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Blog Entry

Rays have a chance...to be embarrassed

Posted on: October 7, 2010 5:52 pm
Edited on: October 8, 2010 10:32 am
 
Down two games to none and headed for Texas, the Rays are in trouble. But they're not done.

They still have a chance. But right now, they've got an even better chance at ending the year in embarrassment.

There's no other way to put it. Two games into a Rays postseason that was supposed to remind us of 2008, the Rays are instead reminding us of the 2009 Cardinals, or the 2008 Cubs, or any number of other teams that promised so much entering October and delivered so little.

Two games in, after Thursday's 6-0 loss to the Rangers, the Rays have been awful at the plate, disappointing on the mound and below-par in the field. Worse yet, they seemed to spend more effort Thursday complaining about umpires than they did on getting back in this series.

Maybe Michael Young did swing at that Chad Qualls pitch in the fifth inning Thursday. Maybe he didn't.

Sorry Rays, but it wasn't first-base umpire Jerry Meals who decided this game by saying Young didn't swing. It wasn't Meals who began the fateful fifth by hitting Matt Treanor with a pitch (that was James Shields). It wasn't Meals who then threw the pitch that Young turned into a massive three-run home run (that was Qualls).

And it wasn't Meals who made the questionable call to start the struggling Shields in what Rays third baseman Evan Longoria called a "must-win" Game 2. No, that was Maddon, who seems to have relied too much on numbers and too little on what he has seen.

Aocording to Ed Price of AOL FanHouse , Maddon's faith in Shields relied on the pitcher's high BAbip, or batting average on balls in play, which suggested that Shields had been more unlucky than bad this year. The numbers also showed that Shields walks weren't up this year, and that his strikeout rate was.

And yet, when Shields got in trouble in the fifth inning, with two on and one out in a game the Rays trailed 2-0, Maddon brought out a fairly quick hook. At that point, you figured, he understood that his eyes were telling the truth, no matter what the numbers said.

It's a little unfair to make this all about the Rays, because the Rangers deserve real credit for their two games to none lead.

C.J. Wilson was outstanding in Game 2, just as Cliff Lee was in Game 1. And the Rangers, despite very little prior postseason experience, have looked very much like a team ready to play at this time of year.

Up two games to none, and with the outstanding Lee ready to pitch Game 5, if the series even gets that far, the Rangers are in great shape to advance. The presence of Lee would mean a big storyline in the American League Championship Series, too, since he would either be facing a Yankees team he beat twice in the 2009 World Series (and will be the favorite to sign him this winter) or a Twins team that badly wanted to trade for him in July.

But the Rangers still need one more win to get there, and that's far from guaranteed.

We know that the Rays are much better than they've shown. We know that Game 3 starter Matt Garza is capable of dominating, and has done it before in the postseason (remember Game 7 of the 2008 ALCS against the Red Sox). We know the Rays are capable of winning three straight games, because they've done it 12 times already this season.

We also know that if they don't win Game 3 Saturday, they're going home and thinking about this series for the rest of the winter, and maybe for the rest of their lives.

With Carl Crawford almost certain to leave as a free agent and with the payroll allowed to rise to an unsustainable level, the Rays went all-out to win in 2010.

Instead, they're on the verge of a most embarrassing loss.



Category: MLB
Comments

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: February 20, 2012 9:07 am
 

Rays have a chance...to be embarrassed




Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 14, 2012 8:25 pm
 

Rays have a chance...to be embarrassed

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 30, 2011 11:17 pm
 

Rays have a chance...to be embarrassed

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Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 23, 2011 8:31 pm
 

Rays have a chance...to be embarrassed

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 3:19 pm
 

Rays have a chance...to be embarrassed




Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 8:53 pm
 

Rays have a chance...to be embarrassed




Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 4:12 pm
 

Rays have a chance...to be embarrassed

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Tomly
Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: October 22, 2011 8:18 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Feb 3, 2010
Posted on: October 8, 2010 12:19 pm
 

Rays have a chance...to be embarrassed

Wade Davis is better than whomever the Rangers throw if there is a game for?? How about Tommy Hunter who has not lost a game at home and SHUT OUT the Rays in TEX this year. Check your facts before writting anything that silly. Rangers and Rays, two good teams but perhaps the Rangers have the better luck and hitting right now.




Since: Nov 20, 2007
Posted on: October 8, 2010 11:15 am
 

Rays have a chance...to be embarrassed

It would be such a great feat if Nolan wins the WS this year with this team. He is very deserving, and I predict a powerhouse in the making with him at the helm.


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