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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Klapisch: Tampa Bay’s bravado grows with every win

Maddon certainly got his wish, as the Rays jumped out to a 6-0 lead on Burnett before the fourth inning was even over. Name it, and the Rays did it better than the Yankees: They hit for power when it counted (Jason Bartlett led off the game with a home run), ran with impunity (six stolen bases) and played better defense, turning a crisp double play on Francisco Cervelli that snuffed out a miniature rally in the sixth following Alex Rodriguez’ solo HR and Robinson Cano’s single to left.

That was about the only time all night the Stadium crowd was allowed to stir. Otherwise, it was impossible to ignore the weird, subdued murmuring in the stands, no matter how many gimmicks the Stadium’s scoreboard and PA operators tried.

Not even Bob Sheppard introducing Derek Jeter could pierce the layer of disappointment that hung over the ballpark. By the eighth inning, most of the loyalists had left, which meant hardly anyone was around for the Yankees’ futile four-run rally in the ninth. The stands were so empty it was possible to hear individual conversations from fans in adjoining sections.

* Why, why…I can almost hear super scout Lew Krausse Sr talking to me again about playing with Jimmie Foxx…

 

Repoz Posted: May 20, 2010 at 12:07 PM | 24 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: rays, yankees

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Gamingboy Posted: May 20, 2010 at 12:37 PM (#3537655)
The stands were so empty it was possible to hear individual conversations from fans in adjoining sections.


In other words, a typical day at Tropicana Field.

*zing!*
   2. Law Boy Posted: May 20, 2010 at 02:05 PM (#3537727)
Name it, and the Rays did it better than the Yankees:


This just in: multiple key injuries take a toll.
   3. Jose Has Absurd Goosebump Arms Posted: May 20, 2010 at 02:11 PM (#3537736)
According to BB Ref the Rays have played just 11 games against teams over .500. In fairness they are 8-3 in those games but those 11 games are the fewest of any team in the AL. I think they are very good but I also think they have been a bit fortunate.

They've also been healthy but they are a young team so I would expect them to be healthier than the Sox and Yankees over the course of the season which could be a very big point in their favor.
   4. SoSH U at work Posted: May 20, 2010 at 02:13 PM (#3537737)
This just in: multiple key injuries take a toll.


Is Burnett hurt?
   5. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: May 20, 2010 at 02:29 PM (#3537755)
Is Burnett hurt?

No, but his favorite catcher is. ;-)
   6. Law Boy Posted: May 20, 2010 at 02:31 PM (#3537757)
Is Burnett hurt?


If you watched the game, you saw that several rallies fizzled because of the weakness of the bottom of the lineup.
   7. APNY Posted: May 20, 2010 at 02:47 PM (#3537777)
Anyone who ever wondered what makes a AAAA player just needs to watch Juan Miranda try to hit a breaking ball.
   8. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: May 20, 2010 at 02:59 PM (#3537789)
Can't really argue on Miranda's ability to hit a curve, but I thought you had to actually get something resembling a chance to fail at the MLB level before you could officially become a AAAA player.
   9. BrianBrianson Posted: May 20, 2010 at 03:00 PM (#3537793)
According to BB Ref the Rays have played just 11 games against teams over .500. In fairness they are 8-3 in those games but those 11 games are the fewest of any team in the AL.


You expect there to be a correlation between your team being under .500 and having played the Devil Rays, though, so that metric is kind of suspect. Better would be to calculate the records of those teams excluding games against the Devil Rays. It's almost tautological that the team with the best record should have played against an aggregate of the teams with the worst records.
   10. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: May 20, 2010 at 03:37 PM (#3537845)
They hit for power when it counted

What a strange thing to name, and an even odder piece of evidence. It would make more sense to say "hit for power" and cite the Rays 4 XBH last night to the Yankees 2.

Hitting for power "when it counts" ought to be with men on base and/or late in the game, not a solo homer in the first inning (do leadoff homers count double or something?).
   11. Greg K Posted: May 20, 2010 at 03:49 PM (#3537861)
I think he meant they hit for power in games they won. Which is usually a key ingredient to winning games.
   12. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: May 20, 2010 at 03:51 PM (#3537863)
No, he was referring specifically to last night's game AFAICT.
   13. Greg K Posted: May 20, 2010 at 03:54 PM (#3537866)
No, he was referring specifically to last night's game AFAICT.

A game they won!
Any extra base hit in the game was therefore "when it counted", whereas the Yankees lost, so their extra-base hits were just a waste of time.

(Edited for extra idiocy)
   14. Lassus Posted: May 20, 2010 at 05:09 PM (#3537952)
I was at this game last night.

Not pretty.

The Yankees had a fun B9 two-out comeback, four runs, but for nought.
   15. Kiko Sakata Posted: May 20, 2010 at 05:19 PM (#3537961)
You expect there to be a correlation between your team being under .500 and having played the Devil Rays, though, so that metric is kind of suspect. Better would be to calculate the records of those teams excluding games against the Devil Rays.


The only team it affects is Oakland, who's right at .500 against everybody except the Rays and 2-3 v. Tampa Bay. They haven't played Minnesota, Detroit, or Texas yet this season. On the other hand, as noted, they're 8-3 against the Yankees, Red Sox, and Blue Jays, who are their main competition anyway.
   16. McCoy Posted: May 20, 2010 at 05:28 PM (#3537971)
no, pretty much every team under .500 they played deserves to be under .500
   17. Jim Wisinski Posted: May 21, 2010 at 02:19 AM (#3538539)
According to BB Ref the Rays have played just 11 games against teams over .500. In fairness they are 8-3 in those games but those 11 games are the fewest of any team in the AL. I think they are very good but I also think they have been a bit fortunate.


So their 119 win pace may be a somewhat unrealistic expectation for the rest of the season?
   18. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: May 21, 2010 at 02:24 AM (#3538543)
other hand, as noted, they're 8-3 against the Yankees, Red Sox, and Blue Jays, who are their main competition anyway.


9-3 now.
   19. Darren Posted: May 21, 2010 at 02:27 AM (#3538545)
The Rays are amazing. As a team, their ERA outpaces their FIP by about a run. It's 1.2 better than their xFIP (both easily the largest gaps in the league). So every game, they're giving up a run less than they should. And that's on top of the fact that their young, unproven staff are all beating expectations and have missed a total of 0 starts.

Now on the offensive side, they've outscored their wRC 317 to 287 (largest margin in the league). So every game they're scoring .75 more runs than expected.

Factor in their +11 team UZR, and this team is outperforming its component stats by something like 1.5 runs EVERY game. They've played like a little-above-.500 team but they're winning at a .700+ clip. That and the health/effectiveness of their young pitchers is just amazing. It won't last, but it doesn't have to. They've got enough cushion to just play like the good team that they are and end up in the playoffs.
   20. Jim Wisinski Posted: May 21, 2010 at 02:31 AM (#3538549)
The offense has been somewhat illusory (though the past few weeks it has regressed anyway in terms of runs per game) but the pitching should be outperforming defense-independent stats by a fair amount (not necessarily that high of an amount, but a good amount nonetheless) because they have an above average defender at every infield and outfield position and most of the time still do even with a backup in.
   21. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: May 21, 2010 at 02:36 AM (#3538553)
I don't think they have enough cushion today if they come down to earth but still play pretty well. I think the Sox have a good run in them, the Yankees are absolutely not going away (recent results aside), and the Blue Jays may even be good.

If they play like this for another month, I'm absolutely willing to reconsider. They may not be catchable.
   22. Kiko Sakata Posted: May 21, 2010 at 02:41 AM (#3538557)
I don't think they have enough cushion today if they come down to earth but still play pretty well.


I'm not saying the Red Sox have no hope, but if the Red Sox play the rest of the season at a 95-win pace and the Rays play the rest of the season at an 85-win pace, the Rays will win 93 games (93.5) and the Red Sox will win 92 (92.4).
   23. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 21, 2010 at 02:58 AM (#3538563)
After 41 games, the Rays have had 13 starts of more than 7 innings pitched, another seven starts of exactly 7 innings, and one start of fewer than 5 innings (on April 8th).
   24. base ball chick Posted: May 21, 2010 at 03:58 AM (#3538591)
gerry hunsicker is teh awesomeness

drayton mclane is teh suck dumb shtt who threw gery out on his ass because he thought that he could out GM gerry any old day.

this weekend is gonna be FUN

i hope they announce gerry's name just so mclane has to eat it when the cheers for gerry just won't end. i am almost tempted to go just to start the cheer GER-RY ROOLZ!! GERRY ROOLZ!!! GERRY ROOLZ!!!!

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