Joe is back with his post-game thoughts…
Sometimes, Joe has to doff his cap to the other guy. That “Other Guy” today was Braves hurler Tim Hudson. The guy was a simple Bulldog, keeping the Rays off the scoreboard as the Rays suffered their first shutout this season.
Of course, the way Carlos Pena has been playing, and played today, surely didn’t help. Pena is in a terrible slump at the plate, and judging by his play in the field and on the basepaths, Pena is in dire need of a short-vacation.
Pena hasn’t been playing his normal solid defense lately and today he dropped a ball. Sure, Will Rhymes got a throwing error on the play, but Pena still had his glove on the ball and didn’t secure it.
Pena’s bumbling baserunning in the eighth inning was simply inexcusable. With the bases loaded and two outs down by two runs, Wolverine blasted what appeared to be a potential game-tying two-run RBI single. Pena initially watched the ball come toward him near second base, then instead of trying to dodge the ball, began looking at second base and got hit by the ball for the third out.
Now if Pena was trying to shield the ball from Braves second baseman Dan Uggla, Joe could live with that. But Pena wasn’t even looking at the ball. That’s a Little League stunt.
Yes, Joe knows the Rays are razor-thin thanks to so many injuries. But it’s clear to Joe that Pena is in dire need of a couple of days off.