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Rays 5, Blue Jays 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: Big Dub. Who would have guessed Wade Davis would pitch 8 innings? Honestly, we would have been happy if he last 5 innings. Instead, he dominated the Jays, giving up just 2 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks. A big game when the Rays needed one from the back of their rotation…Big Pop. The Rays who have struggled with the bats recently scored all 5 of their runs via the home run. BJ Upton and Ben Zobrist got the Rays off to a good start with solo home runs in the first. Zobrist’s was of the inside-the-park variety as Jose Bautista hurt his knee going for the catch at the wall. Later Evan Longoria and Kelly Shoppach hit home runs off the catwalks.

THE BAD: Missed Opportunity. With the Rays trailing the Red Sox by just a half-game last night, the Yankees had several opportunities to win the second game of their double-header. A Yankees win would have left the Rays tied with the Red Sox with 3 to go. But Jacoby Ellsbury buried the Yankees in the 14th inning and the lead is back to 1 game.

THE TELLING: Joe Maddon chose to use Joel Peralta in the 9th inning rather than Kyle Farnsworth who had worked the night before…The Rays hit 4 home runs, but three of them never left the field of play. Weird…On September 2, the Rays had a 0.6 percent chance of making the playoffs. Prior to last night’s Red Sox-Yankees game, it was 21 percent. Now it is 11.5 percent…

RANDOM THOUGHTS: Why do people wear Yankees gear to Tropicana Field if the Yankees aren’t playing?…Let’s ignore Alex Cobb for a minute. Let’s assume one team has Jeff Niemann and Wade Davis and another team has Matt Moore and Alex Torres, and everything else is equal. Which team wins more games in 2012?

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • “Every day is the biggest game of the year.” [The Heater]
  • Kyle Farnsworth said he felt good after his first appearance back. [TampaBay.com]
  • No “Hangover” yesterday, but we would be remiss if we didn’t give a shout-out to Alex Torres and his huge effort on Saturday night. Wow. [TampaBay.com]
  • If the Rays do make the playoffs, nobody in the mainstream media will care. The topic will only be how the Red Sox blew it. [TampaBay.com]
  • The Rays called the Mets in June asking about Jose Reyes, but were told he wasn’t available. [Newsday]

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15 Comments

  1. Matt says:

    “If the Rays do make the playoffs, nobody in the mainstream media will care. The topic will only be how the Red Sox blew it.”

    As it should be. We haven’t been on fire in September, they have just been that bad.

    If we do end up in the playoffs, it won’t be because of some super-human effort by the Rays, it will be because the Sox had one of the biggest collapses in the history of baseball.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      very true. I was thinking more about how good a story it would be in the big picture sense. That is, they chopped their payroll nearly in half, lost several key players and still won 90 games. Even if they do back in to the playoffs it would still be an amazing story that deserves some attention.

    • Sarah says:

      I agree, Matt, it’s not as though the red-hot Rays have seized this moment.

      But I actually think the way this narrative is being framed is helpful to the Rays this week. Minimizes pressure on them, whereas as every Red Sox pitch or at bat will be felt as a sign of whether these highly paid stars are choking.

  2. Kelley Larkin says:

    Honestly, what do you guys think? Do the Rays have a chance? Are the Red Sox going to get on a hot streak after last night and sweep the Orioles? Just wondering what people think is going to happen in the next 3 games? I don’t know what to think anymore…

    • Sarah says:

      Well, that’s the beauty of sports, right? We don’t know the outcome. Just enjoy the ride and, whatever happens, on Thursday you can claim you had predicted it all along.

  3. Hal says:

    I was at the game yesterday and Dub got a little lucky – some balls were smoked right at people. And how about a little “good” love for Shopp? He’s been awful, but yesterday was very big. Also I am a little tired about hearing that this is just an epic collapse by the Sox (which it is) and how we did nothing to be in this position. We did take 6 out of 7 in September with everything on the line – that counts for something. How huge does that 16 inning 0-0 game look now?

    • Sarah says:

      True about Dub in the early innings, but not too many balls were smoked beyond that. I was at the game, too, and Wade was so numbingly effective that I managed to miss a few of his innings just shelling a few peanuts. That’s good pitching!

  4. Don says:

    Thinking the Red Sox win 2out 3 with the Orioles, to get BEAT 2 would be another disaster (only Showalter of the orioles could pull off)
    SO Rays Have to win 3 to Tie!
    Rays lose one and RED SOX lose 2….50 to 1 shot…only because the Red Soxs playing terrible..otherwise it would be 100 to 1 shot..

  5. Don says:

    FOrgot a “little love” for Shopp …lets say he WON this every important game..all by himself (he didn’t) BUT remember we are one (1) game out of the playoffs… how many games during the year do you think SHOPP cost the Rays with his non Hitting bat??? If we Had a catcher hitting .250 we would have clinched by now!

  6. Phil says:

    The Yankees have to be resting players tonight after the double header yesterday..and especially their key relievers who should be out.

    Go Orioles!

  7. angrybuddha says:

    The only time we beat the Yanks last week was when they were all hungover after celebrating their division win. I figure we have a shot tonight, with their bullpen burnt, the doubleheader, and the late arrival. After that, who knows? But I’m, hopeful…

  8. task Force says:

    Yankee fans wear yankee gear to the trop because its what they normally wear while living in Tampa!!!!! Hey Hillsborough, clean the stain you have on the West side of Dale Mabry, then maybe you can come sniff our big league team!

    • Sarah says:

      Honestly, I don’t understand this post at all. I guess Yankee fans aren’t bred for coherent thought.

      • RTL says:

        I might be wrong, but I think he’s saying that Hills Co. AKA Tampa can’t have the Rays from St Pete as long as the Tampa Yankees are playing next to RayJay.

  9. task Force says:

    You hit the nail on the head RTL. I went to the Bucs game, the Tampa Bay Bucs game, at Ray Jay. I look off the concourse and what do I see taking up what may very well be the flat out best place for a stadium for our communities team’s home and what do I see?? BLASPHEMOUS TREASON that’s TAX PAYER BACKED! It absolutely disgusted me and made me sick to my stomach.

    Tampa has a divorce of its own it has to go through before anyone can seriously consider the Rays playing there. The thought of the two co-existing within the city is laughable and should not be allowed by MLB.

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