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Rays 8, Red Sox 5 (click image for boxscore)

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

THE GOOD: GAME ON! We will be the first to admit it. We wrote this team off weeks ago. Hell, we wrote them off about five times, with the most recent happening a week ago when this same team lost 2 of 3 to the Orioles. But here we are. The Rays did what they needed to do. They won 3 of 4 in Fenway. And now there are ten (10!) games left and the Rays are just 2 back. That is still a lot with so few games to play and none head-to-head. CoolStandings.com still gives the Rays only an 8.5% chance to make the playoffs. But as a great man once said, “Never tell me the odds!”…Speed Kills. After the Red Sox had just cut the lead in half to 4-2. Desmond Jennings led off the 5th with single. He stole second, move to third on a wild pitch and then scored on a passed ball…Bullpen. Or specifically, Jake McGee. With David Price pulled early, McGee came in and gave his teammates 2.2 innings of relief, retiring the first 8 batters he faced and keeping the explosive Red Sox lineup in check…Terry Francona. Tito left Tim Wakefield in the game for a long time. After the Red Sox cut the lead to 4-2, Francona stuck with Wakefield in the 5th, when he gave up 2 more runs, effectively killing the Red Sox hopes. Boston does have a double-header today, and you have to wonder if Francona was more concerned about saving his bullpen for those games than he was about winning this game.

THE BAD: Taking a Bullet. David Price took a shot off his right shoulder/chest area in the 3rd inning. He stayed in the game, and his fastball was still touching 96. But he did not look comfortable on the mound and was pulled after the 4th. Let’s hope there are no lasting effects…Still A Lot Of Work Left. There are only 10 games left, but 7 of those are against the Yankees. Meanwhile, the Red Sox have 7 left against the Orioles. Realistically, the Rays need the Sox to lose at least 4 games. It won’t be easy.

THE TELLING: The Red Sox had 2 wild pitches, 4 passed balls and a hit batter…The Rays are now 12-6 against the Red Sox this season, their best mark ever against Boston…The Rays are now 43-2 when they score at least 6 runs…The Rays are 17-15 in games started by David Price. Last year they were 24-8…Both Rob Delaney and Mike Ekstrom accepted their minor league assignments after being removed from the 40-man roster last week…Rays pitchers held the Red Sox to a .189 average this season. That is the worst mark for the Red Sox against a single AL foe since 1901Ben Zobrist will miss Tuesday’s game to attend the birth of his second child.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Joe Maddon says David Price is “fine” and is expected to make his next start. [The Heater]
  • Roger Mooney writes about Joel Peralta and how he is thriving as the Rays newest non-closer closer. [TBO.com]
  • The Devil Rays drafted Jacoby Ellsbury in 2002, but he turned them down and went to college. [Projo.com]
  • That other team. You know, the one that actually plays in Tampa, also had a big win yesterday. Don’t forget to check in with Joe for all the news you need. [Joe Bucs Fan]

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17 Comments

  1. phil says:

    Go Rays and Go Orioles!

  2. Sublime says:

    Cork:

    We all this “We” business, “We” wrote them off. NO, YOU wrote them off, YOU wrote their eulogy about a two weeks to a month ago. Don’t go with the collective, take ownership of what YOU said. With that being said, Go Rays :-)

    • Sarah says:

      Confession: I wrote them off, too.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      I know this isn’t the first time you have been here. I have ALWAYS written in first person plural. The “we” represents, me, this website, and all the people that work on this site. I dont speak for you guys. So when I say “we wrote them off” I am taking ownership for what I said.

      That being said, I am far from the only person that wrote this team off. And the only people that thought the Rays had a realistic shot, are the same people that buy lottery tickets and actually think they will win. If the Rays complete this comeback, it will be the biggest comeback in over 100 years of Major League Baseball. No logical person would ever predict that would happen. Because not only are you predicting the Rays to suddenly play better than they have all year, but you also had to predict that the most talented roster in baseball would suddenly lose 11 of 14. NOTHING in what has happened was predictable to anybody that was thinking rationally.

      • Sublime says:

        Was it a long shot, of course, but with so many head to head matchups 7 games on the last week, I wasn’t ready to kick dirt on the boys just yet. The We vs. I comment reminded me of T-Mac when he played with the Rockets. Before the playoff series it was, “If we don’t win it’s all on me, “I” take ownership of it” by Game 7(and of course they lost) then it became “We” didn’t do this and “We” didn’t do that, hilarious.

        I’m not talking about everyone else, I talking about YOU! Professor Twain and Wassupun(me) gave you a hard time on twitter, (a little crow), and I’m giving you a hard time now. Eat your crow, don’t pass it off as we, eat it! :-)

        • Carl Crawford Hater says:

          Easy Sublime. You sound like you were awake all night just waiting to shove this in Cork’s face and were disappointed that he owned up before you got to take your cheap shot.

          And if you really want to criticize somebody for writing this team off, why dont you start with Anddrew Friedman who didn’t add a bat at the deadline and Joe Maddon who declared that Lobaton would play a lot down the stretch to see if he should be on the team next year. That is only something a manager does if he thinks the season is already over.

          • Beth says:

            And in fairness to Cork (and Friedman, and Maddon) the Rays’ improved chances now are at least 50% due to injuries/poor play from Red Sox. You could have abundant faith in your own team’s ability to win without being able to predict the other team’s collapse.

          • Drew says:

            I would give it 50% only if they were even with the Sox right now

          • Sublime says:

            Is not really that deep my dude. I was giving Cork a hard time on twitter, just bustin’ his balls that’s all. I think for a person who’s not as involved with every minute FIP stat, I think the act of believing in the “miracle” is easier. Ignorance is bliss, you just let it unfold. We get on a streak, the right things fall into place, and we can win, it’s simple.

            If you told me that I had a 3.0% chance of doing “anything”, I think my completion rate would be very low. Don’t tell me the odds, let me play, and I may surprise you.

    • Rich says:

      Since we are playing “true confessions” I very quietly wrote them off after Shields was beaten 1-0.

      With the Sox loosing this afternoon there is a real possibility we could go to bed tonight being 1 game down

      Go birds!!

      Go Rays!!

  3. Sublime says:

    *What’s all this*

  4. Don says:

    RED SOX no longer determine who will be in the playoffs unless they can lose 5 to Baltimore…THE YANKEES will determine who they face in playoffs..if they beat the Rays 5 out of 7 its over, BUT if The RAYS beat the Yankees 5 of 7 and the Orioles play their usual Giant killer Role ,Rays in the ball game
    Except for 6 inches Price could be in serious condition in the Hospital today…say your prayers Price someone was watching..

  5. Sublime says:

    *Wassupdun* my typing has gone way south today, please excuse.

  6. Gus says:

    Pretty soon the Yankees are going to clinch. Magic number could be reduced to 1 or 2 by the time the Rays play them Tuesday. Last year, Giardi totally shut his team down in the last 2 weeks (even when the division was still in the balance). Interesting to see how they play it over their last 9 with Rays and Red Sox.

    The math is so hard, most all of us gave up (just like some gave up the first week of the season). Starting pitching can overcome almost everything, however, as the Rays may prove.

    • Beth says:

      This is my hope: if the Rays manage to avoid elimination this week, they will play their last three games against a Yankees team that will be resting their starters.

      • Boxauthor says:

        Maybe, but the Yankees may also figure they’d rather see the Red Sox in the playoffs if both East teams get past the first round. If they don’t want to potentially face the Rays, and would rather face a beat up Boston team, they may play starters to keep the Rays out (if they can).

        • Beth says:

          Good point, although head to head I believe the Yankees have been more successful this year against the Rays – of course with a full 7 games remaining the final chapter of that story has not yet been written.

          Also, even if they have a preference between the two teams, I can’t believe they would risk injury or fatigue to their “a-list” players in the last season series — they still need to get past either Texas or Detroit in round 1.

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