Detroit Disaster

Things seem to be blowing up a big in MoTown. 

It isn’t end-of-the world type stuff, but it sure feels bad.

Today’s game seems indicative of a team that is losing that killer instinct that playoff teams must have.

The Rays had this one wrapped up. 

Then the Tigers unwrapped it.

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Bal-FORE!!!

Jeff Nieman had just completed 7 solid innings.  His performance paired with Saturday’s game from David Price gave the Rays back-to-back 7+ inning, quality start outings in Detroit–not the easiest place to win.

While there were runners on, the Rays still had a 3-1 lead and were ready to hand the game over to our awesome Aussie, Grant Balfour.

He got two guys out.

It was the third one that was a little tricky.

Placido Polanco teed off and launched one over the wall to give the Tigers the 4-3 advantage.  Fernando Rodney made it hold up in the 9th.

No, it wasn’t a 9th-inning wild pitch, but it was just as jolting.

Aren’t these games the ones we used to win?

——————————————————-

Good Starts, Bad Finishes

Today’s game seems to fit in well with the way the Rays have played recently. 

Sure, the starting has been somewhat spotty, but it is the relieving that is killing us.  And I thought that the bullpen was one of our strong suits in recent weeks.

Uh-oh.

Today it was Balfour.

Wednesday it was old reliable, JP Howell.

I know we’re talking about two games here, but these are two games that the Rays HAD to have. 

Instead, these two wins were transformed into losses, making the Rays playoff squad slowly looking like they are transforming into also-rans.

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Unlucky 7

The Rays came into the last 7 games having gone 6-1 in their previous 7 games.

Things were good.  Really good.

Our guys were starting to get hot just when they needed to and no team in the league wanted to play them.  They were a playoff team.  Taking the wild card was just a formality.

Then something happened when Texas shut us out on a Sunday.

Since then we are 3-4.

What is worse is that up to last Sunday we were in the wild card hunt.  We had narrowed the gap to 3-3.5 games.

Now?

The Rays stand 5 full games behind the Red Sox in the wild card race, and 2.5 behind the Rangers.

October might be a mere 4 weeks or so away, but it has never felt so far out of reach.

———————————————–

Kazmir Update

I read the recent MLB.com article about Scott Kazmir and how he felt about being with the Angels.  It was a nice fluff piece profiling the newest left coast acquisition.

He sounded happy.  He sounded excited.  He sounded like he had already forgotten about his time in St. Pete.

When he reference the Rays, he did so to springboard into what he thought his current team could do.

“I got a taste of it last year. You want to go all the way. The Angels are a team that can do it year in and year out. It says a lot about the organization.”

Maybe it says alot about our organization too.

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8 comments

  1. ibleedpinstripes

    Definitely a tough one. I can’t say I enjoy these kinds of games either. After the whole Kazmir deal it makes you wonder what the front office down there has up its sleeves. I hope they’re not trying to throw in the towel already. There’s too much time left. You guys have a legitimate chance still. Keep your head up, fanboy.

    – Lisa
    http://perennialpinstriper.mlblogs.com/

  2. crazy19canuck

    I’ve been following the stories about Kaz’s arrival in LA all day. Seems he had a great bullpen session today – and Butcher already noticed his velocity was up. Maybe now that Kaz doesn’t have to listen to our psycho pitching coach he’ll be back to his old ways again. Interesting that the Angels writer brought up Scott’s football background…hmm…think it’s time the the writers decide which sport they want to follow.

    As for today – this game was a heartbreaker! Oh man….we have GOT to do something about the relievers…

    Ginny
    http://watercooler.mlblogs.com

  3. southernbelle

    Hey! My dog opens his own presents on his birthday and Christmas!
    I feel bad about Kazmir. I never thought the Rays would actually let him go. Maybe he will return to Tampa Bay one day. It sucks. Business people are never sentimental. How could they get rid of a guy that has done so much for the club? I could never do that. I think I should be in charge of the Yankees so I can keep everyone and not have to worry about someone I love getting traded. -Virginia
    http://southernbelle.mlblogs.com

  4. azinneck

    Don’t you just hate when your starters put up a strong performance only to have it squandered by lack of offense, or defensive miscues, or, as in yesterday’s case for the Rays, a bullpen melt down? That’s such a rough way to lose, and this was a game that the Rays really needed to win…if only to suggest to the fans (and themselves?) they haven’t lost that killer instinct and won’t just throw in the towel.
    ~AZ
    http://azinneck.mlblogs.com

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