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Rangers 4, Rays 3 (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: David Price. There were concerns about Price heading into this game and whether he could be counted on in a big game. As far as we’re concerned, Price came through big time. He held the lethal Rangers offense scoreless for six innings before finally yielding a home run in the 7th inning. Loss was not his fault…Desmond Jennings. Flash struggled in September. October seems to suit him much better. Two home runs for Jennings. Too bad nobody else showed up for the offense.

THE BAD: Joe Maddon. Hey, you want to stick with your guys on the postseason roster even if they struggled. That’s cool. But the Rays never show loyalty to relief pitchers. So Joe Maddon’s loyalty to JP Howell is perplexing. Did we really need to see Howell in a 1-run game with the bases loaded and Josh Hamilton at the plate? Maddon has now gone from walking Hamilton with the bases loaded during the regular season to giving him a BP pitcher in the playoffs…The Offense. No baserunners in the first 3 innings. Only 3 baserunners in the first 6 innings. Yeah. That’s not going to win too many playoff games. The Red Sox aren’t around now to help. The Rays gotta figure out a way to win this thing on their own…Evan Longoria. It is not too often that Longoria doesn’t show up. He didn’t show up last night. He went 0-3 with 3 strikeouts. And after the third strikeout, he even showed a bit of frustration, throwing the bat. And if BJ Upton is not caught stealing in the 8th, Longoria might have struck out again. Once Upton was off the bases, the Rangers pitched around Longo and gave him first base.

THE TELLING: In the 8 postseason matchups between these two teams, the home team is now 1-7…Kyle Farnsworth was available last night and even warmed up at one point. But he never got into the game.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • “Why, Joe?…Why J.P.?” Gary Shelton probably could have stopped his column there. [TampaBay.com]
  • Do the Rays have too many coaches? [Wall Street Journal]
  • Josh Freeman is the NFL’s most underrated. [Business Insider]
  • The Rays once again get the short-end of the TV schedule stick. And it is the Rays fans that have to pay. [TampaBay.com]
  • Jeff Niemann says he will be ready if the Rays advance. [TampaBay.com]
  • Did Manny Ramirez attend last night’s game? More importantly, would you be surprised? [@TobyDavid]
  • Here is a view of the Rays game being broadcast at Raymond James prior to the Bucs game. [@sam_gardner]
  • Strange day to write a story about Rays attendance woes. [WUSF]
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11 Comments

  1. Mike says:

    Its not really fair to blame everything on JP. The real problem was Gomes walking two to get to Hamilton. I'm not sure why we pulled Price as he still looked fine. He gave up the homer, but the last base hit was a dribbler. He could have gotten one more out. Gomes has been great but didn't have it last night, and that killed us. I don't care who you bring in at that point. There is no one in our bullpen, Goggles included, that I am going to feel really confident about facing Hamilton in that spot.

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  2. CC says:

    Is Joe saying that in that situation, our best option is to pull out Price with 2 out and bring in Gomes and Howell? Really? I'll take Price with 100 pitches over either one of those guys. This is game 3 of ALDS . If your going to take out Price, you have to bring in a shutdown guy to end the 7th inning. Why not Peralta? You have to bring in your best and he did not.JP should not even be on the roster. And why do we need 3 catchers? Is Neiman hurt? Could have used him instead of Gomes. Why not Davis? Another better option. This is not the regular season Joe. Please manage like your in the playoffs.

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  3. Don says:

    Mistakes, Mistakes...is the reason the Rays lost and Joe Maddon is the main Participant as THE decision maker..
    IF anyone Including Joe MAddon can explain, WHY UPton is stealing with 0 outs and our best RBI man at the plate and two good hitters after him,after walks and wild pitches he would have scored to tie the score
    You think Ranger are stupid .. a pitch out and the inning is over
    That mistake ruined the whole day.WHY MAddon WHY...?
    and IF one person says because the Rays are aggressive...then you don't understand the difference between stupid & aggressive.. THE rangers thank you very much...

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  4. jim says:

    ONCE AGAIN.

    JOE
    PLEASE DON'T PUT JP HOWELL IN FOR A HIGH PRESSURE SITUATION. WTF? he is not an MLB pitcher at this point in his career. either he is not healthy or he's washed up. if he needs confidence then he should have been sent down. time and time again he has failed this year in this situation, and yet he is put into a situation again.

    he has an 85 mph "fast" ball and is unable to throw an effective curveball, therefore he is basically batting practice. and yet joe puts him in with bases loaded against one of the toughest hitters in the league. horrible.

    he's on a year to year deal and should be cut loose. we should part ways today and say that he is injured, thus making another spot on the roster open for tonight.

    horrible managing. putting in dan johnson and him getting a HR is a miracle, and you can call it great managing it you like, but putting in JP Howell in that situation last night was pathetic.

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  5. brett says:

    On a completely unrelated note- I saw Grant Balfour walking out of the game last night. He must have stayed for the whole thing and was with his wife (I assume) and carrying a baby. Thought it was interesting to see him come out to watch his old team...

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  6. Beth says:

    I never agree with Gary Shelton but today he was completely on target. I never understood why Howell was even on the roster, because I could not envision any situation in which I wanted him pitching in a playoff game. It's a shame that Gomes was so ineffective, and certainly he bears responsibility for failing to get an out, but he's been mostly great in the stretch so you can understand why Maddon would use him. But Howell's performance yesterday was completely predictable.

    If you don't want to use McGee (who you will recall was similarly ineffective in Game 2) and don't want to use Moore (who has been great but do you really want to put a starter in with the bases loaded?) why not go to Peralta? If I recall correctly, his splits are not dramatic so he would have a decent chance against a lefty. Use him to get out of the inning, and then bring in some combo of Farnsworth and Davis for the 8th and 9th.

    Some other random comments: what is it with the Rays and soft-throwing pitchers? There must be some adjustments they can make.

    I know BJ is a fast runner, but can we agree that he just won't try to steal any bases? Remember he got thrown out at third in game two, and then on the pitch out last night.

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  7. jim says:

    here's how my night went. i took my 12 yr old and a friend who has only been to 1 rays game. both of them brought gloves, which i mocked him for before the game.

    our seats were row A, sect 311. during zobrist's last AB, one of his foul balls cames directly to my friend. you honestly couldn't have thrown it more directly to him. if he wouldn't have raised his glove, it would have hit him square in the chest and bounced on the floor in front of us. but instead he holds up the might mizuno, the ball smacks him right in the web, and he never closes it. fwap, it bounces out, and falls back over the railing to the crowd on the lower level. the entire section gives him hell. my 12 yr old would have easily made the snag, and he then proceeds to start in on him also. it was priceless!!!!

    me and the 12 yr old have been to somewhere around 200 games over the past 5 years, and never gotten close to a ball. yet you bring a newbie and they're like a magnet. life is not fair, but hey it makes for a great car ride home!!!!

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  8. jim says:

    i guess here's the issue. depending on who you hear or what you read, jp's first pitch was either a slider or a fastball. how sad is that when you can't tell the difference?

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  9. Alex says:

    Why is Joe using Gomes so much this series. I can understand the first two games but he's going to wear the kid out. I have nothing against Gomes either

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  10. crazy says:

    What if JP really was the best choice? If so, the Rays aren't gonna last much longer if that's the best the bullpen had last night.

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