RAYS 3, Blue Jays 0 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: JP Howell. With a runner on third in the 7th inning and the Rays nursing a 1-0 lead, Colby Rasmus hit a little nubber between first and second that was going too slow for Jeff Keppinger to make a play. But never fear, Dude was there. Howell chased it down, grabbed it moving towards right field, and then as he was falling down, delivered a strike to Pena to end the inning and save the lead. You can see the play HERE…Jeremy Hellickson. Hellboy gave up 5 hits and 2 walks in less than 6 innings, but he actually pitched better than that. Only once in the first 5 innings did the Jays advance a runner to scoring position with less than 2 outs…BJ Upton. BJ’s time with the Rays is nearing an end and the bat of 2007 BJ has finally returned. He now has a career-high 26 home runs. And in his last 41 games, he is hitting .269 with 16 home runs. Over a full season, that is about 63 home runs! 63!
THE BAD: Chasing the A’s. On the plus-side, the A’s have a tough schedule. Seven of their last 10 games are against the Rangers. But there is a chance that the final 3 games won’t mean anything and the Rangers will want to rest their starters. But more importantly, things would look better for the Rays if they were still chasing the Orioles because of the final series of the year, 3 head-to-head games. Head-to-head games are worth 2 in the magic number category and makes it a lot easier to play catch up.
THE TELLING: Stephen Vogt got his first career start at catcher and went 0-2. He is now 0-21 to start his career…The Rays set the A.L. record for strikeouts (by pitchers) in a season…Rays will wear wigs for their roadtrip to Chicago….Of the Rays’ 6 series against the Red Sox this season, only 2 were of the 3-game variety. There were also two 4-game series, and two 2-game series…The Rays are 83-70, 3.5 games (4 in the loss column) behind the A’s and 1 game behind the Angels. According to CoolStandings.com the Rays now have a 9.3% chance of making the playoffs. After 153 games in 2011, the Rays had an 8.5% shot.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- It has been a while since I was on Deadspin. That changed this weekend. I thought I saw a boob, yes boob, during a college football game on ESPN this weekend. Deadspin went all-Zapruder to show that it was in their estimation, a shadow. So anyway, I’m glad they were around to clear that up for all of us. SMH. [Deadspin]
- Joe Maddon is an original thinker, and about 90% of the time it works. That’s an excellent success rate. But when it’s off, it can be really off. Take his quote following yesterday’s win when discussing JP Howell’s play: “JP’s play on Rasmus was the play of the year. Impossible to make but he did it. The afterbirth of that play in our dugout was incredible.” Placentas for everybody!
- Joe Maddon is also shaking up the rotation. [TBO.com]
- The second chart here show just how well the Rays have played recently, in sharp contrast to earlier this year. [WDBB]
- Marc Topkin looks ahead to the Rays’ off-season and what changes may come. [TampaBay.com]
- Here’s a story about Ben Zobrist and his wife, and how they balance their careers. And just a head’s up, the story is framed around their Christianity. [FloridaBaptistWitness]
- I was on NFL duty yesterday, so if you want a quick recap of everything that went down in the football world yesterday, including GIFs and Videos, check this page. [BI Sports]
- And be sure to check out Joe Bucs Fan for everything you need on the Bucs, including the bad news for Adrian Clayborn, from the University of Iowa. [JoeBucsFan]