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The Rays Tank: One final game

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The Tampa Bay Rays play their last game of a disappointing 2012 season tonight at the Trop.

Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

For the Tampa bay Rays, there will be no champagne on ice at Tropicana Field tonight.

David Price will not give up 7 runs and exit early, crushing the hopes of the Rays faithful and prompting fans to leave in droves, leaving just a hopeful few to witness history. Sam Fuld will not draw a key bases loaded out in his first PA in weeks to start an unlikely 8th inning rally. Dan Johnson will not paint a chair white. Evan Longoria will not go legend, twice.

Instead, the Rays will play a relatively meaningless (unless you are an Orioles or Yankees fan) game to cap a utterly disappointing season.

Blame Evan Longoria's hamstring all you want, but last night, James Shields went out and pitched the game of his life, 9 IP, 15K, 2H, 1R, and lost!

If that's not a microcosm of this Rays season, then I don't know what is. Joe Maddon called it "the crime of the century."

Shields set a franchise record for strikeouts, 15, in the complete-game effort. His gem would also set a franchise record for Game Score, at 94, the highest Game Score in a losing effort since 1918. Yet, incredibly, it would be the 4th time in the last 2 months that the Rays lost 1-0, and the 10th time this season, the most since the 1976 Brewers lost 11.

Yuck.

Sure, injuries and sloppy defense hurt, but it is pathetic offensive performances like that that truly doomed the 2012 Rays.

Go Orioles?