If yesterday was a Steve Miller Band kind of day, I’d imagine that Green Day might be on the docket today. You know, wake me when September ends. The Rays dropped another hard to watch, yet winnable, game last night by a score of 7-5. With scoring opportunities a plenty, the Rays were only able to tag the Red Sox for five runs on three hits and eight walks. Yes, THREE hits and EIGHT walks.
The Rays are a pitching and defensive team…it’s in their DNA after all. However, this is what happens when those two facets fail. Compound that with an anemic offense that can’t get that big hit, and you end up with a team that is feasibly ill prepared for the postseason. Let’s not fool ourselves, they looked sloppy at best last night, and there really wasn’t much pointing toward some grandiose improvement any time soon. Not that I want to see my team lose, but hell…even hard fought losses would have been better than the performances that we’ve seen of late.
There were two quotes from a Marc Topkin piece today that summed things up well. “I think that’s why you don’t see anybody else in the clubhouse right now. Guys are frustrated. Really can’t say much more than that. Guys are frustrated and there’s really nothing we can do about it.” said BJ Upton. Joe Maddon followed that up by saying, “I don’t have anything brilliant to say, we’re just not playing well and we’ve got to figure it out relatively quick. Not relatively quick, but very quickly.” And with the Rays now 5-1/2 behind the Orioles and 14 games left to play, it’s incumbent upon them to figure things out, stat.
By the by, Chris Archer will get the start tonight vs. Matsuzaka, not David Price who is getting an extra day of rest. Price will start Thursday instead of Juego G. Tampa Bay has a chance to turn things around tonight. They should be able to give Archer his first big league win if nothing else. Matsuzaka is 0-4 with a 10.33 ERA in six starts against the Rays since he beat them in Game 1 of the 2008 AL championship series. Matsuzaka, who’s in the final year of a $52 MM contract, could be making one of his last starts as a member of the Red Sox. The right-hander, 0-2 with a 13.06 ERA in his last three outings, and the Rays could use someone to beat up on. Ben Zobrist is batting .357 (5 for 14) with a double and a home run against Matsuzaka. He’s also batting .400 (10 for 25) with eight RBIs in his last six games overall. I guess you could call him the Rays offense in those six games. We’ll post the starting lineup as it becomes available.
Rays 9/19/12 Starting Lineup
…Because it Bears Mentioning
We’re going to start looking at the 2013 season shortly. I mean, if getting to the postseason becomes an even greater hurdle to overcome, why not adapt a Chicago Cubs attitude on things? You know, maybe next year. That said, I’ve culled a laundry load of names of current Rays that would be suited for either the “hey, stick around for a while“, or “hey, don’t let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya” columns. That said, do you know of any potential free agents that would benefit the Rays? How about any players that Rays should send packing? Leave your comments below