says:

    Well said, Professor.

    The way this turd of an offense has been playing lately I fully expect Roy Halladay to throw a 28-minute perfect game tonight. For having 5 All-Stars in the lineup this team really sucks right now.

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  7. Jeff A. says:

    I was so relieved to open my email this morning and find one person-the only person- who is not worshipping Mark Buehrle like he just found the cure to cancer. Not only did I turn my television off last night, I turned off my cell phone too. Got tired of friends calling from the midwest and the northeast to let me know my team just got no-hit and asking how it feels. I don't understand how that feels good?!?! I had to listen on sports radio this morning that I am not a real baseball fan if I didn't enjoy seeing that game yesterday! WHAT ARE THESE FREAKS TALKING ABOUT! I am a season ticket holder! I drive from Hillsborough county to Pinellas County to attend weeknight games! I schedule my vacation around when the Rays are out of town and my destination around going to MLB cities when the home team is in town so can go to their games! I've been to more Kansas City Royals games at "The K"and Minnesota Twins games at the Metrodome than I can count and I STILL THINK IT SUCKS MY TEAM GOT NO-HIT! I DON'T CARE ABOUT THE AL CENTRAL WHEN MY TEAM IS ON THE LOSING END OF A NO-HITTER! I THOUGHT YESTERDAY SUCKED! I AM NOT HAPPY WHEN THEY MAKE AN OPPOSING PLAYER/TEAM LOOK GOOD! For the rest of my life, everytime they replay that game on ESPN Classic or MLBTV, I will be making my wife's day by turning the station over to the Decorating Station. Go Detroit!

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  8. Beth says:

    OK, let's take a deep cleansing breath....yeah, yesterday really sucked. No doubt Buerhle was on his game, but the Rays seemed almost complicit. BUT the "telling" in this case is not yesterday-- it's over -- but tonight and tomorrow. If the Rays can bounce back from this they may still be in the hunt.

    One of the worst nights of my entire life was the 5th game of last year's ALCS, when they blew that large lead against Boston. In fact, I'm getting shooting pains in my side just writing about it. It was the blown lead...it was the endless TV coverage talking about the Red Sox and all their historic comebacks....but after the Rays won the 7th game of that series, that horrific 5th game became an interesting side note. No one talks about that anymore (although I still get those pains...).

    So....the ocassional humiliation is part of any big league season. It's how you bounce back that matters.

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    • Of all the comments I have heard here, at home, at work, from friends, on Twitter, this was the first that gave me a sense that I might feel better at some point. Not yet. But maybe tomorrow.

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    • Joel says:

      Great observation, Beth - my lowest point as a baseball fan was that Game 5 of the ALCS. I will be brutally honest and say that I felt every bit like The Professor after that game. And despite my sense of doom, I went to Game 6 here at the Trop. Then we lost that one, and I almost didn't want to watch Game 7.

      Once again, there is no doubt we have a big, ugly hill to climb. But the wider you cast the analysis net on the Rays' situation, the less ugly the future seems. Technically we could be one game out of the wild card at the end of the Toronto series. And then we get the Yankees here at home. We have been a lousy road team this year (that's an example of actualy solid evidence of the Rays maybe being a mediocre team), and we definitely seem to game-up for the big teams. I will be a lot more prepared to make pronouncements on the rest of the season at the end of that Yankees series.

      Today? I'm just psyched about the trade deadline and a chance to win against Halladay again.

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    • Justin says:

      Beth,

      I hate to say it but they still talk about that game in Boston. That's right, every person who knows I am a Rays fan up here is constantly reminding me that the Rays could just barely hang on against the Sox, and that is why they were a wreak for the world series.

      Maybe that game isn't talked about right now, but believe me, if it comes down to the Rays and Sox again, it will be.

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    • Bobby Fenton says:

      For what it's worth, I will always believe that the Game 5 loss to Boston, despite the Game 7 win, at least in part cost the Rays the World Series. There was a Price to be paid for blowing that game and it was too much.

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      • Justin says:

        See!!!

        This is exactly what I am talking about.

        This is repeated throughout Boston, even to this day. Bostonians are so arrogant that they can't fathom that their team really lost or was worse than the Rays. They believe they would have beat the Phillies, but that the Rays were too weak, couldn't handle it.

        I'm am NOT directing my comments here at Bobby, by the way.

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        • Beth says:

          Well, Justin, that is merely proof that those in Boston have no life. But hey, if the idea that last year was all about their 5th game come-back, rather than the Rays' 97 regular season wins and gutsy 7-game victory in the ALCS, helped them get through a tough New England winter, who am I to burst the bubble?

          My larger point here was to the Professor -- we can't let one day, even one REALLY bad day, define a season.

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      • Carey says:

        Nice to know Bobby is still alive. And, as usual Bobby, I agree completely. I said it a million times: If we win game 5, we blow the Phillies out. We were on a complete roll at that point and struggled to get runs after that.

        As for this. I'm not nearly as pissed about the perfecto as I am about our shitting of the bed on Wednesday night. The frigging give away games - like Cleveland, Wednesday and others - are the ones that will ultimately cost us in the end.

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  9. Don says:

    I think what upsets me the most..is really not the losing...its the damn
    ETERNAL OPTIMISM....
    I have been preaching since April...Rays are not the "same"...they need changes...it is "not just one game..."
    Just ONCE I would like to hear Maddon or someone(management) to say that kind of playing is not acceptable..and if it continues some players are going to be gone!!
    Now instead of "I liked their effort...It's just one (more) loss...."
    Well BULLSHIT!!!!!!!!!!

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  10. Amanda says:

    I'm still trying to do research on this, but if I recall correctly, the Lightning lost two games 10-0 during the season they first made the playoffs. What does this have to do with anything? It means a playoff-caliber team can still have a stinker or two during the year. But I agree with you Cork: You're reading the signs correctly. If this was the only laugher of the year, then there would be no cause for concern. There *is* cause for concern because there seems to be an equal number of peek-through-your-hands-as-your-covering-your-eyes games as there has been good games.

    However, I'm not ready to throw in the towel on the season, especially being 8 games over .500 and only 4 back of the Red Sox. But I definitely think that this is the "A Christmas Carol" point in the season, where the the organization as a whole needs to realize that something has to change in order for this team to succeed. Does that mean a trade? Does that mean an attitude adjustment? Does that mean a kick up Maddon's patootie?

    And, I also stand behind you being a Buehrleist. (Ha .. had to get that in somehow). When it was that kid out in San Francisco a few weeks back, I was screaming and crying (especially when his dad came into the dugout). Last night? I was pissed. I mean royally pissed. That's MY team he did that to. Nobody puts the Rays in a corner (well, except themselves, I guess). Yes, I will recognize the other team's and pitcher's effort, but don't expect me to celebrate, or even appreciate this one.

    The Rays are damn lucky that this stretch of filth is happening at the same time the Red Sox are struggling. It's not too late; it can turn around. But not without some serious soul-searching. But after last season, this team can never go back to "Oh, we finished above .500! Hooray!" There can be no more moral-victory season for this team.

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  11. Dave T says:

    My sentiments exactly. I'm absolutely sick of "it's just one gme". I think the problems extend from Hickey and Henderson, all the way to Maddon.
    This 2009 Rays team is just painful to watch. Of course, Ill root for the Rays, but football is right around the corner(thank God), and I don't look for the Rays to do much the rest of the way. This game was over when Kaz loaded the bases, then gave up a Grand Slam. I had to go to work just after the Slam was hit and didn't learn 'til later that they were the victims of a No-hitter, I was not surprised. Dump Kaz, Hickey, Henderson and get a catcher, and then there's hope for 2010.

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  12. Jamal G. says:

    The Yankees have the best record in MLB since ARod's return (May 8th), how can you make the point that they are "... serving up the East on a silver home plate"?

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    • I just feel Rays missed an opportunity in April and May to put pressure on Yankees like they did last year.

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      • Jamal G. says:

        OK, fair enough.

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      • Jamal G. says:

        However, you do have to factor in that the Yankees are not sending Sidney Ponson, Darrell Rasner and Kei Igawa out to start 36 games like they did last season. Also, Jose Molina isn't starting at catcher, and Hideki Matsui is healthy, and Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera have bounced back to different degrees. Oh, and Derek Jeter hasn't been playing with a bum wrist from a Daniel Cabrera hit-by-pitch.

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  13. Dirtbag Fan says:

    Has a team ever been the victim of back-to-back No-No's?
    Tune in tonight and find out.

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  14. Lawrence says:

    This is why this is the only Rays blog I read (sorry Dirtbag fan). Your passion for this team comes through in every post but particularly in this one. Well done and well said. I'm a bigger fan of this blog now...

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  15. Justin says:

    Here was my question, as I was lying awake in bed last night. How can you be content with a world series after being the victim of a perfect game?

    I mean, does a world series erase it all? I think everyone would initially answer, yes. But I am not so sure.

    In my opinion, it's like an asterisk. I know most will disagree, but, that's how I feel.

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  16. Matt says:

    Completely agree. About vomited listening to the sports radio circle jerk after the game on 620... there is NOTHING good about witnessing history at the expense of your boys, and sorry... anyone who enjoyed that for the historical significance isn't the kind of Rays fan I am.

    I'm also sick of hearing just how good this offense is... no research here, but the Rays may lead the majors in 10+ runs scored games, but there have been a ridiculous number of 2-3 run efforts as well. The average output is good, but it's just lazy to look at the raw numbers and conclude this offense has been close to 5.5 runs per game effective.

    I'm not one to overreact... I get that it's a marathon... but this team still has a .240 hitter leading off, still has Pena pushing the all-time strikeouts record, still has a giant black hole at the catcher position, and still lacks a consistent offensive attack. What's harder to quantify is that this team just seems to lack that "it" which it had last year... makes you wonder just how big an effect Gomes and friends had outside the lines.

    Now they may beat Doc for the third time tonight... wouldn't surprise me at all, but the clock is ticking and the 4 game deficit feels bigger.

    /ledge

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  17. Don says:

    After much thought to the contrary I'm going to watch the game tonight
    to see one thing...
    Just how the Rays players come out to face a better pitcher than they did yesterday....
    The options: to come out mad as hell with the attitude ...:
    That will not happen again...
    Or: have that famous "hang dog look" that they have had so often this year...if they do ...they will be embarrassed again!
    Garza could set the mood early...but then again... he doesn't hit...

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  18. Dave T says:

    This team has absolutely PATHETIC plate discipline, which IMO, is an indictment of the coaching staff. After only getting 4 hits one night, 5 the next, a couple the next, a No-hitter was almost inevitable with this bunch. Would not be surprised to see another if the staff and or approach at the plate stays the same. How about trading for some good coaches. Ask Edwin Jax and Hammel, amongst many others what quality coaching can do.

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    • For a good OBP team, they do have some awful stretches where they appear to have little or no command of the strikezone. That does tend to be the trait of a young team, so maybe the coaches do need to realign the player's focus moreoften.

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  19. Jason in PA says:

    I agree on both ends, I too turned the TV off, and refused to even go on ESPN.com for any reason last night. I'm more frustrated we lost game 3 of this series than yesterday's perfect game. Kazmir sucked yesterday, and we were going to lose that game anyway. That is what is lost in all of this. Kid K is gone... Only a punch drunk fragile version of him remains... So let's see what we can get for him, and hope that someone overpays, ship him off and go after Wuertz, and Victor Martinez one more arm and an offensive catcher are the answer.

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  20. Amanda says:

    I think the biggeset problem may not be a pitcher, but a catcher to manage the staff. They need a veteran who can be a translator between young pitchers and an overanalytical coaching staff. What happened to the Navi who was a field general and got all up in Garza's face? If he doesn't want to be that anymore, then we need someone who will.

    And some bats. Definately some bats. Nothing springs a pitcher's confidence like a 4-run lead. (Ask Sheilds.)

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  21. bobrittner says:

    Here is a link for those who claim the Rays are not having good at bats or making pitchers work. It is from Joe Sheehan at BP, and demonstrates exactly the opposite to be the case.

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=9282

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    • Matt says:

      I don't think there's any question the Rays are seeing a bunch of pitches these days... they're getting plenty deep into counts, lots of 1-2, foul, foul, strikeout. Only way to get to a strikeout is to go at least 3 pitches deep... sometimes the less baseball-astute part of my mind wishes the Rays were freer swingers. Can't please me.

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  22. Mark says:

    Prof, I'm not going to say that you have no reason to be upset. The thing is though, I'm not upset about it. I know no one here knows me at all, but your reaction is the same reaction I have for some of the littler things like the other two games we lost to the White Sox. Those two games, I wanted to uproot trees with my bare hands, or punt newborn kittens into wood chippers 50 yards away.

    But sometimes, in games like yesterday, when most people will blow up like you did (and you have every reason to if you feel you do), I didn't. Wasn't mad at blowing a 10-run lead against the Indians, especially in that 9th inning where it got to a point when I expected them to lose. Not even Game 5 of the ALCS pissed me off. Not immediately anyway. I thought it was funny how the Red Sox were leading their fans to believe they were going to come back and win another ALCS.

    I would rather the Rays be on the losing end of a perfect game, than if they go into the 9th down 5-0, lose by 1, and leave the bases loaded. It doesn't suck as much for me because they didn't give me a reason to believe they would win yesterday. I would rather them go 0-162 than lose the World Series like they did last year. That way there's zero chance of heartbreak.

    I'm just going to put yesterday behind me, and through ignorance I'll think about how hard I'm going to laugh when the Rays become the 3rd team ever to make the playoffs in the same season they got perfect gamed. The only bad thing I had to deal with, was having to listen to Hawk Harrelson mess his pants TWICE after Wise's catch and then the final out.

    As for the 2007 Rockies, I don't think it's fair to compare the Rays to them. The Rockies were 4 games over .500 before winning 13 out of their last 14, just to force a one-game playoff for the NL Wild Card. THEN they had to overcome a 2-run deficit in the 13th inning of that game, against the all-time leader in saves. I don't want to say the Rockies weren't good, but they needed a LOT of luck in 2007 and they got it up until the World Series. The Rays didn't need as much luck last year like the Rockies did.

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  23. Opty the Mism says:

    Beat Halladay. Next 11 games we will be within 1 game of the wildcard and 3 of the division.

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  24. Opty the Mism says:

    Beat Halladay. Watch the next 11. We will be 1 out of the wildcard and 3 out from the division lead. We will be pumped up for the Yanks. KC sucks (even Grienke hasn't been doing well lately). We own the Sox. Nough said.

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  25. David says:

    Since I'm a type that never gets mad after games, only during, I couldn't help but laugh at some of the swings ESPN was showing on the highlight reel. I can say this though! I didn't watch the game! Something inside me told me that today would not be a good day for baseball. I go onto Fanhouse and I see a picture of a happy Mark Buehrle and my first reaction is. Hmmm, guess he pitched a shut out. I read on, it said perfect game. So then I check the highlights. Outside, whiff, K. Almost hitting one of our players in the face, whiff, K. Giving a blow j...a no way hittable groundball to keep Mark's perfect game alive. First reaction, %&^$$**&%&$&^$$%&*%. Second reaction, wait, what if this is what we needed? OBVIOUSLY not a perfect game given up, but maybe a performance so fuc...fudging terrible that it would force a turn around like last season. Maybe a little later than last season, but a turn around none the less. I have always been a hopeless optimist, but you have to be being a Bucs, Heat, and Rays fan like myself.

    So to wrap my obnoxiously huge paragraph, this perfect game may have been the worst loss in Rays history (Yes, even worse than losing Game 5* of the World Series*), but it may even spur a bigger kick in the butt to get this team playing to the potential that they should play. Who knows, maybe by the end of October we'll be thanking Mark for the perfect game.

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  26. bobrittner says:

    So, do the last 2 games balance the perfect game loss? Are they more or less significant in evaluating the team? Or are they each just one game while the perfecto was somehow more meaningful than that (even though clearly some poor pitchers have beaten some good teams that way)?

    After all, the next day the Rays went pitch for pitch with arguably the best pitcher in baseball and then won in the 10th against one of the better relievers around.

    And today they came back from an 8-0 deficit and tied it with 2 home runs in the 9th, again against that very good reliever, and then held on to win in 12 innings even though the last Rays' reliever walked the bases full with 1 out.

    So, do mediocre teams do that? My answer is "Yes, they do" on occasion just as sometimes Sidney Ponson beats good teams and Tomas Perez goes 5-5 with a home run. My answer is that the last 2 games do not demonstrate anything more about the Rays than did the perfect game loss.

    What does tell us something is that the Rays won the pennant last year with substantially the same team and that they are 10 games over .500 more than halfway through the season and that various predictors of performance indicate they are even better than their record suggests. I think the evidence is that the Rays are a good team and can remain competitive.

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  27. Scot says:

    It is just one loss. If they win 10,000 to 0, does that give the Rays extra wins?

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