Sep 1, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Matt Joyce (20) speaks towards the umpire after striking out against Oakland Athletics catcher Stephen Vogt (21) during the ninth inning at O.co Coliseum. The Oakland Athletics defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Game 135: Rays’ Struggles Reach Tipping Point


We finally felt it. The game got off to an inauspicious start, wtih Coco Crisp homering off Jamey Wright to lead off the game, but with one out and Wright in an enormous jam, there was finally that moment where the game faded into commercial and everyone watching just sat there mesmerized. With bases loaded, a 3-2 count, and the game already starting to slip away, Wright got Alberto Callaspo to hit a hard groundball to Yunel Escobar, who flipped to Ben Zobrist to start a clutch 6-4-3 double play to end the inning. The A’s had already taken the lead, but in one moment, everything had turned around. The Rays had looked to be on the brink of another devastating loss when the double play happened and Rays fans thought that just maybe they team was about to rally. James Loney slammed a solo home run in the next inning, and the game was tied at 1. But that was it. Sometimes a turnaround is real and sometimes it’s just a flickering glimmer of hope that captures your attention for a moment before disappearing.

The Rays have a month of games left to play. This is not the end. But to watch them tantalize us with a moment like that before falling into the same habits that had gotten them to this point was heartbreaking. You wanted to throw your remote, and it took every bit of self control you have not to do just that. In the 3rd, 6th, 7th, and 8th innings, the Rays had a runner on second base and failed to score a single time. What else is there to say?

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