The Rangers played playoff baseball today, attacking fastballs, swinging 3-0, and taking on a road game with no fear.

The Rays got beat. They didn’t beat themselves.

Joe knows some will take it out on Carlos Pena because he’s so far from being a good hitter it’s scary. Plus today he couldn’t field, either. Did Joe Maddon really need to bat him fifth? FIFTH!

But for Joe it really comes down to the Rangers were the better team, which is what has Joe heading now to Ferg’s to ease his pain. Yes, that Ferg’s, where playoff tickets for just $20 were plentiful before the game.

Nothing feels good about now. And the thought of James Shields in a must-win game — after he tanked one last week — is a Miller Lite moment.

The Rangers paid the price for Cliff Lee this summer, when Joe and loads of other Rays fans felt that was a consolation prize because the Yankees didn’t get him. Even though he would have been a stunning and smart acquisition for the Rays.

So now there’s Game 2 tomorrow. Joe’s hoping Maddon’s computer can spit out a winner.

If it means anything, Evan Longoria spewed his theory on postgame baseball games on the Rays Radio Network following the good guys clinching the AL East, “It’s a coin flip,” he said  …The Rays need one of those two-headed ones about now.

 
 

22 Comments

  1. So no offense or defense today…*heavy sigh*

  2. Don says:

    No more comments…just the facts:
    1) Shopp 0for3 1 SO Jaso on the bench + 1 hit
    2)Baldie 0for3 2 So Has hit 24 times all year
    3)Upton 0for4 3 SO Leads the league/bats 2nd
    4)Pena 0for3 3 SO DJ on bench..can’t be worse

    TOTALS: 0for13 9SO Maddons lineup..your the best!

    • Ben says:

      You can’t however ignore the fact that his decision to put Bartlett first, as leadoff, was a strong move.

      But I agree with Baldelli and Shoppach being poor decisions. Let alone the fact that Baldelli only had 10 games to play, but to add him over the much-more-deserving Dan Johnson seems ridiculous to me. Shoppach and Jaso are interesting cases, as it might come down to opposing pitcher and our starting pitcher. Sadly this might have a negative affect on our offensive production.

      Another item that I would like to point out was not sending Bartlett home rounding 3rd. I am aware that Nelson Cruz has a strong, accurate arm, but with that considered, the decision should still be to “err on the side of aggression”. I believe that this move set a precedent for the rest of the game, and possibly (hopefully not) the rest of the series. At home, Bartlett should be sent home there to at worst, make a play at the plate.

      .

      Two positives to note:

      1. We are playing the next day (today) and are awarded a quick chance to bounce back. Of course this loss means we’ll have to take at least one game in Texas.

      2. So we have Shields on the mound and I expect a strong start out of him.

  3. Brett says:

    I’m so tired of Carlos Pena’s whiffs. The guy sucks. Plain and simple. He SUCKS. Also, the rest of the team sucks too. .176 team batting average on the day. Wonderful. The silver lining here: If they are gonna play like this, I only have to watch two more of these excruciating games.

  4. Charlie says:

    rocco baldelli making the 25-man roster over Aybar… The guy has barely played this season and have we forgotten what a HUGE hero Aybar was in 2008? Bases loaded, 1 out in the 1st inning.. rocco doesnt even come close to locating cliff lee. What if maddon did the right thing and had Zobrist hitting that spot instead of hitting a pointless double in the top of the 2nd.. SO many issues, hope they can work them out

  5. nick says:

    we still dont have a set lineup

  6. Preston says:

    I’ll be in Saint Pete to visit from the 10th – 17th. I was hoping to make it to a game, but it looks as if they’ll be eliminated by the time I step off that plane onto Florida soil.

  7. Tone says:

    This team is pure shit. I live in Japan and woke up in the middle of the night for that terrible display. Hey Maddon, the place was FUCKING packed again and your boys CHOKED! They, unlike the 08′ team, suck ASS when the Trop is full. Fuck Maddon and fuck this team. The whole season has been frustrating with little relief. How they won so many games? Pure luck. We all watched, we all know this. They can’t hit, they strike out. All they ever do is look for a damned walk. Have you ever seen a Rays hitter swing at 3-0 pitches besides CC? Nope.

  8. Gus says:

    As a Rays fan, I never got my hopes up for a Cliff Lee trade because I know Stu would never get off of his budget that much. But when Molina was dumped by the Rangers, it did cross my mind that we could use a catcher like that. Sad to say that Molina got them today, a real difference maker at catcher, something we’ve never experienced in Rays Land.

    If you want to look on the bright side, the Rays hit Lee harder today than they did in the 3 wins, they just hit them right at people. Unlucky there, unlucky with Pena’s foul ball, unlucky with the balls dropping in front of CC and Upton (go ahead and dive, it is the playoffs after all). Even with that, they still probably lose, but it isn’t quite as bad as it felt.

    • MJ says:

      this season basically comes down to James Shields now… good grief.

      • Gus says:

        If any pitcher needs a few good bounces his way, it is Shields. So maybe he gets a few tomorrow because the Rays are due a few breaks after today.

        I kept thinking — maybe opening in Minnesota wouldn’t have been too bad after all . . .

  9. robert says:

    James Shields tomorrow? This is what it all comes down to? In a division where 2 other teams just open the cash register to reload? And we can’t even resign CC. No urgency ever with Joe Maddon, ever. Would you bet 6 dollars of YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY that Shields can hold the Rangers to 6 runs or less? And the same goes for Matt Garza. Yet, it’s no big deal. Hellickson next year… Maybe make the playoffs, maybe someone will go to the game, make some noise, maybe not. I root from afar, Boston, but people please! I know that every other home is foreclosed and the alligators eat the homeless but go watch this team before you start hearing the rumblings “Longoria wants out of Tampa, Price wants out of Tampa!” Nobody wants to play in an air conditioned morgue with embalmed fans who only show up when free tickets are offered.

  10. Justin H says:

    Damn, one bad game and all the sudden the season is over? Yeah they sucked today and Lee dominated them, but the rest of the Rangers staff really doesn’t scare me. If the Rays win tomorrow, then we have Garza for game 3 and a good shot at having a 2-1 series lead. Shields has to show up tomorrow, but this isn’t over just yet. One game guys, just one game.

    • MJ says:

      “If the Rays win tomorrow…”, “Shields has to show up tomorrow…”.

      If that lineup scares you against Price, what does it do to you against Shields? It better be a healthy dose of changeups, sliders, curves, and cutters.

    • MJ says:

      Also, one game in a best of 5 series is kind of a big deal. Not being a doomsayer, but it’s the truth. I am not so much scared of CJ Wilson as I am of our lineup.

  11. Gatorbuc15 says:

    This game just sucked.

  12. Sarah says:

    Thank goodness for the Reds. At least the Rays weren’t the worst offensive team today.

  13. Gabe says:

    This game was just painful to watch, Cliff Lee was a true ace. I hate to talk like we’ve already lost, but at least we got the AL East!

  14. Sarah says:

    And then to have the Yankees come back against the Twins. A really terrible day all around. But at least we’re not the Reds.

  15. David says:

    Let’s hope Shields is on a short leash and Rays learn to hit. Rangers got Lee for precisely what took place yesterday. We have had our backs to wall before. Was Stu even at the game?

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