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Rays Lose to Blue Jays; Hellickson Strong, Bullpen Not So Much

Going into this series, I made the comment on The Podcast To Be Named Later of how I'm hoping the Rays will be able to pull two wins out of this series, considering the style of pitchers they are facing. Well, that objective just became a little harder tonight as the Rays (9-11) lost to the Toronto Blue Jays (9-10) in the 11th inning, 4-6.

Jeremy Hellickson started the game and gave another quality effort, finishing 7 strong innings whilst striking out 6 and walking only 3. He did allow 6 hits, including 3 doubles, a triple, and a homer, but kept the score at 3 going into the 8th inning.

Unfortunately, despite working ahead of Edwin Encarnacion, Joel Peralta surrendered a deep double to the Jays number five hitter, tying the game. The game stayed tied until the bottom of the 11th, when John McDonald, playing for the injured Jayson Nix, took the 2nd pitch he saw from Adam Russell and knocked it into the Jays bullpen for a game-ending 2-run homerun.

Some notes from the game:

  • Sam Fuld refuses to play like a fourth outfielder, having another multi-hit, multi-steal day. He was 3 for 5 with a triple and 2 steals. Have we come out ahead on the Matt Garza trade yet?
  • The 4, 5, 6, and 7 hitters in the Rays lineup produced a nasty line of: 0 for 16, 2 walks (both belonging to Sean Rodriguez), and 6 strikeouts. Not a typical night for any of those hitters, but still: Evan Longoria please?
  • Hats off to Juan Cruz and Cesar Ramos. Both came in and did a great job in a tight situation. Especially Ramos, who went 1.1 innings with a strikeout -- not hits, no walks.
  • Johnny Damon hit 2 doubles, which is nice, but kind of tragic when Damon and Fuld are the only ones getting extra base hits.
  • In all, the bullpen was not terrible, but it was not good enough. Really, it feels like the offense lost this game, not the relievers. Oh well, new day tomorrow.