Joe is back with his post-game thoughts….

The Rays were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position tonight. They deserved to lose to the Rangers. And you put an exclamation point at the end of it with Karlos Pena taking a called third strike with the game on line in the 10th.

Yeah, the pitch was off the plate, but Pena still has to swing. The Rays aren’t paying him in that spot to eagle-eye a walk with Sam Fuld on deck and needing two runs to tie. Of course, the notion of taking a fastball the other way is foreign to the 2012 Pena.

But Joe watched 23-year-old Chris Archer be dominant and aggressive against the Rangers tonight and walked away with at least a little excitement.

Rays fans have seen Archer’s talent before, but this was his best display, and it was against Texas under September pressure. You have to wonder how this kid has a losing record down in Durham?

It sickens Joe that the home plate umpire perpetuated the neutering of baseball and warned Archer and the Rangers about pitching inside. Archer was masterfully old school keeping the Rangers big bats off the plate. It was obvious that he wasn’t trying to bean Josh Hamilton on an 0-2 count with two outs. But there was the ump needlessly stepping in to make sure baseball doesn’t get manly like it used to be.

Joe hopes Jim Hickey and Joe Maddon make sure Archer goes to bed tonight knowing it’s ok to pump fastballs inside. It would be a damn shame to see this kid lose some of his swagger and command for no good reason.

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4 Comments

  1. Beazy says:

    Well, another Lost for a winning pitcher on a bad defense of play, i.e. BJ Upton being afraid of the wall again...

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  2. Ted Sheckler says:

    No, Pena shouldn't have swung at that pitch. It wasn't even close and he wouldn't have done anything with it. That's why you don't swing at pitches like that. The umpire should have called it what it was, a ball. Pena strikes out too much to begin with. If he had swung at that pitch, in all likelihood, he would have struck out anyway and you'd be piling on him even more for striking out to end the game on such a bad pitch. And you'd be right to do so.

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  3. don says:

    Welcome to the Tampabay Rays ARcher...get used to it, one mistake (to Hamilton) no way to win...
    Keep playing Pena, Maddon and see if you can sink this ship...you have better players, I don't want an excuse...Use them...

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  4. Allen says:

    I just don't see how you can lay the blame for this loss on Pena. I agree with Ted, I think, that Pena was right not to swing at the outside pitch. You can't blame the loss on just that one play. Even if Pena had hit a homerun and tied the game, that's no guarantee the Rays would have won. It was lost as much in the bottom of the 8th as in the bottom of the 9th.

    Go Rays!!! Here's hoping you are World Series bound.

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