SUBSPORTS: THE WEEKLY CLINIC 8.6-12.13
Tuesday 8/6 – Monday 8/12: The Road
Rays record: 0-5 (SEASON 66-50) – 3 games out of first
Team batting average: .259 (Season .261)
Team ERA: 7.36 (Season 3.87)
Well…that road trip could have gone better. The Rays lost every game played this week after a 2 game sweep in Arizona, followed by a weekend sweep in Los Angeles, which included a brutal loss on Friday with a blown lead in the bottom of the 9th. On Sunday, Clayton Kershaw Clayton Kershawed the Rays lineup going 8 innings with 8 K’s and only 3 hits allowed. There was a pretty cool moment on Saturday during the 5-0 loss:
They pulled off the hidden ball trick, which is pretty much the only half decent thing worth posting this week. Everything else really sucked. Hard.
But, alas! There’s no need to panic. Last week was no doubt a tough stretch in the beginning of a long month of August. And, as has been reported from several outlets, the last time the Rays went winless on a multi game road trip: July 7th-13th 2008. Things ended up alright that year. We went to the World Series.
This week the Rays have a chance to right the ship, playing 3 against the Mariners and the Blue Jays, two really bad teams that the Rays have the potential to run a 6-0 week on. All six of those games, by the way, are part of a pretty incredible deal the Rays are running right now, offering lower reserve seats for $9.53 per ticket. That’s unheard of. Ridiculous. Take advantage and get out to see some great pitching against the Mariners with Archer and Price going Tuesday Wednesday.
Friday, last year’s Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey will be on the mound for the Blue Jays. These are going to be some awesome games that you should go see in person. You wouldn’t want to wake up in the morning, see the highlights and end up doing this to yourself:
It’s tough to hand out an award as prestigious as a Crime Dog in a week where the Rays go winless. It’s so tough in fact, that I won’t do it. I’m not going to tarnish the legacy of a first base legend:
So that some underachieving Rays player can walk away with weekly glory. Everyone’s on notice this week. Step it up. If I don’t get a couple bat flips, behind the back double plays, or Longo bombs this week I’m gonna reconsider naming the Crime Dog to the Canseco:
The Pat the Bat award is actually kind of tough to give out this week. Who among this road weary group could possibly hold an edge of awfulness on a team that played as poorly as the Rays did this past week? Ladies and gentleman, look no further:
Hellboy has struggled mightily this year. His ERA is floating around 5, his opponents are hitting .265 with a .313 on base percentage. Up until this week, though, it seemed as though he was starting to turn things around. By July 27th, Hellboy had gone 4-0 with a 2.4 ERA in his previous five starts.
The road didn’t treat him kindly, as the Dbacks lit him up, and on national television Sunday night the Dodgers lineup put on a little hitting display for the kids in the Little League World Series, scatteiring 7 hits across Jeremy’s pathetic 3 innings pitched. Jeremy does not have great raw stuff, he’s most effective when he spots his fastball on the corners and his change up stays really low in the zone. This past week, hitters sat back on the change up in the zone and ripped it into the gaps, making his repertoire effectively useless.
Hellickson’s troubles have been a microcosm of the Rays in general this week, as the entire team has been completely ineffective. The O’s, Indians, A’s and now even the Royals are all knocking at the door for the wild card spot, so Maddon and the boys can not afford to let up. It’s the dog days of August. The Rays season will be defined by their ability to bounce back from this terrible stretch in the middle of a grueling month. They need support.
So get out to the Trop this week, sit in the lower box around third, look Evan dead in the eyes and say: