Fenway Curse gets the Rays again

 

 

Red Sox 5, Rays 1

 

When this roadtrip started, I stated that we might just see what kind of squad we really have here in Tampa Bay. What I am seeing is a hard fighting, slick pitching team that is a bit shellshocked by the last two games.

Rays manager Joe Maddon stated earlier this season that any playoff hopes for anyone in the AL would go through Boston. I truly feel that it is up to this squad to re-energize and focus to strive to get thing back into order. The last two series between these teams were sweeps by the home squad. Tomorrow’s early evening start will tell what will happen totally for the Rays on this roadtrip.

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Trivia Fact of the Night:

Ty Cobb hit .300 for 23 consecutive seasons, the longest such run of any major leaguer.

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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly PostersThe Good, the Bad and the Ugly PostersThe Good, the Bad and the Ugly PostersThe Good, the Bad and the Ugly Posters

                                          The Good,The Bad,and The Ugly

 

                                                       The Good

Evan Longoria is stepping up in the absence of slugger Carlos Pena and trying to produce some extra offensive “pop” into the lineup. Longoria went 2-3 tonight and also got a walk in the 5-1 loss to the Red Sox.

Longoria hit a blast to deep center that went for a doulbe and scored the teams’ only run after a Eric Hinske single in the 4th inning. Evan has upped his average to .244 recently and ajusted his swing to get better contact on the ball. His .960 Fielding Percentage is second in the AL, trailing only Boston’s Mike Lowell.

 

Honorable Mention “Good Guys”:                

 

***  BJ Upton got his 7th outfield assist tonight on Manny Ramirez trying to score in the bottom of the 7th inning. B J  is currently second in the AL, trailing only Nick Markakis of the Orioles for the lead.

B J  is the Rays best road hitter this season hitting .310 away from the Trop.

**  Akinora Iwamura hit two great shots to right tonight that were robbed by Boston’s J D Drew.  He got two singles later in the night to center and right to up his average to .276.. He has handled the ball 265 times this season.

Eric Hinske knows that he will be the guy the Rays look towards to fill the offensive void left by Carlos Pena’s visit to the DL today. Eric responded  by hitting a rocketing double and a single to score Evan Longoria for the Rays only run tonight. 

 Eric also stole third on Josh Beckett to the amazement of the Rays bench and to the Red Sox’s catcher, Jason Varitek. He  leads the Rays with 20 extra base hits, and is would rank 7th in the AL in Slugging Percentage (.513 ), if qualified.

                                         The Bad

 

Rays long reliever, Jason Hammel has to develop a faster delivery to the plate with men on base. Baserunners have now stolen a base 7 out of 7 times on Hammel this season. With his long extended windup, runners are getting great jumps on him and catcher Dioner Navarro doesn’t have a chance to get an out on them.

The Rays have now visited Boston 25 times without winning a series from the Red Sox. For the Rays to go to the next level of their development, they need to win in the hostile land of  Fenway Park. The playoff will probably go through this park, so the Rays need to develop a better plan of attack on the Red Sox in their next series here September 8-10th.  A mateer of weeks before the playoffs start for the American League.

 

                              

                                              The Ugly

The Rays put slugger Carlos Pena on the 15 Day Disabled List today because of a  crack in his finger after being Hit By a Pitch in the game Tuesday night.  Pena went through the game and produced a double and a homer before developing a throbbing pain in the evening at the team hotel.

Pena was examined by Rays Trainer Ron Porterfield in the room and informed Rays Manager Joe Maddon. Pena wanted to try and play through the injury, but the team doctors’ convinced him that the situation could get worse and he could be spending even more time away from the diamond.

The Rays are still optimistic that the team will rally around the injury and other members of the team will step up for the Rays. Eric Hinske and Wily Aybar will get the bulk of the time at first base in Pena’s absence.

“It’s a pretty good test right now,” Maddon said. “It’s equivalent to the SATs in some respects right now. You have to play through these kinds of things to be good. And we have very worthy replacements. The lineup we’re putting out there tonight is a pretty good lineup, also. Of course you never want to lose Carlos and you never want to lose Percy or Carl, but it happens. In the course of a championship season, it happens. And we just have to deal with it and move on, like everybody else does.”

“I’m extremely heartbroken, because I want to be out there playing,” Pena said. “It is what it is, but at this moment, I’m just going to go through the process to get better.”

“We understand we have to overcome adversity to become a championship team,” Pena said. “We have all the necessary tools, including the most important one, which is character. This is a team, not a one-player scene here. My absence should have no effect on how we go.”

 

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