The Rays Tank: Bullpen 2K13, and a rotation shuffle

No tilting of the cap. - Tom Szczerbowski

The Rays wrapped up their road trip with a 4-3 loss to the Blue Jays in the 10th, and the team shifted the rotation for the upcoming series against the Yankees.

According to the superstitious faithful that frequent the Rays on Twitter, prior to yesterday's game, I was not allowed to watch Rays games, as they tend to lose recently whenever I do so.

The entire series in Baltimore?

I couldn't watch a single game, due to scheduling conflicts. What happened?

They swept the Orioles, at Camden Yards.

I watched Monday, in Toronto. What happened?

The Rays lost, 7-5, against the Blue Jays; despite a rally in the ninth.

Then, yesterday occurred. An afternoon game, against the Blue Jays, in Toronto.

Alas, due to work, I could not watch the game. What occurred?

Well, the Rays lost, due to the 2013 bullpen, in the 10th. 4-3.

AKA, I did not watch a single second of that game, and the Rays proceeded to lose.

I will happily begin watching games again tomorrow, without a nod or twitch to my superstition.

Cliff Notes version on this loss: Fernando Rodney entered the 9th with the Rays up 3-2 over the Blue Jays, and allowed Jose Bautista to shoot a homer into the left field bullpen. 3-3. Then, Joel Peralta relieved Rodney, and successfully getting outs, led to Cesar Ramos in the 10th. Ramos led to Kyle Farnsworth, who faced Bautista and allowed the Jays to win the series, with a 4-3 victory.

Rays bullpen, 2013. Reliable? Eh. Keeping you guessing? Yes.

Not-so-fun stat: The Rays have blown 28 leads this season, nine of them in the seventh inning or later. Four of those leads? Blown in the ninth inning.

Fun stat: With last night's double in the ninth, Evan Longoria has extended his hitting streak to 16 games, a career best.

For the full post game recap, check out Danny's here.

***

The Rays shuffled their rotation in preparation for the Yankees this weekend, with Alex Cobb now pitching Sunday and Jake Odorizzi facing the Marlins; and according to the Marlins website, Jose Fernandez, on Monday.

The off day today allows Cobb to pitch on regular rest, and Joe Maddon told Marc Topkin that he pulled Cobb on Tuesday against the Blue Jays at 107 pitches with thoughts that this may occur.

Maddon did not want to insult Odorizzi in any way, saying:

"Just based on experience,'' Maddon said. "Cobb has been pitching really well, and Jake is new. Why not give Cobber the tougher assignment pretty much. I don't want to say anything bad about Miami, but in general terms, division rivalry, Cobber's had more experience, the Yankees are on a pretty good roll, let's throw him there. ...

"It's not a slight to anybody. It's just probably the right thing to do, I think anybody would given the same set of choices or circumstances.''

The matchups for the series against the Yankees are the following:

Friday: Roberto Hernandez vs. David Phelps

Saturday: Matt Moore vs. Vidal Nuno

Sunday: Alex Cobb vs. CC Sabathia

Links:

- Rafael Soriano told reporters that his four-year-old son could have made a play better than Bryce Harper did in the Nationals loss to the Giants Tuesday night. Then, he took his comments back Wednesday.

- A fan was ejected in a minor league game for arguing balls and strikes...and that was the least bananas thing that occurred.

- Grantland compiled a list of "The 20 Types of Depressed Sports Fans." Considering the years of Devil Rays fandom under our belt, and how the Rays seem to continually mess with our emotions, I think we can all relate to all 20 at one time or another. Also, read the comments section, especially "The Mets Fan."

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