Joe’s going to take a few seconds to lament that B.J. Upton surely will play his last game in a Rays uniform next month.
There’s just no other player that’s as all over the place as Upton, and in all it’s been a fun ride. Bossman has provided a load of entertainment, from his time as an overmatched shortstop, to his postseason heroics, empty-headed play, and just everything that is B.J. being B.J.
Today was a more classic Upton in Toronto. Only a bad throw kept him from getting picked off second base early in the game, caught flat-footed after a bases-empty double. And then Bossman goes ahead and makes a challenging field-and-throw to nail old man Omar Vizquel at home plate to end the game and seal the Rays’ critical 5-4 win.
Yeah, Jose Molina did a great job blocking the plate — a heady defensive switch by Joe Maddon to get him in the game — but one can’t discount the diffuculty level of Upton’s play in centerfield. The single out to him was drilled and that’s a tough play on foreign turf to field and uncork a throw, and only a lot of juice on the throw would have gotten the job done.
Whoever next plays center for the Rays surely won’t be as interesting.
Hats off to Wade Davis for really stepping up huge after Jeff Niemann did what Jeff Niemann does and J.P. Howell melted down. Davis was the glue for the struggling pen. Fernando Rodney’s 40th save also gets a huge nod, and Matt Joyce busting out with a couple of extra base hits — one the other way — bodes well for September.
There’s 29 left to go, and the Rays are surely going to need to win 17 to get in the playoffs. One at a time at this point.