After starting September on a five for six win streak, the Tampa Bay Rays have lost eight of their last 10 games and their last four in a row. This is the only time of the year when the clock runs out in baseball. Each day is another tick. Joe Maddon and company only have 14 ticks left and they’re 5.5 games in back of the As, Orioles, Angels and Tigers in the AL wild card race. When’s tee time?
It happened again last night. Boston sent a pitcher to the hill, Felix Doubront, who like his teammate Aaron Cook the night before bent but didn’t break. Tampa Bay bent and broke and, in the end, crashed and burned. 7-5 Sox. Deal with it, well, all 111 (actually 11,502) in attendance at the Trop. Seriously, in the ninth inning last night I counted 15 people in the frame behind home plate.
Doubront gave up three runs early, all in the third inning, then stiffened through six complete innings as the Sox clawed their way back into the game in the fourth (James Loney singled to score Cody Ross), fifth (Jacoby Ellsbury singled to score Jose Iglesias and Dustin Pedroia sac flied to score Pedro Ciriaco), sixth (Sean Rodriguez buried a throw to first allowing Ryan Lavarnway to score) and seventh (a Jarrod Saltalamacchia single to score Ross and a Lavarnway double that scored Loney and Salty). For the Rays it was a methodical dismantling of starter Jeremy Hellickson, who left after just four innings, and three Rays relievers.
Clayton Mortensen gave up two runs to make it closer than it should have been but a quartet of Junichi Tazawa, Vicente Padilla, Craig Breslow and Andrew Bailey, who got the save (Alfredo who?), shutdown the Rays the rest of the way.
The Rays ship of state in Tampa Bay is listing badly and right now it looks like genius Joe doesn’t have an answer.
Trying so hard to keep up with the Joneses
Running a rat racing won by our noses
Always put one foot in front of the other
And dance to the beat of the dacadent drummer
- Decadence Dance, Extreme