The Rays finished the week 1-6 and now have a record of 41-38 of have fallen to 7.5 games behind the Yankees and are in 4th place in the AL East. If baseball seasons were judged on 79 games or more specifically over 52 games than many a team would pack it in and move on ot the next season. Luckily, baseball is played over 162 games and we still have a lot of baseball left to play in 2012. Hopefully the next 60 games will be better then the previous 60 and it startsw this week versus the Yankees and Indians. The Rays have to play better then what they showed this past week as their style of play was best captued by the following tweet from Jeff Keppinger:
Jeff Keppinger truthful tweet after getting swept by Royals:
That's how it goes when you get out defensed, out hit, and out pitched! Looking forward to coming back to Tampa to get back on track!!!!!— Jeff Keppinger (@JKeppinger) June 27, 2012
Upcoming Schedule: Last full week of games before All-Star break.
The New York Yankees will visit Tropicana Field for a 3 game series and then the Rays will hit the road to head to Cleveland to take on the Indians in a 4 game series
AL East Upcoming Schedules:
The New York Yankees visit St.Pete for a three game series against the Rays before heading to Boston for a 4 game series which includes a day-night Saturday doubleheader.
The Red Sox finish their west coast trip with a visit to Oakland to take on the Athletics before returning home for the 4 game series with the Yankees.
The Baltimore Orioles will spend their final week before the break on the west coast. First they'll head to Seattle to take on the Mariners for 3 games and then go to LA to take on the Angels in a 4 game series.
The Blue Jays will host the Kansas City Royals for 4 games before heading out to Chicago to take on the White Sox for 3 games.
June 28th: Option Chris Archer to AAA Durham and activate Luke Scott from the 15-day disabled list.
June 30th: Optioned RH Brandon Gomes and LH Cesar Ramos to AAA Durham; reinstated RH Kyle Farnsworth from the 60-day DL and RH Jeremy Hellickson from the 15-day DL. Joel Peralta returned from his 8-game suspension
Evan Longoria: Being cautious but feeling good:
"We're not back to square one by any means," Longoria said. "I've actually been feeling better these past couple days than I had at any point throughout the rehab even when I went out to play. Whatever we got post, we're past it. And I think it's just a matter of fighting the urge to go hard right now and letting it heal up to 100 percent." - tampabay.com
Sam Fuld: Took batting practice on the field Friday evening and said he did not feel any pain and is hoping to start a rehab stint before the All-Star break which would put him on target to return around August 1st.
Jeff Niemann: Out of his cast and no longer needs his motorized scooter. He began playing catch earlier last week.
Fernando Rodney and David Price were named to the All-Star team.
What Does Sternfan1 Have To Say:
G'morning Rays fans I find NO delight in writing today's commentary on the week that wasn't. Awful, miserable, horrific, you name it and and it was probably worse. There's no need to recall the gory details, instead moving forward on a season that possibly finds this team in a tie for last place in the ALE.
For those of you still sucked in by this extra wild card and the one game playoff, I defer to my friend SandyKazmir. He calls it a lot of bunk and the only true playoff spot finds the Rays behind the Yankees by 7 games, at the time of this writing.
Here's what I do. Sell, sell, sell. Move every part not tied down to a 2013 contract, That list includes Jeff Keppinger, BJ Upton, Carlos Pena, Kyle Farnsworth, Joel 'pine tar' Peralta and a couple relievers if you can get anything for them. I'd also dump James Shields and his $9 million dollar option for next season. Bring in as many prospects as possible, hopefully a couple with near ready MLB bats for next season.
The Rays can subtract about $40 million dollars off the payroll for next season. We'll still have a very nice rotation and core players like Jennings, Zobrist, Joyce and Longoria.
Do it Andrew and as always, Go Rays
Game highlights after the jump.
Monday, June 25th: Royals 8 Rays 0
Luke Hochevar shuts the Rays down with a complete game shut out. Alex Cobb goes the distance for the Rays and allows 8R/8ER on 13 hits while striking out 1 and walking 0.
Joe Maddon proud of Alex Cobb's outing:
"The average fan may not understand exactly what he did tonight," Maddon said. "It's heroic in a baseball sense because he gave up those five runs, a big lead, he did not cave in. He kept making pitches. He stayed on the mound. He preserved everybody else, which preserves the integrity of the whole group for days. In a baseball sense that was an outstanding performance by [Cobb] tonight."-mlb.com
Tuesday, June 26th: Royals 8 Rays 2
Chris Archer gave up 4R/3ER in 5.2 innings while striking out 7 and walking only 1. The offense was unable to get anything started against lefty Bruce Chen and Brandon Gomes gave up 4ER in 1/3 of an inning.
Joe Maddon impressed with Chris Archer's performance:
"I think [Archer] pitched really well. He threw the ball great tonight," Maddon said. "For a young man to get that deep into the game, one walk and [seven strikeouts], that's pretty good. Based on some of the issues he's had in the past, that's a big growth moment for him. They got us in that [third] inning." -mlb.com
Wednesday, June 27th: Royals 5 Rays 4
The Rays came back from a 4-0 deficit with 2 runs in the 6th and 2 in the 8th to tie the game at 4-4 but Billy Butler hit a solo homer off Burke Badenhop in the bottom of the eight to give the Royals a 5-4 victory. Matt Moore went 7.1 innings allowing 4R/4ER on 10 hits while striking out 5 and walking 2.
Joe Maddon on the Rays play:
"A lot of really closely contested games, and it speaks to the spirit of our club," Maddon said. "We're not 100 percent where we would like to be personnel-wise, but I love the fact that the guys out there are trying to play it right. We've made some mistakes, but the intent is good and I love that about our guys." -mlb.com
Thursday, June 28th: Tigers 5 Rays 2
James Shields surrendered 14 hits in giving up 4R/4ER in 7.1 innings of work. Max Scherzer held the Rays offense to 2R/2ER in 6 innings of work and the Tigers bullpen held the Rays scoreless over the final 3 innings.
Carlos Pena about the Rays play:
"It's crazy sometimes a team swings the bat well, it plays good defense," Pena said. "It might be correlated. But it's about coming to the park with a good mindset, and sometimes when you're going through tough times, it's difficult to have that good mindset. And next thing you know, it snowballs. And that's why we're trying to step it up and kind of in a way brush off and have fresh minds as we can possibly have, because if we carry this on our backs, it's really not going to help us." -mlb.com
Friday, June 29th: Rays 4 Tigers 2
Desmond Jennings hit 2 homeruns and made two outstanding defensive plays to lead the Rays and David Price to victory over Justin Verlander.
Joe Maddon on the Rays energy level:
"We looked more normal," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "More like how we're supposed to look. I think the energy level was better. Why? I have no idea why. It was just a matter of getting over that weekend at Bernie's in Kansas City and Philadelphia, it just got better. It was just a matter of time. We have great professionals right here. It's not always going to be an oil painting, but I really liked the way we went after it tonight." - mlb.com
Saturday, June 30th: Tigers 6 Rays 2
Jeremy Hellickson returned from the disabled list but took a line drive off the shin and had to leave the game. The Tigers turned a 1-0 lead into a 4-0 lead with thanks to an Austin Jackson 3-run homer off Joel Peralta in the 8th. Carlos Pena and Jeff Keppinger each homered in the 9th to cut the lead to 4-2 but Burke Badenhop gave up 2 runs in the 9th.
Joe Maddon on the key at-bat of the game:
"Hitting Santiago was the play of the game," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "Two outs, two strikes, hit batter, and then you bring [Jackson] to the plate, whereas normally I think Joel has a pretty good shot at getting that guy out. ... Those are the moments we normally get beyond."-mlb.com
Sunday, July 1st: Tigers 5 Rays 3
The Tigers came into to Tampa and took 3 out of 4 from the Rays. The hitters didn't hit, the defense didn't defend, there was a mistake on the basepaths, the starting pitching wasn't solid, and the relief pitching let another inherited runner to score. In the end the Rays dropped the game 5-3 and the only positive is that the Tigers are out of town.