Rays Diary  8/10/14

     On Friday, Rays survived a “mental midget “ moment, foregoing smallball again for the “big inning.  As usual, Evan Longoria, not allowed to play small ball, cost the Rays a another valuable scratch run.  Bailed out by Kevin Kiermeier in the tenth inning, Rays also survived another mismanaged shift in the previous inning.  As usual, no one “up the middle” means no double play.  Up the middle, of course is where “hitters” try to hit the ball against fastball pitchers.  Ask the Cubbies about Kiermeier’s game winning single.  Don’t ask Joe or Derek because neither of them was ever a hitter and they have both proven numerous times that they can’t be bothered with finding out about such foolish things as how hitters actually think.

     Today, after another “mental midget” fifth inning, Rays were not so lucky.  With men on first and third and one out, Ben Zobrist is told to “swing away” for that elusive “big inning” or to try for a useless walk instead of hitting one of the never ending pitches on the outside of the plate down toward first base for an easy run.  Another useless walk in the seventh inning failed to advance the runner at second making Evan’s fly ball worthless as it had been for most of the Cubs series.  Meanwhile Brandon Guyer’s ending inning double play would have looked a lot better as a bunt, allowing the next batter a fair shot at the go-ahead run.  This time the Rays are not as lucky as they were in game one.  I’d better not go into the use of Balfour instead of Boxberger.  I think Joe gets a little greedy with his pitchers sometimes.

     The difference between sweeping a series and winning a series was never so evident as it was today.  Sorry, without a commitment to “smallball,” there will be no “miraculous” comeback.  It’s hard to understand, with probably the best owner, dollar for dollar, the best “general manager” and potentially the best manager, why the Rays refuse to use all of the baseball assets we possess.  If three runs in every game will win sixty five percent of the Rays’ remaining games, then the first goal is to get three runs, then worry about “big innings” for crying out loud.

Al Finkelstein, (O’finky) 8/10/14