The Rays Tank: On to Boston and New York

You can't not smile at this puppy. - Brian Kersey

Let that old AL East spite spark some solid offsense and spectacular pitching...please?

Another day, another game that leaves something to be desired from this Rays team.

Jake Odorizzi again failed to go five innings, not being able to hold the 2-0 and 3-2 leads he was given, and the offense remained silent for a majority of the game; though it is somewhat suprising when you look at key players slash lines, which Erik pointed out in the postgame recap.

Still holding on hope that this is just some first month voodoo and bad juju that they're getting out of their system now, allowing for five months of almost-flawless baseball that will lead them into a lovely October of postseason glory...and Joe Maddon seems to be drinking the same Kool Aid as me,

"We haven't been playing badly," Maddon said. "The first night we had the game won, and we lost it. The next time, we come back and it's 32 degrees out and we pull off a nice win. Last night, we just had a bad game. Today wasn't a bad game. They put those add-on runs on."

"That happens during the course of a baseball season," Maddon said. "There's going to be a point where we win five out of six. I don't want the guys to get down on themselves. It's just how things are going right now. We've just got to keep grinding. It happens to everybody, and we're going to come out on the other side."

Pour me another, Joe.

One highlight of last night was an awesome catch by Matt Joyce, one not-so-awesome tweet was this harsh fact:

***

Jonah Keri's 30 this week placed the Rays in the "vast middle," but provided a cool little anecdote involving Eduardo Perez, Doug Glanville and Jose Abreu's performance against Grant Balfour in last Friday's game.

ICYMI: a Prospect Retrospective on our old pal Jason Bartlett, who retired earlier this month.

Link:

- Good stuff from Beyond the Box Score, with one piece on which players are responsible for the most and least 'free outs,' with James Loney high on the list of lowest free out percentage hitters thus far this season; and another on the value of a first inning from a pitcher, inspired by the following question posed on Twitter, "Would you rather have your starting pitcher throw 40 pitches (SP40) during the first inning without allowing a run or would you rather your starter throw ten pitches (SP10) but allow one run?" They kept 'em coming yesterday, with one final worth your reading concerning just how much an early-season record affects playoff odds.

- From The Hardball Times Annual, a read on loss in movement as the game progresses, with winners and losers noted.

- Another season with more injuries for Bryce Harper, who is likely out until July with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb that will require surgery.

- Matt Garza doesn't seem to miss Chicago or the Cubs very much, as he is now bestowing advice to their current pitchers to, "Pitch your way out of there."

- Robinson Cano surprised Yankees fans by being Robinson Cano.

- "The St. Louis Cardinals are hip and enjoy popular culture," and display this via their take on House of Cards.

- Two warm and fuzzy moments from players to start your Tuesday on a high note:

The first from Jerome Williams of the Astros, who played a lovely little game of catch with a wee Mariners fan pregame, and the second from Carlos Gomez, who gave a fan a hug and made her burst into tears of joy.

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