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Rays 5, Yankees 2 (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: James the Greater. We hope Joe Maddon had his office door locked after the game, because there is no way James Shields was happy about being pulled with 2 outs in the 9th inning and the a 3-run lead. He had 117 pitches on his arm already. But he has thrown at least many seven other times this season…Bossman. BJ Upton continues his hot September going 2-4 with a walk including his big 2-run double in the 3rd that tied the game…Our Second Favorite Team. We have always said that Buck Showalter is overrated. But if there is one thing is good for, it is that his teams will always play hard when the games don’t matter. And thanks to the O’s win over the Red Sox, the Rays are now tied for the Wild Card lead with just 2 games to go. Oh Hoochie Mamma!

THE BAD: Mr. Pressure Has Changed His Address. The Rays can’t screw this up now. They can’t come all the way back from 9 games back on September 1 and then blow it in the last 2 days. At the very least, the Rays have to play in the one-game playoff on Thursday or else this is a huge disappointment. We can all celebrate overcoming the odds later. But remember, we all screamed and yelled about how this team was better than most thought. We can’t now say they overachieved. Playoffs was the goal. At this point there are no moral victories.

THE TELLING: 25 days ago, the Rays had a 0.6 percent chance of making the playoffs and Joe Maddon was talking about his goal of having the third best record in the ALMatt Moore was named the Rays minor league pitcher of the year and C/DH Stephen Vogt was named minor league player of the year.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Here was the key play in the Red Sox loss. This is fun to watch over and over. [Mocksession]
  • This is why editors shouldn’t write headlines >> “Tampa Bay Rays’ playoff fate will be determined this week.” After all, the season does end on Wednesday. [TampaBay.com]
  • What has gone wrong for the Red Sox? Just about everything. [ESPN]
  • Joe Girardi says Yankees are playing to win. [TampaBay.com]
  • Solid interview with Jim Hickey discussing James Shields and his approach on the mound and whether this season is a fluke. [Fangraphs]
  • Rays are winning with MaddonBall. [ThePostGame]
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37 Comments

  1. Amanda says:

    "'98 #RedSox won 92, 9th in AL attendance, in good economy. THAT is disgraceful RT @ThomasDobby: Disgraceful [Re: #Rays attendance: 18,772]" --- Oooh, snap! Good one, Cork! :)

    I *finally* heard what I wanted to hear out of Maddon in the post-game interview. In a nutshell, he said that as much as he loves numbers, that sometimes you just have to put them aside and pay attention to people. YES! There are just some things that statistics just can't account for, like the Sox's swoon or the Rays surge. There's nothing statistical that said that was going to happen. But it happened.

    Don't get me wrong -- I loves stats. There is beauty in numbers, where things are so exact and rigid. But just like Jason Whitlock said in his column last week, you take the natural beauty out of the game when you strip it down to only a string of numbers. It just becomes cold and calculating, and it takes away the poetic beauty like what was reflected in "Field of Dreams."

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    • Tom says:

      "you take the natural beauty out of the game when you strip it down to only a string of numbers. It just becomes cold and calculating, and it takes away the poetic beauty like what was reflected in “Field of Dreams.”

      What do you mean "strip it down to only a string of numbers"? Who does that? It seems to me Maddon is always trying to keep the team loose by having themed road trips which have nothing to do with numbers.

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    • Don says:

      WHat do you think Maddon did when he took out Shields in the nineth with 117 pitches, shields could have got that last out easy...with 118,120 pitches..a big difference,really?.... hey "numbers" Joe where's the Shields "People" aspect?

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      • Tom says:

        How do you know he could have got the last out easy? He walked the previous batter on 4 pitches.

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        • SLMcgee says:

          Shop should have gone out the the mound and slowed him down. He threw those 4 pitches in about 6 seconds. He was too hyped. I dont blame Madden at all.

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          • Rob says:

            Completely agree. He was pitching to that next batter after the double play so fast I don't think he took a breath.

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      • jim says:

        Don, please shut the f up. we just made a historic season comeback and you still have something to bitch at. did it occur to you that he took out shields so that he could get a well deserved standing ovation for a excellent season? did we win? yes? is it going to cost shields the cy? no. money? no.

        Carl Crawford will be chasing a WS ring while our superstar flops evan longoria and david price will be sitting at home. We should get rid of joe maddon, and replace him with a manager that will get us to the playoffs. We should trade james shields and david price and get us a real bat in our lineup. Maddon runs too loose of a clubhouse. We are an inferior product (coaches/players) to the red sox and the Yankees. The rays are a 3rd place team(maybe) without Crawford. The rays are in the toilet without CC.

        Don, do you see how STUPID you sound? Every comment you write should start out with “I’m sorry, I’m and idiot! I’m just a old man that doesn’t know crap about major league baseball.”

        What’s that noise? It’s the horn blowing on the bandwagon, you’d better hurry, the seats are filling up fast.

        Don, you can take the red sox hat that you were offering me and take a huge dump in it. Your mancrush has been a huge flop, and with the epic failure of the sox, he will now be front and center in the spotlight. Don’t be surprised if he’s not in an angels uniform next year, with boston eating a huge chunk of his salary. Boston is a group of old men that aren’t durable enough to endure a 162 game season. This isn’t a problem that is going away. You can’t bat your way to the postseason for an entire 162 game season, starting pitching is essential. They have none.

        this isn't my official don is a jackass tirade, that will be in the next few days.

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  2. Drew says:

    Melvin Upton should be in the bad. We know why. Also receiving an honorable mention should be Damon and Longoria for botching that "2/3 play" as I call it with Longoria getting thrown out at the dish. Seems like they really love killing rallies.
    On a separate note, here's to hoping Colon can't locate his fastball again tonight!

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    • jim says:

      That was the WORST effort I have ever seen from a MLB player trying to score from 3rd base. From the half ass trot to the tap dance at the end, it was pitiful. So much talent, it’s a shame.

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    • Sublime says:

      Drew: You'll Anger the Baseball Gods by putting ANY RAY in the BAD! That's a no-no. It didn't affect the outcome of the game so leave it alone. Keep moving, there's nothing here to see.

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  3. angrybuddha says:

    I love where we are and being able to quote a magic number again is awesome. This is a great week and I'm looking forward to getting back at the Rangers for last year's playoffs.

    So I don't want to be the guy raining on the parade this morning... But you left out a couple of "bads" ... those plays (DPs) at the plate early on.

    BJ's out was horrendous. If he slides to his right and scrapes the plate with his left hand he's safe. Plus, when he started down the line, he was jogging. And on Evan's out, Jeter did a good job of looking him back, but the moment Derek let go of that ball, Longo should have been going. Instead, he waited... and Posada gunned him down.

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  4. Hal says:

    I know you're just trying not to jinx our boy Shopp. 2 games, 2 huge blasts and good D. We've gotten more at of the catcher in 2 days than we have all year. Hit another tonight big boy.

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    • Beth says:

      No kidding! I've always assumed that someday Kelly would remind us all why he is on a major league roster. Finally that day has arrived!

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  5. Don says:

    "Showalter is overrated" is that a Joke..????
    DO you think for one minute Joe MAddon...could take that Orioles team beat the RED sox, the RAYS and the YAnkees..If Showalter manageed the Rays ...MAddon would never come in here and beat him with that Orioles team....Showalter is a genius...only can imagine him in blue....

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    • Cork Gaines says:

      Showalter: In 13 seasons he has more 90-loss seasons (3) than division titles (2). Twice another manager took the same talent and won a World Series. Showalter is overrated.

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      • jim says:

        Yankee win the world series the year after showalter left and then 4 out of next 5 years.

        After 3 years with the diamondbacks, showalter was FIRED. Next year they win the world series.

        After 4 years with the rangers, showalter was FIRED. In 4 years, they failed to finish better than 3rd in a 4 team division.

        He’s made it to the playoffs twice in 13 years and never made it past the divisional series.

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        • Gus says:

          If I need a last place team to play hard in the last 2 weeks of the season to break the hearts of Red Sox nation, Buck Showalter is absolutely, positively, the best man for that particular job.

          God bless him for sticking it to Boston early ("it doesn't take a genius to have a $200M payroll") and late (4 out of 5).

          No Brian Matusz to beat up on this time around (and they still almost lost that game).

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  6. jim says:

    BTW, what the hell is going on with lackey? What kind of idiot files for divorce from his cancer stricken wife a couple of weeks before the end of the season? And then gets pissed off when asked about it.

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    • Phil says:

      He's a jerk ...always pissed when they take him out..he's their thursday night starter if there is a game!

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  7. Phil says:

    Yankees have to be resting most of their starters tonight ...right? Pitchers for wednesday will be all their "b" list pitchers!

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    • DRR says:

      Not sure about the lineup, but I saw somewhere that we can expect to see their top-line bullpen all get work. We need offense early tonight.

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  8. tpb123 says:

    The only Bad from last night should be the once again embarassing attendance figure. The Rays are giving us an amazing, historic comeback, along with the second most affordable tickets in the major leagues & we give them a half empty stadium. Atlanta has had bad attendance this season too, but they still managed to draw 42,000 for their biggest game of the season last night.

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    • Cork Gaines says:

      The attendance is what it is. It is not going to change. This team has a lot of very good fans. And once the economy gets better and once the stadium situation gets resolved, attendance will be fine. In the meantime, it just is what it is. What are we going to do?

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    • jim says:

      this team will gone in 5 years. moving to a better location in tampa is only a band-aid. the attendance would be great for a couple of years, but then drop back off.

      i honestly don't see where you can make a case to build a new stadium. if we can't sell out during the most important series since 2008, then why bother. yes the trop is old, yes the location is in a bad part of town, but those are all EXCUSES. if we build a new stadium, then once the new wears off and the "onlooker" attendance stops, then the new stadium will have 12K on a tuesday night against the royals. who in their right mind would put their political career on the line for that.

      we will NEVER put 30K in the seats every night no matter what the product on the field produces. is raymond james stadium in st pete? is it rundown? see my point.

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      • Beth says:

        I hereby request a moratorium on any posts with the words "new stadium" or "attendance" for the duration.

        Plenty of time to beat that dead horse once the Rays have made their last out of the season, whenever that may be.

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        • jim says:

          beth,
          18,772 for the most important game of the year against the best team in baseball. that's sad, and it is news worthy. if it wasn't for the historic choke, espn would have been all over this.

          let's just hope that playoff fever spreads pretty quickly or there will be empty seats for those games also. i have my doubts about texas being a sellout, especially if it is an early game. let's be honest, the first playoff game in 2008 was a day game, and i literally stood outside for over an hour try to dump 3 extra tix for minimal profit. espn will deservedly ram this down our throats.

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          • CC says:

            To all the assholes who say shit about our attendance. The real unemployment in this area is 20%. That’s 1 out of every 5 working age person. And by the way if you receive a maximum check from the state of Fl for your unemployment, it less than $300 a week.Compare that to other MLB states.Now out of those people who have children that they would take to a game add that number into the mix. Now add the retirees who are on a fixed income and have not had an increase in their social security in 2 years. If you estimate that number of people and subtract that from the the total population of the Tampa bay area. Does not leave to many people.The actual attendance in not to friggin bad. Now shut you damn mouths and do a little research.

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        • MarkE says:

          I SECOND BETH'S MOTION!

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  9. robert says:

    Whats the playoff rotation?

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  10. Gus says:

    Have to give credit to Shoppach, Brignac and Upton the batter (not Upton the baserunner) here. Those guys have finally contributed something in crunch time. When the Rays get any offensive production out of CF, SS and C (with the solid defense those 3 provide), they are the best team in baseball, bar none.

    Of course, the lower quality pitching is helping matters.

    That record when they score 5 runs really tells the story.

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  11. Beth says:

    Here's a thought on Wednesday's game.

    Remember how Price had an outstanding performance against the Blue Jays a few weeks ago, where he struck out, I think, 13? he said there was a breeze blowing directly at him, and that it created all kinds of movement on his fastball.

    So I'm thinking....Large fan....positioned somewhere behind home plate.....anything in the rules prohibit this? I mean, if we weren't in a dome there would be a breeze, right? So what's wrong with a fan? Or could they just tweak the ventilation system a bit? No different than teams who alter the length of the grass to derive an advantage.

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    • Beth says:

      And by the way, "large fan" means the kind that circulates air. We already have many other "large fans" at Tropicana Field, but they won't help create movement on David's fastball.

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      • Sublime says:

        If you're looking for a "hot air", you can sit Don and Jim" behind home plate, let them continue their verbal joust!

        Seriously, as Beth stated earlier, A Moratorium on the BS. Are you so bent on complaining that you're missing all the glory of the pennant race?I experienced my first pennant race in 2008 and after so many naysayers telling me that the team was going to finish with 85 wins, this time has been all gravy(hectic at times, but exciting nonetheless)!

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