Rays “Take It on the Run” Baby

Walkoff.JPG

Got to tell you, the Fox Television
regional or nationwide audience got an emotional night mare of a game
today. The Fox Saturday afternoon contest was filled with a solo
blast to start the scoring, great base running by both squads and
even a few close calls on the injury front. In the end, the Tampa Bay
Rays with REO Speedwagon in the house just couldn’t fight that
feeling and again brought home another winning result in now typical
Rays walk-off fashion.


It is starting to becoming a trend in
2011 for this young Rays team to either have a game that makes you
feel giddy and confident by the 5th inning, or the other
extreme of producing heart palpitations until the final results are
in the books. Heck, even the extra inning affairs featuring this Rays
bunch is starting to show a definite Rays gravitation pull,
……and that is great for baseball.

Shieldsy1.JPG

Right now there just seems to be
something for every baseball fan’s palate when the Rays take the
field. How can you not get excited when a Rays veteran starter James
Shields strolled to the hill and was not pinpoint accurate, but
racked up a turkey shoot load of K’s (12) before finally seeing his
day end with a bevy of Angels surrounding the bases.


We know there are those pessimistic MLB
brethren out in television -land who want to seeing a game get
plucked from a team by a consistent reliever who suddenly was have
one of those faulty moments so many others have experienced this
season.


Farnshurt2.JPG

Or see the possibility of another
bandaged up player after the Rays closer Kyle Farnsworth began to
limp around the mound after going after a soft nibbler in front of
them. That is the moment some hold their breath, say a few choice
words to the heavens, then glue their eyes to the console. Farnsworth
has beaten the devil three times this season with the same
play….This time he was firmly within his grasp before he gave him
that ” death stare”.


Or maybe you wanted to see someone not
named Sam Fuld run full speed towards the Rays Bullpen area after a
foul ball and come up less than an inch short, but having a few new
raspberry gashes on his body as a reminder of the play. Got to tell
you, that is the fastest I have ever seen Matt Joyce go after a ball
in his time with the Rays.

Fuldhurt1.JPG

You saw another injury severe injury
scare after pinch-hitter Elliot Johnson got on base with an infield
hit in the bottom of the 9th inning in a tied up contest.
Fuld came to the plate and tried to bunt a Fernando Rodney fastball
but instead almost knocked all the logic and sense out of himself as
the ball hit the top plane of the bat and came back at his face
region knocking his helmet off and sending him to the clay surface.


Then there was the play of Joyce, who
is becoming another essential offensive weapon of the Rays blasting a
solo shot in the 5th inning off Angels starter Joel Pinero
to start the scoring. Joyce would again figure in the Rays numbers
game after stretching a single into a double to left to lead-off the
bottom of the 10th inning. Then moving over to Third Base
and scoring on a Wild Pitch by Rodney to secure the walk-off victory
in truly a Rays way of winning.

Joyceslide1.JPG

Right now this team is playing
emotionally charged baseball with a high degree of explosive talent
and everyone taking their turns leading the charge. Fox must have
been bored in the first 5 innings of this contests as he fell into a
pitching duel, but after Joyce connected on his shot, the game began
to slowly takes it twists and turns.


Games like this can make new Rays fans
out of people in the Fox viewing areas around the country. It shows
that a team with young players, explosive talent and a sprig of luck
can be thrilling to watch.

When the Fox Television brass glance
over the localized Florida rating for this game, you can bet that the
numbers show a whole lot of other communities are watching the Rays
Republic…closely. And that makes for great television…..just ask
Charlie Sheen……or not.

14 Comments

It was definitely an exciting game. You could almost call it typical Rays fashion.

The offensive outbreak sure has been nice, but no one can say that when their team pulls out a win like this it isn’t exciting.

Although, Complete Game James could only complete 8 innings and gave up a run. We should just DFA this bum and be done with him an his massive contract.

Charm,
The hometown crowd really wanted to see James Shield complete that game. There was a rounding chorus of “boos” raining down on Maddon, but it was the right decision.
He did not want a negative to hit Shields after pushing 12 K’s across the board and giving the fan another nfREE Papa John’s pizza.
I think Shields is a hidden leader on this team, and his surge is good for Price, Davis, Niemann and Hellickson to see even a veteran can struggle and find his way again.
As for DFA……I think that will happen to Felipe Lopez tonight with LHP Alex Cobb coming from Triple-A to make his MLB debut on Sunday, then Longo coming back after the Monday off day to play against those pesky Blue Jays.

Rays Renegade

Haha, I was obviously joking about Shields. His streak has been amazing and I admit I was salivating at the thought of a third complete game.

And I agree with you about Lopez being on his way out.

I don’t know how you guys are doing it, but looks like it’ll be another competitive team playing out of Tampa. James Shields regaining his old form certainly off sets the Matt Garza loss.

http://bluejaysnest.mlblogs.com/

Charm,
Just goes to show the heart and pride Shields has to put 2010 behind him and work, sweat and endure to bring wins to his door again. Seriously think the guy has it dialed in again….But he did not take BP with the other pitchers today before the game….Well, Hellickson missed it too.
Lopez has to be the “odd-man” out unless the team is giving up on Dan Johnson. Plus his two bits of lack of hustle puts him firmly in Maddon’s doghouse. Maybe someone will trade with us……Buster Onley seems to think MLB GM’s think the Rays brass ” rips teams off” with their recent trades…I always thought being frugal with talent was a good thing?

Rays Renegade

Norm,
Honestly think Shields did not take Garza’s place, Price just jumped over Shields. But the real thing is Garza was expendable not becuase of just salary, but the evolution of Wade Davis, Jeff Niemann and the arrival of Jeremy Hellickson.
If Alex Cobb pitches lights out on Sunday……..Some one else could be gone beofre 2012 starts……wonder who?….

Rays Renegade

Haha.

Well, if they think that, the Rays must be doing something right. I can’t help but think that’s one of the reason Hank Steinbrenner was yapping about revenue sharing and not putting teams in small markets.

Andrew Friedman without a doubt one of the best GMs in baseball.

Charm,
Friedman has gained a quick and fast reputation for being a frugal and precise salesman for good products in return for proven talent.
We forget his early blunder of playing poker with Josh Hamilton and the signing of Japanese reliever S. Mori. Some forget Gary Hunsicker is right there by his side also giving advice, opinions and helping to visualize problems and risks.
Some forget the team and remeber the General who leads.
When Houston finally get sold, Friedman’s name will be whispered as a GM….But Stu has taken care of him, and Friedman is a loyal employee.

Rays Renegade

It was a great game Rays Renegade, and your guys played darn good ball. I would have loved to see what might have been without Rodney’s wild pitch, but that’s baseball. Is Fuld okay? I know he finished the at bat but I haven’t seen a lot of news this evening and that ball hit him hard.
Kristen
This is a very simple game…

Kristen,
The word I got after the game is the left eye region of Sam Fuld was swollen and they are going to just bandage it up tonight, get him some Tylenol ( or better stuff) and re-evaluate in the morning. Also heard he was listed as Day-to-Day on some Fantasy sites.
If Fuld’s swelling goes down, the “Human Crash Test Dummy” will find a way to play…maybe as the DH for Sunday since we do not play again until Tuesday night.
I got a good picture of the hit area, but will not put it online, even in a photo it looked like it hurt real bad.

Rays Renegade

Matt Joyce rocks…as does REO Speedwagon. They’ll be up my way in a month or two, so we’ll have to check them out (again). Good to see things starting to fall into place for this young team.
–Mike
‘Minoring In Baseball’
http://burrilltalksbaseball.mlblogs.com

REO Speedwagon is now the Rays charm. Very cool.
—Mark Gauthier
http://cubden.mlblogs.com/

Mike,
The band still does a great job, and the music is simply romantic classics. Sure they have a few hard songs that could be emotional triggers for some, but the ballads take you back, make you remember and sometimes makes you second guess….Good music does that.

Rays Renegade

Mark,
With the wide variety of music in the Rays clubhouse, REO fits right in to some of their tendencies.
Not sure they are a “charm” as much as they lifted a few spirits and provided a few journeys down memory lane for some in the Rays organization on Saturday.
I even took a spin on the memory merry-go-round…Head is still spinning.

Rays Renegade

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