July 15, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher James Shields (33) throws a pitch in the third inning against the Boston Red Soxat Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
It was a short week for the Rays as they dropped 2 out of 3 to the Boston Red Sox. They finish the week in 3rd place in the AL East with a record of 46-43 and are a fuil 8.5 games behind the New York Yankees. Like nearly every other team in the American League the Rays remain in close proximity of the final wild card spot trailing by only 1/2 game behind the Baltimore Orioles.
One thing that is obvious to all that watch the Rays religiously and that is that the club is in dire need of additional bats. Cetrtainly Matt Joyce's bat will be a great addition to the lineup but Sam Fuld doesn't really add a potent bat and we can't rely on waiting for Longoria to return. Andrew Friedman has an opportunity to fix an obvious area of need as the trade deadline approaches. Additionally, this team is in need of a shake up as the listless play is starting to become more and more apparent as the season moves on. Simply waiting for injured guys to get healthy is a dangersous move and will not be the remedy to this teams lackluster play in 2012.
AL East Upcoming Schedules:
The Baltimore Orioles travel to Minnesota to take on the Twins for 4 games before heading to Cleveland to take on the Indians for a 4 day wraparound series.
The Boston Red Sox will host the Chicago White Sox for 4 games and the Toronto Blue Jays for a weekend series.
The Toronto Blue Jays will travel to New York to take on the Yankees for 3 games before heading to Boston to take on the Red Sox for a 3 game weekend series.
Sam Fuld has completed the Port Charlotte portion of his rehabilitation assignment and is now playing for the Durham Bulls. He should be returning to the Rays in the next week.
Matt Joyce has started a 3 game rehab assignment in Port Charlotte with hopes that he will be in the lineup against the Indians on Wednesday.
Evan Longoria is taking groundballs, batting practice, and running the stairs but there is no word on when he will be able to resume a rehab assignment.
Jeff Niemann is playing long toss and nearing the ability to throw off the mound. The target for his return is sometime in August.
The Rays came to terms with third baseman Richard Schaffer who was the #25 overall pick by the Rays in the 2012 draft. Shaffer will report to short season A Hudson Valley.
What Does Sternfan1 Have To Say:
G'morning Rays fans
What we hoped might be a fresh start to the second half versus a team struggling as bad us we, turned into another frustrating weekend. It seems the only time we have a real chance anymore is when David Price takes the rubber.
After Friday's loss the Rays were 8-35 when scoring three runs or less, but little help being given by Andrew Friedman & Co. My position of a couple weeks ago to trade any part that might bring prospects still stands and now more than ever includes James Shields (listening Dodgers?).
Well here comes a four game set against that rough, tough ALC foes the Indians and I'm sure our Rays will make Messrs.’ Tomlin and McCallister look like Seaver and Clemens.
As always Go Rays!
Friday, July 13th: Red Sox 3 Rays 1
The Rays seemed to sleep walk through the start of the 2nd half of the season and many of the same problems like poor defense, bad baserunning, and lack of offense were all
Ben Zobrist who made one of the baserunning blunders said this about the effort:
"We're trying to scratch to score runs," Zobrist said. "We need to score more runs. We're trying to do everything we can to make that happen. You gotta keep battling and trying to force the issue on the other guys. That's what we're gonna keep doing. We're not gonna be afraid to make mistakes and keep playing hard, and let the chips fall where they may." - mlb.com
Saturday, July 15th: Rays 5 Red Sox 3
David Price improved his record to 12-4 allowing only 3R/2ER on 6 hits while striking out 8 and walking 3. The Rays entered the 7th inning down 3-2 but scored 2 runs to take a 4-3 lead. The Rays added their 5th run in the 8th on a booming homer off the bat of B.J. Upton.
The key play of the game was Ben Zobrist throwing out Kelly Shoppach trying to tag up from 3rd:
It's Molina putting his body on the line for his team. That's awesome. Zo couldn't have made a better throw -- it was a perfect one-hop right there to him, so it couldn't have been any better. It probably helped us that Shoppach was at third. He's probably one of the slower guys on their team as well. It worked out well for us." -mlb.com
Sunday, July 15th: Red Sox 7 Rays 3
James Shields delivered another sub-par performance, something that is becoming the norm in 2012 as the Rays dropped the season finale to the Red Sox by a final score of 7-3.
Joe Maddon on the importance of James Shields:
"He is a big part of what we do," Maddon said. "Last year at this time, all the platitudes were just jumping all over the place. He was getting complete games, like 110, 115 pitches max. ... He was doing it a lot more easily, better counts, getting ahead in the count, kind of a simple approach, and I think definitely if he's done it in the past, he can do it again. It's just a matter of whomever the athlete is just to recognize the adjustments they want to make and go ahead and make them." - mlb.com