Maybe Joe Maddon doesn’t think these games against the Yanks are as important as the fans do.

Alex Torres in the ninth on Monday, Dane De La Rosa tonight.

Joe’s got nothing against these kids, and De La Rosa’s got a phenomenal story, but there’s a reason the Rays are charging for a “premium” game and fans are watching the standings. These are critical games against top competition. They’re no place for relievers to make major league debuts.

These dudes are hardly David Price jumping into the fray in 2008.

Oh, well. When you’re shut out at home, it’s all meaningless crap anyway. Plenty of opportunities flushed away tonight — 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.

Price pitched well. Nice to see him snap out of his mini-funk. But for Joe, seeing the strike’m-out-throw’em-out double play executed by De La Rosa, Robinson Chirinos and Reid Brignac to close the eighth really said it all.

The Rays are trying to compete with a slew of minor leaguers.

Joe will leave you with a gem of a postgame quote from Maddon: “We’re not playing badly; We’re just not scoring any runs.”

Nice.

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12 Comments

  1. Rob says:

    It's been three days since a shutout - they were due.

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  2. Tone says:

    This team could have competed longer this season if they had something resembling Evan Longoria knocking runs in. There are many holes in the line-up, but an unproductive Longoria turns the whole line-up into a massive hole. Watching them hit is not entertaining. Start the firesale already; reload for 2012. Might as well let all the rookies play fulltime. Put Zobrist, Longoria, and Joyce on the DL. Longoria might need the rest of the season off. Trade Upton, Damon, and Shields. Do it.

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  3. Michael says:

    Frustrated with this organization now on multiple points

    #1 What is pointed out in this article, is that fans are paying to see the highest level of competition at its highest stakes, and we've had games now where callups are making their 1st ever appearances against the second best team in baseball during a critical series, in what I interpret as a veiled forfeit.

    #2 Since when did the highest priority of an MLB manager become the preservation of bullpen bodies. Are you seriously telling me they couldn't trot out a veteran on Monday instead of Torres? I understand they throw full innings, but Jesus H, Christ, they are not made of play-doh. These motherfuckers are highly likely to not even be on your TEAM next year, and you are paying them the cash money for a reason.

    Resting lightly strained bullpen talent amidst a critical series in situations where doing so clearly led to a loss (like sacrificing Torres to the hounds) will be interpreted by me as a forfeit.

    #3 Our hitting is done. Individually we have "okay" guys, but we have too many of them that we can't reliably drive in runs. RISPLOB is what happens when you've only got 3 or 4 guys on the roster that are good for a hit+ per game. The Rays seem to spend the whole game in protect mode against two strikes.

    #4 Two thirds of our lineup doesn't play every day, and it leads me to wonder if it is even possible for guys like Brignac to establish the internal clock that must be necessary to deal with big league pitching.

    I really believe that the epitaph of this season is that the bough of advanced statistical analysis finally broke under the weight of the realities of what it means to be an MLB hitter, which, from my understanding, is predicated on rhythm, feel, and timing... something you can't do if you only have eight to twelve live at bats per week.

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  4. Michael says:

    Not to say that advanced statistics aren't important. I full believe in the value of sabermetrics, but when you manage two thirds of your offense on this principle... I don't think it really works. Soldiers have to train with live ammunition. Decent hitters like Ruggiano or Jaso need to train with real pitching. Just put them out there and let them figure it out.

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  5. CC says:

    Another pitiful offensive display. You just knew we were not gonna get a hit when we needed one.And our minor league bullpen lets Joe down again. But hey everything is gonna be okay when we start trying a little less.

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  6. zenny says:

    Stick a fork in 2011.

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  7. Michael says:

    As much is I'm a glass-half-full guy, I'm having a hard time not thinking the towel is about to be thrown. I agree the premium games command premium talent but I can't fault JoeMa for using the freshest arms in the pen. My issue is when they were used. If they're ready to be on the 25-man then there is no reason they shouldn't be thrown against the Yankees or Sox or whoever. But why the 9th? They aren't stoppers nor are they closers so let them have the 7th... Thoughts?

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  8. Jay says:

    I believe we're now 6.5 games out and have one of the hardest schedules in the second half, especially in september when times starts to run out. I hate to say it, but the season is closing. Adios Upton!

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  9. Joe says:

    Congrats on qualifying and being in 2nd for BA.

    That's all I'm saying after this one.

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  10. LoLJFH says:

    I couldn't watch the game last night but did listen to it. If Andy and Dave can see all the issues with this team during the game and point out failures and question tactics of batters, why can't management on and off field see it as well? Wouldn't these guys know from an "inner circle" POV and relax a bit in their spiel like Rich Herrera and beat the feel-good drum all day? (not that I want that at all, I really appreciate the fact they tell it like it is) Two points they mentioned a number of times: Garcia pitches almost Wakefield-esque so slow your bat speed instead of trying to hit it out of the park (yet no one made the adjustment but Kotch - again!) and then directly to/about BJ after K in 2nd - "if you look at sliders down the middle of the plate yet swing at breaking stuff well outside you are going to have a long night". These were just a few I can remeber off hand.
    Maybe JoeMa is saving the guys for the long, grueling stretch against Royal, Athletics, Blue Jays and Mariners the next few weeks. I bet this time next week there are more "feel good" reports about team winning on the road and getting their swagger back (and "why do they win on the road?")! Happens when you play mediocre and High AAA teams (Seattle might be only exception to above label because of their pitching but their hitting is mediocre).

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  11. Mark E says:

    Starting to feel like August, 2009... when management gave up.

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  12. Don says:

    Face It ..the Rays hitters (sorry Kotch) SUCK..How would you like to be David Price....going .500 on a sorry hitting team...Yankees here HE comes....

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