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Rays 9, Rangers 0 (Rays lead 1-0)

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: Return To Dominance. In the last 16 innings, the Rays have outscored the opposition 17-0. Over that span, Rays pitchers have allowed only 4 hits and 4 walks. And offensively, the Rays are getting hits when it matters, going 5-19 with runners in scoring position. That’s only.263, but it is a hell of a lot better than where they’ve been…Matt Moore. There will be a lot of screaming and yelling and diarrhea next spring when this guy starts the season in triple-A because “he needs more seasoning,” which is code for “arbitration clock.” In his first big league start he throws 5 shutout innings in Replica Yankee Stadium, striking out 11. His second big league start just happens to be game 1 of the ALDS and he tosses 7 shutout innings, giving up just 2 hits, 2 walks, and striking out 6. Yeah, this kid is pretty good…Kelly Shoppach. Piñata Power! Shoppach is having a pretty decent month of September, which also happens to coincide with when he became the most-days starter. Shoppach closed his eyes and swung real hard, hitting 2 home runs. He now has 6 since the month began…Joe Maddon. Let’s see. He puts a kid on the mound with one career start. Matt Moore responds with 7 shutout innings. He puts Matt Joyce in right field against a lefty. He responds with an RBI-single in his first at bat. And he had Sean Rodriguez in the leadoff spot for just the third time this season. he went 0-5, but it just shows that Maddon is not a big believer in “stick with what got us here.” The result was a 9-0 blowout. And this was the game the Rangers had to have. It was at home with their ace on the hill. The Rays were due for a supposed emotional letdown. And the Rays have the pitching advantage the next two games. This game was bonus.

THE BAD: Not today. Nope, not gonna do it.

THE TELLING: Desmond Jennings was dropped to 8th in the lineup due to his recent slump…The Rays playoff game on Monday will be shown on the jumbotron at Raymond James stadium prior to the Bucs game on Monday.

RANDOM THOUGHTS: If we could pick one song to sum up the 2011 Rays, it would be “Hakuna Matata.” It doesn’t matter what the situation, this team just doesn’t worry.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • St. Pete will hold a rally on Monday prior to game 3. [TampaBay.com]
  • Joe Maddon confirmed that Jeff Niemann is not 100%. [TampaBay.com]
  • Casey Kotchman’s note to his teammates: “We’re not supposed to be here, so we might just be dumb enough to win this whole thing.” [TampaBay.com]
  • Joe Maddon offered his thanks to the Orioles. [BaltimoreSportsReport]
  • Johnny Damon wore his cowboy hat to Dallas, of course. [Big League Stew]
  • Johnny Damon thinks he is a good luck charm. [ESPN Dallas]
  • What? Now NFL.com is taking shots at the Trop? [NFL]


BJ Upton (via TampaBay.com)


Johnny Damon (via TampaBay.com)

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4 Comments

  1. Amanda says:

    Two things on what you mentioned about Matt Moore in The Good: I think you can argue that if Moore was brought up earlier than he was, than he may not have been physically AND mentally ready. Yes, it was beneficial for The Clock, but we also got a kid that was mature enough to handle what has been asked of him, and not a pampered 22-year-old prince. Also, about Maddon’s mad scientistness, starting Moore in a pressure situation at RYS was part of what prepared him to start this game. (That, and he’s the Ice King.)

    On what Kotchman said (and truly, also Damon), the most important thing they brought to the table is leadership. I said this back when Crawford started trashing Rays fans out of the blue a while back: This team had no true leaders in the clubhouse. That is NOT a knock on Maddon. It’s been proven time and time again that you need championship-experienced players who are willing to lay it on the line to younger players and tell them how they need to act, behave, and work. It also means that Maddon doesn’t have to be “the heavy” all the time, so players will listen to him more, too.

    On what Maddon said about the Orioles, I appreciate them more because they played EVERYONE hard. Didn’t the Rays lose two of three against them a couple of weeks ago? That is one of the most honest stretch runs I’ve ever seen a last-place team perform, and they deserve kudos.

    Now, the big question: Do I watch any of the games the rest of the way? I’ll admit it: I didn’t see the end of the game live on Wednesday (I was exhausted and went to bed), and I couldn’t watch last night’s game because I’m volunteering at a film festival all weekend. Now I’m afraid to watch the Rays. Help! lol

  2. Sarah says:

    Something to add to “the good,” or at least “the perplexing” — Josh Hamilton, the only Ranger who had gotten any hits at all, decides to bunt when there’s a runner on first? The only prayer the Rangers had at all, down 8-0, was for Hamilton to hit one out and hope they could get Moore rattled. Instead he decides (or maybe his manager decided, which is even worse) it was the moment to play small ball.

  3. Don says:

    Everytime I watch Shopp swing a bat I think of all those kids that never really made it to the majors… because all they did at the plate was swing as hard as they could and hit home runs.. ala school of Carlos Pena…
    they are all now unemployed construction workers…
    but the miracles continue…

  4. CRRaysHead90 says:

    Hakuna Matata? Me and a few others have been joking that Disney’s been writing this script of a postseason, I guess it’s true.

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