May 21, 2012

GAME REVIEW: The Trop claims another victim

by Aaron Giddens



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RHE
TOR

0
1
1
0
0
1
0
3
0

6
8
1

TB
1
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0

2
5
3

Click here for expanded Box Score.


The Catwalks
The Catwalks, "C" and "D" rings
Courtesy: Sun Sports via @CorkGaines
Monday night, time for baseball. The Rays are coming off another series loss against the Braves in interleague play, losing yesterday 2-0. Rays welcome in to town the Blue Jays. We just saw them last week when the Rays swept a two game set in Toronto, this is the first time this season the Jays have been in town. Rays send Jeremy Hellickson to the mound who looks to remain perfect on the season. Jays counter with Kyle Drabek. Rays have been struggling offenseively sorely missing the bats of Evan Longoria and Desmond Jennings. Can they get the job done tonight? Let's find out.

Kelly Johnson leads off the game by grounding out to Elliot Johnson at shortstop. Escobar follows and grounds out to Rodriguez at third. Bautista bats third to start the game, he chops out S-Rod and the Jays go 1-2-3. BenZo leads off the first for the Rays offensively. He grounds out to second. BJ is next, he hits it a long way to center it falls suddenly in center, BJ arrives at second and starts claiming HR off the ring, umps confer and decide to go review it. 3 minutes later, Joe West signals a home run. Rays strike first. Matt Joyce is next he walks. Carlos is next and he flies out to the left fielder in center on the first pitch for the second out. Luke Scott is next, he hits hit to first who makes a diving grab but the toss to the pitcher can't be handled and Scott is safe. Ruled an error on the pitcher. S-Rod is next, he strikes out looking to end the inning.

Encarnacion leads off the second and he grounds a chopper through the hole for a single. Arencibia is next and he hits it to S-Rod at third who makes a sliding grab, he fires it to Rhymes at second, Encarnacion is forced, Rhymes fires it to Pena who can't handle it and Arencibia is safe. Thames is next, hits it to center, Arenciba scores but Thames is caught off the bag and is tagged out by Rhymes at first. The damaged is done and the game is tied. Bret Lawrie is next and he flies out to center to end the half inning. Rhymes leads off the second for the Rays and he strikes out swinging. Elliot Johnson is next, he hits it hard to first, Encarnacion bobbles the ball but recovers in time to get the ball to Drebek covering for the out. Molina is next, he draws a walk to keep the inning alive. Back to the top of the order in Zobrist, he grounds out to first to end the inning.

Colby Rasmus leads off the third for the Jays, swinging at the first pitch and he has a stand up double to right. Jeff Mathis is next, he flies out to center, Rasmus tags up and goes to third. Back to the top of the Jays order, Kelly Johnson hits. He hits a long sac fly to right and Rasmus tags and scores to give the Jays the lead. Escobar lines a single to left. Bautista hits next and after a 10 pitch AB Helly delivers the perfect pitch and Bautistia is caught looking. Upton leads off the third for the Rays, he pops out to Lawrie who comes in from third. Joyce is next, he draws a walk on five pitches. Pena is next to bat. On a ball in the dirt, Joyce moves up to second. Meanwhile, Pena strikes out on a check swing. Luke Scott bats next. On a wild pitch, Joyce moves to third. Luke walks putting runners on the corners with two outs. Sean Rodriguez bats next. He lines a single to center scoring Joyce to tie the game. Will "Batman" Rhymes bats next. Another wild pitch and Scott and S-Rod move up to third and second respectively. Rhymes flies out to Thames in right to end the inning and stranding Scott and S-Rod.

Encarnacion leads off the fourth for the Jays, he pops out to S-Rod in foul territory in front of the Jays dugout. Arencibia bats next and lines a single through the hole between shortstop and 3rd. Thames is next, he grounds it back to Helly who starts the 1-6-3 double play to end the half inning. Elliot leads off the bottom of the fourth for the Rays, he flies out to Bautista in right-center. After Molina walks, Zobrist bats next. He lines out to left. BJ bats next. He chops it to Lawrie at third who tosses it to second to force out Molina and end the inning.

Lawrie leads off the fifth the the Happy Heckler giving him trouble. He chops to third with a big bounce, and S-Rod fires it to first and Lawrie is out by an eyelash. Rasmus is next, he flies out to right. Mathis is next, he strikes out. And the Jays go 1-2-3. Matt Joyce will lead off the bottom of the fifth for the Rays. He grounds out to second. After a short break by Kelly Johnson for a reason unknown, Pena bats next and walks on five pitches. Luke Scott is next, he grounds out to first, Pena safe at second. S-Rod is next, who pops out to end the inning.

Johnson leads off the sixth for the Jays, he pops out to Pena at first. Escobar tags one and hits it out to left-center. Bautistia grounds out to third. Encarnacion is next, he flies out to Joyce in left to end the half inning. Will Rhymes leads off the half inning for the Rays, he lines a single over the shortstop. Johnson is next and he grounds in to the 6-3 double play ruining the Rays threat. Molina is next, and grounds out to first to end the inning.

Arencebia leads off the seventh for the Jays and he singles to right. Thames is next, he lines out to right. Lawrie bats now. He grounds in to the 6-4-3 double play to end the half inning. Jason Frasor relieves Drabek for the bottom of the 7th. Zobrist leads off the 7th, he singles past Encarnacion at first in to right field. BJ Upton is next to bat. He strikes out on a foul tip. Matt Joyce is next. Zobrist is caught stealing second. Joyce is caught looking to end the inning. FOXTrax says it was a ball.

Rasmus leads off the 8th for the Jays. He doubles up the right field line. Mathis strikes out looking. Kelly Johnson is intentionally walked (cue our guest correspondent @MandaGator saying "Boycott Intentional Walks" on Twitter). Hellboy is now relieved by Burke Badenhop. Escobar is first to face him, he hits it back at Badenhop who knocks it down and there is no play anywhere and the bases are juiced in the Jays favor. Bautista is next, he grounds it to third, and S-Rod botches the throw to second and two runs score, now runners on the corners with two outs. Encarnacion is next, he grounds it to third, this time S-Rod makes the throw to second for an out but Bautista breaks up the return throw to first and Encarnacion is safe and another run sores. Arencibia is next, he strikes out to finally end the threat. All 3 runs that inning are unearned. Corderro relieves Frasor for the 8th, Pena leads off. He bunts foul for a third strike. Scott grounds out to second in the shift. Shift happens. And S-Rod flies out to right on the first pitch to end the inning.

To the 9th we go and Rajai Davis leads off the inning for the Jays. And Cesar Ramos relieves Badenhop for the 9th. Davis pops out to Rhymes for the first out. Lawrie is next up, cue the Happy Heckler. Lawrie grounds out to second for the second out. Rasmus is next, he strikes out swinging. We head to the Bot 9th, Rays looking for four runs to stay alive, Casey Janssen entrusted by the Jays to keep that from happening. Bottom of the order up for the Rays, starting with Rhymes. He singles to right. Elliot Johnson is next, he takes strike 3 looking for the first out. Molina grounds out to the pitcher, Rhymes moves up. Zobrist comes up with the Rays down to their last out. He flies out to right for the final out. Rays lose 6-2.

Let's break this down...

Outfield: Nothing bad from the outfield tonight, the outfield defsivively being one of the only two bright spots tonight. (4 stars)

Infield: Usually such a defensively solid infield just bombed tonight. Three errors, really? And three blown double play chances in the eight. Dang. The only real bright spot was S-Rod's play to get Lawrie in the fifth. Other than that, I'm storing this night where it will never see the light of day again for the Rays infield's sake. (1.1 star)

Starting pitching: Hellboy was Hellboy. 7.1 magnificent innings, it's a shame he has to take the loss here, especially with the Jays starting pitcher getting the win and he sucked. (4 stars)

Bullpen: The bullpen did their job, the defense didn't back 'em up though. (4 stars)

Catching: No miscues for Molina tonight. That's fine with me. (3 stars)

Offense: The Rays' offensive woes continue. The opposing starting pitcher has a performance that rivals a circus and you let him off with a winning decision? Inexcusable! (1 stars)

Umpiring: Joe West. 'Nuff said. (2.5 stars)

Player(s) of the game: BJ Upton, the only man that was good both offensively and defensively tonight.

Play of the game: Despite his hard time tonight I have to label S-Rod's throw to get Lawrie out at first as the play of the game.

Final word: Frustration and despair is settling in for this Rays fan. Offensively the team is sorely missing their big bat that is on the DL. Defensively I just don't get it. And I'm gonna try to forget it. Dewayne said enough. We're on pace to DOUBLE our errors for last season. Again, inexcusable. I'm going back to my Star Wars DVD now... (1.5 stars)

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