One More Time

Every team in baseball enters today knowing that they will not play another meaningful game until Friday.  For some players it will be a nice break.  For others, it will mean catching a flight to St. Louis for the All-Star Game.

MLB All-Star Game 2009 logo

Let’s hope the Rays don’t let the appeal of a vacation distract them from the business they need to take care of today.

Our Boys by the Bay will take on the Oakland A’s today in the rubber game of their three-game set this weekend.  After taking a terrible loss last night 7-2, the Rays will be looking to rebound and head into the break on a high note.

“Big Game” James takes the mound for the Rays, sporting a relatively disappointing 6-6 record but with a stout 3.37 ERA.  He has been hit-and-miss this season with regard to his performance, yet has not received the run support he deserves.  This guy could easily be 10-4, but the Rays don’t score runs for him.

Here’s an upsetting stat if you are a Rays fan: in Shields’ 18 starts this season the Rays have scored 3 or fewer runs 10 times.  Wow.  That must be frustrating.

He will be opposed by ANOTHER rookie in Brett Anderson (5-7, 4.86).  He is coming off a complete game shutout against no less than the Boston Red Sox and has given up only 1 earned run in his last 14 1/3 with 16 Ks and only 6 hits.

That is a guy on a tear. 

Uh oh.

Last night I thought the Rays needed to do several things to win.  In a nutshell they needed a patient plate discipline and a conservative hitting approach.

They did neither, striking out 13 times, walking 3 times, and scoring only 2 runs.

Today is anybody’s guess on what the Rays need to do to win.  When the Boys in Blue come off a game like last night’s things get a little crazy the next day.

You could tell that something was frustrating Joe Maddon last night as he was ejected last in the game for arguing a call that even he, after the game, admitted was the right call.  Joe is a great manager, so perhaps it was a way of trying to get a lethargic team a little more fired up.  Sometimes that works. 

It didn’t last night.

Anderson faced the Rays May 20th and got the win by going 6 innings, giving up 4 runs, and striking out 5.  He walked none.

We know that the Rays are at their best when they are taking pitches and working the count.  Obviously they did not do that last time. 

They also managed only 4 hits in that game. 

Granted, it was a West Coast game and those are always difficult for East Coast teams to play.  Things get wacky out there.  And they did put up 4 runs in that game, despite the loss. 

I think that 4 runs will hold up today if the Rays can manage them.

The energy has been lacking in the last week.  I am looking to see somebody get the guys ready to rumble in this one.  Oh, if only we still had the ultra-hyper Jonny Gomes on the roster!

 

Let’s hope they learn from their mistakes.

 

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8 comments

    • raysfanboy

      Actually, the pic is of Jonny Gomes on wrestling night at the Trop a few years ago. He was the secret weapon that came running into the ring to help out whatever hapless wrestler was getting his tail beat at the time. That was Jonny’s thing–make the fans happy and have fun doing it. I miss that guy.

  1. crazy19canuck

    I’m with ya, I miss Jonny too. He was such a character and really did get the guys motivated. I loved reading the stories about his crazy antics.
    You know it was a bad game when Joe Maddon gets upset! He’s usually pretty calm, at least during the game!
    Hopefully we can win tonight (and some other teams can lose..) then we can go out of the first half with a bang!
    We really need to over take the Yankees. Now would be good. Yesterday would’ve been better…
    Canuck
    http://watercooler.mlblogs.com

  2. raysfanboy

    Johnny, you might be right. Simple solution: W-I-N. I agree that a nice win going into the break, and the excitement of having 5 All Stars should bring the team back to life.

  3. raysfanboy

    Canuck, Joe usually is calm. But when he gets going he is fun to watch. I bet he gets ejected not b/c of cursing at the ump as much as logically reasoning out why the ump is wrong and then making him feel stupid about it. 🙂

    Jonny was just awesome. He never got much of a chance down here, but I think he was happy coming off the bench. I think those are the guys you keep and that the Rays made a mistake in getting rid of him..

    I would LOVE to see us overtake the Yanks early in the 2nd half. Then we can work on getting to 1st. Something about being in 3rd place and out of the playoffs makes me very nervous.

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