If you think things couldn't have gotten any worse going into last night's game allow me to recap the bottom of the first inning:
- Single to 3rd base on a play Longoria makes 11/10 times
- Wild pitch (run scored)
- Single on a pop up to short right field with three players within five feet of the ball(run scored)
- Single on a ball to shortstop(run scored)
- Strikeout, wild pitch on third strike(run scored)
4-0 Twins, game over.
Blame it on the goose, blame it on the henney, blame it on whatever you want and it's still awful. To pin it all on Scott Kazmir, whose box score took the bulk of the punishment is unfair. The Rays could've easily limited the damage had they actually played like the Rays. Evan Longoria and Jason Bartlett failed to outs on ground balls that we are accustomed to see them handling. Ben Zobrist and Aki Iwamura had communication problems on a shallow pop up that should've easily been an out and held the runners. It was one of those learning experiences for Zobrist, who needs to take charge in that situation as he was in a much better position to make the catch and a throw if needed. I guess that's what you get with a career infielder learning how to play the corner outfield on the job.
Overall, this was undoubtedly the worst game of the season, and quite possibly one of the worst games during the Joe Maddon era. A team with this much talent shouldn't go out there and look like amateurs. The Rays return home tonight to play as big of a four game series as you can get in April/May. The Rays already trail the Red Sox by 6.5 games in the standings and while a split is more likely, anything less than winning three out of four would be a disappointment to me.
So far we've heard and used many excuses about it being early on and things can't be this bad, but tomorrow is May 1st and you don't want to be trailing your biggest rival by 7.5 games on May 1st. Plain and simple the Rays must play better and start doing so this series. Many people are using the phrase "the Rays have dug themselves in a hole." Well it's time to start climbing out of that hole tonight.