There's no better way to describe what just happened. Ugh, what a loss. This game hurt a lot on an emotional level, probably more than it really should have. I mean, the Rangers are a darn good baseball team - they're in first place in the West and don't seem to be going anywhere - and you're going to lose games to darn good baseball teams, especially when your number five starter is pitching. But no matter how you rationalize it, man, that one hurt.
Maybe it was the fact that we'd just won two dramatic games against Toronto, lulling us fans into believing that maybe they'd turned things around and would go back to being awesome sauce. One loss later, though, and now the Yankees are sitting 2.0 games out and the Red Sox are 4.5 back. That cushion is still there and I tell myself to be calm, but it's feeling lumpier and more uncomfortable every day.
Maybe it was the fact that Wade Davis pitched like crap. Davis entered the bottom of the fourth inning with a 4-2 lead, but left after surrendering six runs on one home run, four singles, and a hit by pitch. His final line: 3.1 IP, 8 ER, 9 H, 3 K, 2 HR. In his last inning, it looked like he was throwing batting practice balls up there to the Rangers, letting them rack up hit after hit after hit. Sure, there was some bad luck involved in there - Smoak's deflected grounder going for a hit, for example - but he still pitched like crap.
Or maybe it was the fact that despite Davis's horrible start, the Rays still had multiple chances to tie the game but couldn't execute. Six runs might seem like a lot considering the offensive struggles the team has dealt with on and off the past few weeks, but the Rays could easily have scored more than that, going 1-11 with runners in scoring position and stranding 10 baserunners. The Rays had the bases loaded, no outs in the top of the sixth inning, but they only scored one run. In the seventh inning, the Rays had runners on first and second with two outs, but they couldn't score any runs. And in the ninth inning, the Rays had the exact same situation, but again they couldn't score anything. Frustrating, to say the least.
That wasn't one of the Rays' most meaningful losses this season, but it was one of the ones that hurt the most.
A couple quick blurbs following the jump:
- Wade Davis better start watching his back. He's supposed to be one of the better fifth starters in the league, but instead he's pitching like one of the worst. For a nice detailed look at exactly how much Davis has sucked, take a look at Jason Collette's article on him over at Dock of the Rays. If Davis doesn't significantly improve in his next few starts, Jeremy Hellickson is always ready to step in...*
- Maddon's now publicly stated that Navarro will be seeing less playing time while Jaso and Shoppach will take turns sharing the majority of starts at catcher. Wooo!