Sorry I haven't done much on here lately, a combination of being busy and lazy/tired has kept me quiet.
Starting with Tuesday's game against Boston I've been reminded of how great it really can be to be a fan of the Rays. They may be crappy this year just like every other year but I wouldn't trade them for anyone (though a better Rays team would be much appreciated!).
On Tuesday Mark Hendrickson showed no real improvement in his performance and Danys Baez's ERA chose that game to take a big step back towards reality. The Boston offense isn't quite at the level it was the past two seasons but it's still one of the best around and with those two pitchers failing so badly there's no way you'd expect the Red Sox to have anything short of a decisive victory. It wasn't anything like that though, they kept it close the whole time and were a couple feet short of winning it in the bottom of the 9th. Down by two when they came to bat in the 10th they fought back again for another run and with just a little more velocity on Gathright's grounder it would have been a tie game. That may have been the best and most exciting game I've ever been to even though the Rays came out on the short end of it.
On Wednesday the score wasn't all that close but the outcome was never sure until the final out was recorded. Crawford made the final out with the bases loaded but the funny thing is that I'm not sure I'd want anyone else in that situation. Sure, he's capable of striking out on three pitches and looking awful while doing it but despite his lack of real progress this season he just forces you to have faith in him when he's up there with the game on the line. I don't believe in clutch hitting as an innate ability but I feel like Crawford is more likely to succeed than anyone else on the team when the Rays need a big hit from their final batter.
Unfortunately I missed most of last night's game, the Rays were down 5-2 the last time I saw any of it. That was no problem for them, scoring eight more runs to turn a bad looking game into a five run win. Kazmir struggled early but got into a groove and was dominant the last five innings. You can easily imagine the future of this team with the guys that pitched last night; Kazmir developing into an ace and carrying the Rays through eight innings then having Orvella come in and take away any hope of the other team coming back in the 9th.
It's pretty unlikely that the Rays will continue to play .643 baseball for the rest of the season but even if losses become more frequent than wins again that won't make the wins and great comebacks and performances any less exciting to watch.