It’s enough already.
I can’t take it.
It’s time to get a winning streak going. To start becoming relevant in this playoff chase.
The Rays are welcoming the Toronto Blue Jays to the Trop this weekend. They do so with arms wide open because the Jays just might be what the doctor ordered. They are a team that is disjointed and unfocused, and they are coming to our house.
The Jays will throw THE MAN Roy Halladay (12-5, 2.78) against the Rays Friday night.
The Rays have only beaten the Blue Jays in all three of the games in which Hallday has pitched, most recently in the extra inning Rays win in which both Halladay and Matt Garza threw complete games and dominated the other.
The Rays were just a little better.
Let’s hope they’re a little better tomorrow too.
James Shields (7-8, 3.79) will look to improve on his recent bout of inconsistency by toeing the mound against a team he has faced twice this year. In one start he lost 5-0, but pitched 7 innings. In the other start he pitched 7 innings as well, but the Rays lost 3-1.
For some reason Shields has entered the grey area between ace and unreliable starter. The Rays seem to have alot of those right now (see Scott Kazmir and David Price).
A solid pitching performance tomorrow night will go a long way towards giving this squad a little more confidence as they come off a West Coast trip that was anything but fun.
They need Shields to come up big Friday night. He is a great Tropicana Field pitcher, so we should be able to count on him.
Three Keys to Friday’s Game
1–Rays’ hitters must be aggressive, or be passive, I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know!!!
It can be confusing. There is no good way to beat Halladay. How the Rays have done it 3 times this season is beyond me. With a pitcher like him, you choose a strategy……..and then throw it out the window.
2–Shields must get strike 1. I have noticed that Shields tends to miss with strike 1 too often. For a guy who relies on his changeup, missing with strike 1, and thus removing the change from the at bat for the next few pitches, is grounds for danger.
3–More hits, less homers. Halladay won’t be beaten by the long ball. The Rays have relied on this too much the last two weeks (more on this in a future post). Let’s string together some singles and doubles and see what happens.
Win, Baby, Win
(This might be the new go-to pic for Rays wins!)
The next six games will serve as a great opportunity for the Rays to climb out of this funk and get back into the playoff hunt. They face the Blue Jays for 3 and the Baltimore Orioles for 3 after that.
The Blue Jays come in having lost 2 in a row and splitting their last 10 games down the middle (5-5). They were beat up by the surging Yankees pretty good too.
Add to the mix the fact that they are reeling a little bit from various factors. They were unable to move Doc Halladay, the fans have begun to turn on them, and the clubhouse is a place where hope goes to die.
Players in the Jays dugout have been questioning management about the lack of movement on Halladay’s part and the loss of 2-time All Star Alex Rios to the White Sox for nothing. (He was claimed off waivers a few days ago) Lyle Overbay voiced his displeasure at losing such a talented young man for nothing in the papers recently.
This is a team that has lost its way.
An equally lost team is the Orioles. They have lost 7 of their last 10 and seem to have passed all of their players through waivers, most notably Aubrey Huff, Melvin Mora, and Danys Baez. Nobody feels safe in that clubhouse.
Perfect time to lower the boom.
Let’s burn ’em up, Rays!