This was set up for a glorious win by the Rays. Ailing Dirtbag comes off the bench to pinch-hit Matt Joyce home to cap a three-run eighth for a 6-5 lead. Six outs by the solid bullpen seemed a pretty solid bet.

But with one out in the eighth and Jack Wilson at first, Merlot Joe decides to use a Ted Williams shift on Jack Cust leaving the left side of the infield open. Wide open. Naturally, Cust fights off a J.P. Howell offspeed pitch and hits the ball to the left side of the field.

What likely would have been an inning-ending double play instead opens the floodgates. Rather than leaving Howell in the game, Merlot Joe, likely bored, decides to bring in Joel Peralta, who has had a nasty habit of late of giving up the long ball.

BOOM! Miguel Olivo, thinking he is Tony Oliva, belts his third homer of the series and the game is over.

This is what some folks would call “overmanaging.”

Merlot Joe’s maddening (Maddoning?) mixing and maxing has more often than not worked this year, but when it blows up it really blows up and this was a baseball version of Dresden.

Well, at least Derek Shelton’s forces came to play for a change. Speaking of Shelton, Hat tip to Kelly Shoppach who drilled an 0-2 mistake by Erik Bedard for his first double of the season (ouch) and put the Rays on the board.

In what nearly brought Joe to a complete vomit, before that at bat, the Rays radio team relayed a chat with Shelton, in which Shelton said he was baffled why Shoppach isn’t the same guy that hit 21 homers and .261 under Shelton’s tutelage in Cleveland back in 2008. Well there you have it.

And there you have a nauseating loss that should have been a fantastic win.



  1. Joe says:

    It's really sad to watch JP right now, actually at this moment, its kinda sad to watch both JP's but Howell, why was he just put in the 8th inning?

    He needs to prove he's back before he gets that inning and I think Joel has been overused already. Prob the smartest move was to get 6 outs from Kyle.

  2. Tone says:

    I have not watched their games for a couple days now; not as angry. This team is not good. A few tweaks 2 weeks ago and things would have been different, but the organization has other plans. JP Howell should not be used right now unless the game is out of reach in one direction or another.

  3. CC says:

    Did anybody really expect anything different from the bullpen this year?

    • Joe says:

      Not the whole pen but we looked real solid in the 8th and 9th there for a while. Saw a lot of promise in Cruz and I guess I expected Howell to come back much better.

      It's just a shame, storming right back, taking the lead on Longoria's pinch hit just to give it right back up. Peralta's arm is gonna fall off and Howell has shown nothing yet that should of given him the 8th, with Cruz still tired from his long outing, that leaves Kyle for 6 outs, it was their best move and I don't think it was even considered. I believe Maddon had both JP's warming up.

  4. Don says:

    Dailey.. Maddon's mistakes get no mention by the media...."fans don't know the difference" per quote by Maddon... so every thing is fine in Happyville..ask Maddon.."the boys played hard"


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