The Rays Tank: Loss to the O's, out of first

Patrick Smith

Back to second, one game out. This will happen again.

The Rays have a day off today before the Yankees come to town, after a 4-2 loss to the Orioles last night. For the full recap of another short start by Jeremy Hellickson and a lack of offense by Tampa Bay, scope out Gareth's postgame take.

In minor league news, the Durham Bulls clinched the International League South Division last night for the sixth time in seven years, and eleventh time in the last 16 years of being in the IL.


Sports On Earth did a profile of Wil Myers, and the success he's found at the plate this year.

Watching his afternoon hitting routine, he begins by hitting off a tee in nine separate spots, one in each of the nine boxes in the strike zone; followed by standard pregame rituals.

Derek Shelton designed a hitting program specifically for Myers that he implemented while Myers was in Durham this spring, and carried over once he got called up in June, saying that the focus on the hitting zone was because,

"I think the easiest thing for any hitter is just making sure they're staying within their hitting zones," Shelton said. "Especially young power hitters -- they want to hit the ball hard, they want to hit the ball out of the ballpark. And they can do that, it's just a matter of, they have to swing at the right pitch to do that."

Concerning his take on his own hitting, Myers had the following to say,

"Here's how I'd put it: I'm an aggressively patient hitter," Myers said. "If I get my pitch, I'm gonna swing at it. I'm not going to take a pitch just to see it. If I see a pitch I like, I'm gonna swing at it. I'm not a guy who can narrow one zone and just swing [only] at that. That's just one of those things that I think has made me successful. I have pretty good hand-eye coordination, so I'm able to hit those pitchers' pitches."

As we've seen, Joe Maddon has not hesitated to put Myers in big spots since he's been called up, and has relied on Myers as a key piece of the Rays success this season; and does not look to be stopping that anytime soon.

"We kind of went through it when Evan [Longoria] came up, several years ago," Maddon said at his pregame presser on Tuesday in the Rays' dugout. "My best answer to that is the individual himself. Do you think he can cope with all that? Back a couple of years ago, I thought Evan was able to cope with those thoughts and had handled that moment. I think Wil's the same in a lot of different ways. They're not the same guy, actually, but the way that they think, the way that they, as young people, believe that they should be major league players and that they can do this, permits us to do that with Wil."

Rays fans have welcomed Myers, much like they did with Longoria when he became the Rays star rookie, and the wise Longo has embraced the role model role for Myers, though he did tell him,

"Sooner or later, we're gonna have to become friends. Because I know I'm gonna be here for a while, and I'm sure that you're gonna be here for quite a while, too."

Matt Moore updates:

Quote of the Day:


- 90 mile-per-hour fastball to the face, and Jason Heyward is out 4-6 weeks with a fractured jaw. Ouch.

- The AL Cy Young Race isn't just Max Scherzer, contrary to popular belief.

- Catchers and concussions, like an awful tasting peanut butter and jelly sandwich this year.

- Yasiel Puig was on time for work yesterday. The Dodgers Twitter account was sure to let everyone know.

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