Update: Per Topkin, The Rays have acquired Crain from White Sox. According to Topkin, the Rays would not give up player on big league roster. I’m unsure how they would be able to put him on the 25-man roster without giving up a player on the big league roster. I’m sure we’ll know more soon.
I think Marc Topkin summed up yesterday’s game well,
“During the sizzling past month in which they have won almost every day, the Rays have had so many things seem to go their way. But in Sunday’s 6-5 walkoff loss to the Yankees, they had all kinds of things that did not:
Simple ground balls bouncing the wrong way, including the game-ending single by Alfonso Soriano. A fly ball ticking off the glove of Wil Myers — who hit two home runs of his own — for a lead-changing homer.”
The Rays couldn’t close the door on the woeful Yankees Sunday, thanks to a ninth inning Alfonso Soriano walk-off RBI ground-ball up the middle, off Jake McGee. Tampa Bay starts the day a half game back of the Boston Red Sox, with another battle for first looming tonight in the makeup game of the rainout in the previous series.
To be fair, losses are disappointing, though they are inevitable. You’re nothing short of naive if you expected the Rays to put together a history making post All-Star Break run — one in which they’d win every game between then and September 29th. Losses bring teams back down to earth and give them pause, allowing them to reflect why they lost in the first place. Ideally speaking, Tampa Bay figured out what happened, David Price will go out there and post seven plus innings of quality baseball tonight, and the Rays will again reclaim sole possession of first.
I’m not going to summarize the game per se. I will, however, touch on a few situations/things that may effected the outcome of yesterday’s game.
The First Inning
The Yankees did the brunt of their scoring in the first inning, thanks to a solo shot by Derek Jeter, a sac-fly by Vernon Wells, and an RBI base-hit by Ichiro Suzuki. Matt Moore looked sloppy and struggled to find the zone, while the Yankees tagged him for four hits and took advantage of a wild pitch that advanced Soriano to second. True, moral victories count for nothing in the win column. But for what it’s worth: Hadn’t Moore made a bad pitch to Jeter, if Cano’s infield hit to Escobar was fielded properly, and if Moore could take back the wild pitch, we’d be talking about a Rays win right now.
The Second Inning
Tampa Bay put five men on base (two singles, a Kelly Johnson RBI double, a fielder’s choice, and a walk) in the second inning, and walked away with only one run. Phil Hughes didn’t have his stuff yesterday, yet the Rays couldn’t pounce on a one out wRISP situation.
The Third Inning
Wil Myers came within inches of robbing Alfonso Soriano of a 338 foot cheap-shot:
John Hirschbeck, Your Strike-zone Left A Lot to be Desired
Home plate umpire John Hirschbeck gave a fair number of gifts to Phil Hughes against left handed hitters, on the outer portion of the strike-zone. Hughes, most notably, struck out Jose Lobaton twice — both looking — on pitches that were well outside of the zone. Through three innings of play, Hughes had nine strikes and no balls called outside or away to left handed hitters, while Moore had no strikes and three balls called.
The New What Next
The Rays will attempt to reclaim sole possession of first first place tonight in Boston, in a one-game series against the Red Sox at Fenway. In a scene straight out of Back to the Future, David Price will again toe the mound against Felix Doubront. You may recall that Price tossed a five hit, one run, complete game against Doubront and the Red Sox, in a Rays 5-1 win last Wednesday. In the spirit of lazy journalism, you can read last weeks series preview for a sneak peek of tonight’s pitching match-up. We’ll post the starting lineup when it becomes available.
Rays 7/29/13 Starting Lineup
- Per Marc Topkin, the Rays do have interest in Crain, though reports that a deal is close to being done appear premature. Topkin went on to say that, “ESPN Chicago reported earlier today that the Sox “are close to trading All-Star reliever Jesse Crain in a “complicated” deal involving two teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.’” Crain, 32, was having an outstanding season prior to his injury, posting a 0.74 ERA, with 19 holds over 38 appearances. Hmm, I wonder who may be on the chopping block. Kyle Farnsworth? Luke Scott? Roberto Hernandez? All three? We’ll post more as the news develops.
- Myers now leads all rookies with seven home runs and 26 RBI. Cough, in a shorter span of time than Puig.
- Furthermore, Myers is the first opposing rookie to homer twice in Yankee Stadium since Reid Brignac in 2010 (sorry, bad example). Other players to do so include Mark McGwire, Ken Griffey Jr., and Manny Ramirez.
- Dear Bob Ryan,
Like you, I’m none too happy with the state of the attendance at the Trop. However unlike you, I’m not some dickhole that’s willing to go out of my way to call Rays fans less than appreciative. To that end, I have to question your motivation and angle. Ultimately, the attendance issue is something that the Rays organization, leaders in the Bay Area, and Rays fans have to sort out and correct, not you — some marginally relevant baseball analyst from Boston. If I may borrow a line from Beavis and Butthead, “Beavis: Butt-head. It’s like uhhh…’We pee in your pool, so please take a dump in our toilet’.
Butt-head: No, butthole. That’s not it. It’s ‘We don’t pee in your toilet, so please don’t swim in our pool’.”
- Better yet, in a letter to the editor of the Tampa Tribune last Thursday, Al Dawson from Port Richey suggested that the Rays lower the price of parking and beer at the Trop. Al, I think you may be on to something here. See, I can’t see the fairness in only attacking one entity and its impact on the Stadium Saga. Yes, Foster and his cronies have dropped the ball. However it’s rather inane to assume that Sternberg and his cronies aren’t somehow complicit in the situation as well. Al, we hear you… Even if the powers that be do not.
“We are Rays fans and season-ticket holders and travel 45 miles each way to the games. We pay about $50 for each seat per game, and parking is at least $15.
Food costs a small fortune – $5 hot dogs and pretzels, and $8 beers. It’s not cheap to go to a game.
That being said, think about this: Tropicana field is old but adequate. There are no rain-outs, it’s 72-degrees inside and it’s somewhat easy to get to.
The Rays organization should think about this. Lower the parking fees and some of the food prices. Lower the price of tickets all around, and for season-tickets holders. Make it easier for the fans to fill their seats, and the numbers will add up.
Yes, building a new stadium closer to me would be fine, but is that the answer? Look at what happened to the Marlins – a new stadium did nothing for their attendance, and there are a lot more people in Miami.
If you want to ruin the Rays’ fan base, don’t even think about moving them out of the state.
Rays’ management has to wake up and smell the flowers. We love our Rays, but you guys have to come up with some new ideas and make it cheaper for us to fill your seats.”