The Rays seen themselves in trouble again facing a left handed pitcher and its not a surprise to us Rays fans. They have struggled dramatically more against left handed pitching this year than right handers. I mean they just looked silly out there swinging at Dallas Braden’s off speed junk. Braden is a good pitcher don’t get me wrong, but to get perfect gamed against a pitcher that has never thrown a complete game before is just ridiculous. His fastball tops 91mph and bottoms out at mid 60′s with his junk pitches.
It was extremely hard to watch them at the plate during the whole game. Other than an at-bat Gabe Kapler had late in the game, no one acted as if they wanted to get a hit. But I guess this game really isn’t to blame on the hitting, since the past 8 games the Rays are batting a measly .209.”They just outplayed us today,” Maddon said. “Our energy was down. We did not have our typical energy. We just looked flat from the beginning, and it just proceeded throughout the day. Of course, their pitcher had something to do with it, but I thought a lot of it was self-inflicted.” Even if there was no energy, a perfect game has only happened 19 times (twice against the Rays) and Im sure there have been many games where teams have no energy. We all know this means “hungover”. For another nice little stat, Joe Maddon has been involved in 3 of the 19 perfect games. Kinda crazy.
James Shields might been “out of energy” too with his poor outing. He gave up 11 hits in 6 innings, allowing 4 runs, two earned. I will say the defense behind him didn’t help, with Kapler missing a fly ball and Navarro’s throwing error. But still, the A’s line up is nothing spectacular. “They got base hits off me,” Shields said. “They didn’t hit the ball hard, but they got the hits they needed to get. They got hits when it counted, with runners in scoring position. Shields is now 4-1 with a 3.13 ERA.
I really hope the momentum is not slowing down for the Rays right now. I know when theres an up theres always a down, but to be on top of this division and the Yanks right there with us, downtime right now cannot happen. The Rays still have the best road record 13-3 but face the Angles, who have pretty good left handed pitching and that could mean trouble for the best team in baseball.