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Rays 2, Angels 8: Nope

Kole Calhoun wrecks the Rays, but at least they didn't get no hit!

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Kole Calhoun picked up 4 RBIs and Pujols, that freakin' guy, hit another solo home run. It's his 16th home run of the year. I feel like he could hit one out of the park in a wheelchair, which in a couple of years he might very well be. Matt Shoemaker retired the first 11 batters he faced, making us all sweat a bit.

But these aren't fun to read about. It's like rubbing salt in the wound, which Lord knows the Rays don't need right now. Instead, let me tell you a quick story.

Late January I injured myself while working out. I was benching a nearly insignificant amount of weight when I felt a little twang in the upper left part of my back, right beneath my shoulder blade. It didn't really hurt; it was more like someone plucking a guitar string. Looking back on it, I feel like I even heard something like a flat G-note, but that's probably editorializing the past. Anyway like an idiot I kept going with the workout. I felt alright at first, a little sore, but the pain didn't go away. Not that night, not the next day, nor the next week, nor for the next five months. It hasn't been soul-destroying, agonizing pain like a shoulder dislocation might be, but it's always been there, like a pilot light in the back of my mind. Every time I lie down to sleep at night, bam, a little stab of pain. Every time I take a deep breath, bam, a tiny knife in the back. It never hurt for an extended period of time, and never too bad, but it's never fully gone away.

This year's Rays have been absolutely obliterated by injuries, to an extent unlike anything I've ever seen before. The heart of the Rays (the starting pitching) has been torn out and shown to the team by the cruel, possibly-Aztec baseball gods. This is some Old Testament, I-shall-smith-all-y'all stuff being thrown around St. Pete's dugout.

So games like these hurt a little more. They hurt more than they should. These injuries aren't going away, and the impact they're having linger around more often than you'd like. The losses seem louder, and they stick more in your mind. They're the things you might think about when you lay down at night.

How many of these losses wouldn't have been, if the pitching staff was anything close to healthy?

How would the offense performed if those we've lost (RIP Deezy, Loney, T-Bexxx) were still with us.

It can stick with you.

Nathan Karns should be a number 5 starter, because despite the flashes of brilliance he shows, sometimes he'll pitch a clunker like he did tonight. Nick Franklin probably shouldn't be on a major league roster right now, because not only is he not producing offensively, he's bobbling the ball and throwing it all over the place. He is a super-utility player who right now shows little utility at any position.

And it's not like he ruined the game. It's not like Nick Franklin alone ruined this game. With the exception of the sixth inning, the Rays looked pretty dang bad against Matt Shoemaker and his uncanny Wooly Willy Beard. Since I'm a glass half full kind of guy, let's take a look at that inning.

Inning #6, or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Joey Butler

Franklin lined out to start the inning, but that's okay! Everything is fine! Rene Rivera also managed to double to left on a solidly hit line drive, and I was all like, whaaaaaaaa? Also Kiermaier got a hit too! But Rivera didn't score. Hey that's alright buddy. It's hard sometimes. Then Joey Butler did a thing! He got a double! And because Kiermaier is fast he scored! It was a two-run double for Joey Butler! Go Rays!

Helpful Writer's Tip #42: Exclamation points can be used in place of subtlety if you are trying to convey a certain tone. They are like a strong spice: use them as much as possible to drown out the taste of your base dish. Everyone likes the taste of paprika, why not make that the whole meal?

This is the inning where the Rays made some noise, but it was little more than the clang of a cowbell down a dark, empty tunnel. What's more, it's more or less everything I want to write about.

And that's probably all you really want to read about. Am I wrong? I'm sorry if I'm wrong. I don't think I can provide a ton of helpful analysis on this game. It just kind of sucked, through and through. No one's giving up on the season or anything, but tonight's the kind of game you wanna forget. Move on and move up.

The Yankees won today, so the Rays are 2.5 games back of first place. Not that it really matters right now, it's so early.

But still, 2.5 games out of first.

Woo