Joe is back with his postgame thoughts….

Just a torturous night of baseball in the 3-2 loss to the Indians. More than 3 1/2 hours of torture.

It’s the same old tired story, tonight punctuated by Jose Molina giving another lazy effort behind the plate and gifting a key passed ball. The Rays’ bats were largely dead, and the bullpen was extraordinary in bailing out Alex Cobb and slamming the door for 5 2/3 innings. J.P. Howell marches on to what’s either the luckiest streak imaginable or a true resurrection — six hits and no runs over his last 12 innings (10 appearances). Kudos to Jim Hickey.

Joe is at times speechless at the painful baseball the Rays are putting on the field, which leads Joe to Karlos Pena. Why is this man batting second?

Joe Maddon put him at leadoff for a while, the alleged magic slump-buster slot, and that didn’t work. And now Pena’s found a home at No. 2. Sorry, but Pena is the exact opposite of what a No. 2 hitter should be. Throw the OBP out the window and deal in reality for a minute. Pena is incapable of playing any kind of small ball, the Karlos shift limits the benefit of having a man on base or putting runners in motion, he doesn’t have speed, and he’s a bad hitter at this point on pace for 200+ strikeouts.

To have Jeff Keppinger ever hitting after Pena is just criminal for a team that needs every run. Pena is 2-for-15 with eight strikeouts in the 2-hole since the All-Star break. Enough already.

Yeah, the Rays will win plenty more ball games and tease for weeks to come. But it would be nice if what they were doing was a little more fun and made a little more sense.

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10 Comments

  1. Rob says:

    Sorry – the Rays won’t tease. They have to play .600 ball the rest of the way to make the playoffs. Not going to happen – the season is over, so let’s focus on getting better for next year. Detroit and LA are getting those two wildcard spots, which is basically what many predicted before the season started.

  2. Tone says:

    This is the worst offense I have ever seen. I am actually not sure about this team’s future moving forward. They need major talent infusion and there is nothing in the minor leagues. The 2008, 2009, and 2010 drafts were absolute garbage, with Beckham looking to be the only guy coming out of there with a shot at MLB; and he’s a utility infielder at best. They need to make some amazing trades in order to change their fortunes around in the future. Longoria is not a given anymore and without him this team is terrible.

  3. Dave L says:

    The season is over if you are a Royals, M’s or Twins fan most likely.

    If you have unrealistic Yankees-fan like expectations for the 2012 Rays then sorry for that and I suppose that could lead to frustrations.

    Fact is Yanks and Rangers will most likely win thier divisions, somebody will win the Central and 6 other teams are virtually tied for 2 wild card spots.

    Call me pollyanna but the season is just beginning and yes we are in a slump. Thats baseball.

    Luckily our management isn’t like some of the teams fans and ready to hit the panic button.

    • Rob says:

      Not hitting the panic button, but just looking at the situation through a realistic lens. Two teams are going to have to play .600 ball to win those wildcards. Detroit and LA have the talent to do that – Rays don’t. I want them to look toward the future now. There is no indication this team can turn it around this year.

      • Dave L says:

        Exactly.

        Detroit and LA have better hitters at every position than the Rays in todays starting lineups but they did on April 3 as well and we have still hung with them only 1 game back of Detroit.

        Would I bet mortgage on a playoff berth? No

        But im not willing to concede ‘the season is lost’

        The only trades the Rays will make are guys we are about to lose at the end of the season for cheap prospects, I am not giving you opinions just facts based on history.

        As such we will by definition get weaker this year in an attempt to get stronger next year and beyond. We are just not at that point yet and any front office which gives up on the season in mid July one game out of the playoffs is guilty of malfeasance.

        We may not see a mid July position this good for a decade for all we know going forward.

        I for one enjoy watching my baseball team in a second half playoff hunt.

        Never had that in my life until age 45 and im going to continue to enjoy it as long as it lasts.

        • Rob says:

          I completely understand your point of view. My concern though is that LA and Detroit are heating up and starting to meet expectations and the Rays have been on a downslide for 2 months with absolutely no indications of getting better. I just don’t see a switch that can be flipped.

  4. s says:

    we now have the EXACT number of errors as we did for the entire season last year. we average an error 5 out of 6 nights. we average 8.25 strikeout a game. that’s basically a poppa john’s pizza every night!!!

    something has to change, we aren’t going to do any big deals at the deadline that will help this team this year, we all know that. we’ve waited tooooo long to get any value for BJ, we just have to let him walk like crawford, except he’ll be lucky to be a type A FA.

    so where do we go from here or next year? what exactly will be different next year? we’ll still have a bunch of marginal minor league type players filling in and starting. and we have to find some way to get them to produce on offense. dead horse meet bat!!!! find a f-ing hitting coach that can actually get results with the younger players!!!!!!!!!!

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