Wasted Opportunity

I apologize for the brevity and format, but I have a migraine that leaves me severely nauseous but I also made a commitment to put up a daily post here for the rest of the season so I’m taking one for the team. Once I saw the middle of the lineup was going to be Aybar, Joyce, and Shoppach, I knew it was going to be tough to put together runs. Scott Baker’s numbers on the season have not been that great but he has been terrific at home so I expected a pitcher’s duel and that’s exactly what happened last night. Price was cruising along despite some early inning control issues until the Twins scratched together three two-out hits in the 7th inning. The crucial mistake of that game was throwing Delmon Young a first pitch fastball. Young swings at nearly 50% of the first pitches thrown to him and the fastball is his favorite pitch. I don’t care how good Price’s fastball is, there is no reason to throw Young a first pitch strike and with a fastball no less. He has twice driven in key runs in this series because pitchers are throwing him first pitch fastballs for strikes. A win last night would have pulled the Rays even with Boston and just one game back of the Yankees but the Friday night curse and the curse of those damn white hats continues.  Other notes:

  • Desmond Jennings is on fire and that should do nothing to quiet the screams to call him up
  • Dan Johnson hit his 19th and 20th homer on the season last night and now has a .306/.405/.597 line for the Durham Bulls. One would think the Rays would have some use for Johnson on the club, say, Gabe Kapler’s roster spot?
  • Thanks to Dez at Dezsays.net for having me on this morning to talk about the Rays and Twins.
  • Evan Longoria was on the new XM/Sirius Fantasy Sports channel and revealed that GM Andrew Freidman is a fantasy football genius as he won the clubhouse league last season that Longoria is also a part of. If you have XM, that channel is 147; if you are a Sirius customer it is channel 211. Fanball has the drive time show each weekday from 5-8pm ET and I expect to be on there soon. I’ve already made one appearance on the network on opening night on the show that former Mets’ GM Steve Phillips is a part of.  If you play fantasy baseball, this channel is a must listen.
  • We will be selling a Trade Deadline Primer eBook on this site starting sometime next week. Stay tuned for details; 50% of the profits from the sale of the eBook will go to Operation Homefront which helps provide financial support to service members and wounded warriors in times of need.
  • A nice piece on BJ Upton from @ramedy. Speaking of Upton, he should be back in the lineup today just in time to face Francisco Liriano which should just about wrap up his punishment from his actions this past Sunday.
  • After last night’s 1 for 8 effort with runners in scoring position, the Rays are now just 75 for their last 343 in those situations which computes to a .219 average. The offense badly needs another bat to help with run production.
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About Jason Collette

Writer/Analyst
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3 Responses to Wasted Opportunity

  1. ramedy says:

    Thanks for the mention!

    The Rays seem to be slowly making the moves many fans have been begging for – Burrell DFA, Navi demotion, Blalock DFA. I’m a little torn between Cormier and Kapler as #1 on my roster change wish list – the offense is probably in greater need of change than the bullpen, but Cormier is a mess.

    I think I’d rather improve the bullpen – just like the team must be counting on the hitting getting better soon (it has to, right? soon?), it has to at least be prepared for some slight bullpen regression or even injury.

  2. Bob says:

    So, if Upton is in the lineup tonight should we assume that his, um, “injury” has healed? Either that, or his super-secret suspension has ended. Ah, well, hopefully he will give us some offense. Zobrist has played a decent center field (nice catch last night) and has made Joe, and other Rays fans, really take a hard look at BJ’s role on the team.

    http://raysfanboy.mlblogs.com/

  3. Ramedy – I’d love to add a 2nd LHP to help Choate out. Swindle is a possibility but if they can trade for someone like Ohman, I like it too. Offensively, utilizing the available talent in AAA would be a good first step.

    Bob – every play that Zobrist has made the last two nights would have been routine plays for Upton and he had been one of the hottest hitters for the club over the last month. It is just unfortunate his stint came when it did as media and fans were looking for someone to put the blame on.

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