Obviously, the bullpen was more rested than any history. Then why did Joe Maddon pull J.P. Howell for Jake McGee — lefty for lefty — to open the eighth after Howell went six pitches (two outs) to close the seventh? Howell had given up just one hit over his previous nine outings.
Surely Howell was capable of more. And right on cue, McGee served up a gopher ball and put the Jays back in the game.
Oh, well. There’s no use questioning everyone’s favorite manager, especially after a win. The team is confident and swinging the big boy sticks, and it’s certainly not Maddon’s fault the Rays left another pile of runners on base to keep the game close.
It was interesting to see that during today’s in-broadcast sales pitch for 2012 season tickets, there was no offer dangling priority purchasing for 2011 playoff tickets, which is pretty standard for any team in a pennant race. Shouldn’t the Rays believe? Or at least put that vibe out there? Matt Silverman needs to smack someone for that.
And speaking of the Yankees, their pitching is imploding and a slew of Hurricane Irene rainouts and other lost games leave them with an overloaded schedule of epic proportions.
Assuming the fix isn’t in and Major League Baseball doesn’t find a way to give the Yanks a break somehow, the whole scenario can only help the Rays.
Oh, the glorious potential irony of the Yanks getting screwed by the Rays, in part, because they don’t play in a rickety old dome.