Matt Moore playing catch on the field at the Trop. (Photo courtesy of Marc Topkin)

On a completely unrelated side note, “Joe Girardi has a conveniently short memory,” writes Topkin.

He went on, “In the aftermath of Tuesday’s benches-and-bullpen clearing standoff, the Yankees manager, upset and frustrated as his team’s slim playoff hopes are all but extinguished, accused the Rays of not knowing how to pitch inside properly and suggesting they learn.”

Girardi pointed to how the Rays hit five of his batters during the last five games between the two teams.

However, he conveniently didn’t acknowledge that in the first 12 games the teams played this season, Yankees pitchers hit eight Rays batters (while Rays pitchers hit only two Yankees). And for the season series — which concludes tonight — Yankees pitchers have hit more batters than the Rays, 8-7.

Matt Moore playing catch on the field at the Trop. (Photo courtesy of Marc Topkin)

On a completely unrelated side note, “Joe Girardi has a conveniently short memory,” writes Topkin.

He went on, “In the aftermath of Tuesday’s benches-and-bullpen clearing standoff, the Yankees manager, upset and frustrated as his team’s slim playoff hopes are all but extinguished, accused the Rays of not knowing how to pitch inside properly and suggesting they learn.”

Girardi pointed to how the Rays hit five of his batters during the last five games between the two teams.

However, he conveniently didn’t acknowledge that in the first 12 games the teams played this season, Yankees pitchers hit eight Rays batters (while Rays pitchers hit only two Yankees). And for the season series — which concludes tonight — Yankees pitchers have hit more batters than the Rays, 8-7.

If Monday night’s three hour and 28 minute 1-0 walk-off victory was odd, Tuesday night’s contest must have been drafted by David Lynch. On a night when the Rays organization celebrated the career of Derek Jeter, Tampa Bay handed the Yankees a 6-1 loss, complete with a bench clearing almost brawl, and a pair of big hits by Nick Franklin who made his debut with the Rays. Jake Odorizzi was spotty, yet he held the Yankees to one run in six innings of work, while Franklin went 2-4 with a double, a stolen base that almost wasn’t, a run and an RBI. The game had everything anyone could ever want: the first time in Rays history two runs were scored on a sac-fly, three Yankee ejections, and a customized kayak.

Read our recap in its entirety at our main site.

What a goddamn weird game.

Alex Colome got himself into seven full counts, although he only walked one Yankee. Meanwhile the Rays only had two hits from the first through eighth innings, yet they ended the night by slapping three singles and taking a walk in the ninth — good for their sixth walk-off win of the season. And as if things weren’t odd enough, the double shutout, which lasted two outs into the ninth, took three hours and 28 minutes.

Ben Zobrist came to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded, and subsequently ended the game by dropping a belt high, center-center fastball in front of Ichiro, plating Logan Forsythe from third.

(Photo courtesy of the Tampa Bay Rays)

Number 2 is in the building. Newest Ray Nick Franklin was a high school standout nearby in Orlando. Per Matt Baker of the Times, Franklin said the trade here felt like being drafted again. He’ll have some family at the Trop during the series against the Yankees.

(Photo courtesy of the Tampa Bay Rays)

Number 2 is in the building. Newest Ray Nick Franklin was a high school standout nearby in Orlando. Per Matt Baker of the Times, Franklin said the trade here felt like being drafted again. He’ll have some family at the Trop during the series against the Yankees.

Jeremy Hellickson walks to the dugout at the end of the third inning after his throwing error led to a couple of runs scoring. (Photo courtesy of Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) Jeremy Hellickson walks to the dugout at the end of the third inning after his throwing error led to a couple of runs scoring. (Photo courtesy of Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

After facing RA Dickey 10 times over the last three seasons, while averaging just 2.4 runs per game in each of those starts, one thing has become certain: if you’re lucky enough to take a lead against the knuckleballer, then you’d better try your damnedest to hold it. The Rays did both Saturday. They were able to take a lead against Dickey, yet they gave it up in one fateful — error filled — inning.  Despite a game tying sixth inning solo shot to left off the bat of Evan Longoria (his 21st homer of the year), the typically dependable Brad Boxberger gave up three runs an inning later, giving Toronto a 6-3 lead they wouldn’t relinquish. We in the blogosphere have deemed this the stereotypical (and clichéd) Rays loss.

A few thoughts/peripherals:

  •  A comedy of errors… Or, at least fielding gaffes. The Rays’ un-doing began in the bottom of the third, when Ryan Goins struck out but reached first on a wild pitch by Jeremy Hellickson. Anthony Gose followed with a single to center, before Reyes put down a bunt single that Hellickson threw wild to first. Goins scored on the play, and then Bautista drove home Gose with an infield single off Hellickson’s glove. Lind grounded into a fielder’s choice to drive home Reyes, giving the Blue Jays a 3-2 lead. “An error by me, and me not being able to field my position, period,” said Hellickson. “That was pretty embarrassing. Those plays have to be made.”
  • Is Brad Boxberger running out of gas? It’s a fair question, since he’s now given up homers in back-to-back outings for the first time since June 24th and 27th. Moreover, he yielded three runs in those two outings after giving up only two runs in his previous 15-2/3 innings of work. Boxberger pitched in 79-1/3 innings last between the Padres and their AAA farm club — his high water mark. He’s accrued 72-1/3 between Durham and Tampa Bay this season — a number that doesn’t include the handful of unofficial appearances that do not toward his inning totals. He’s quickly approaching his innings threshold, and one wonders how much of an effect that may be having on Boxy? In a land where assumptions rule, we may be looking at the effect of depending too heavily on the plus arms in the pen, in lieu of those who couldn’t get the job done. Moving forward, the Rays front office should make some moves to bolster the 2015 bullpen.
  • To that end, the Trib’s Roger Mooney writes that Boxberger’s workload isn’t a concern at the moment.

The New What Next

The Blue Jays chose to go with Mark Buehrle instead of the previously scheduled Marcus Stroman this afternoon. I’d imagine that speaks volumes for how they see today’s game. Buehrle will be opposed by Chris Archer, who’s coming off an improved 6-1/3 inning outing against the Yankees. I hate to even bring it up, though someone has to: while the Rays have touched up Buehrle the last three times they’ve faced him, they fell to the Blue Jays in extra innings in each of those games. You can read about Archer in our series preview, and I’ll post the starting lineup when it becomes available.

Rays 9/14/14 Starting Lineup

TBA

Noteworthiness

  • It looks like Ben Zobrist’s understudy will be promoted to the Rays:
  • In a piece about how the Rays may go about cutting the payroll in 2015, Marc Topkin expects the Rays to pick up Ben Zobrist’s $7.5 MM option, while also noting, “Of the five previously eligible for arbitration who combined to make about $10 million this season, a few are potential trade candidates, such as OF Matt Joyce and RHP Jeremy Hellickson, which could save around $10 million, while others will get paid, such as LHP Jake McGee, who was a $1.45 million bargain this year.”