The atmosphere was electric and the crowd was into the game. The Rays had sold out their home opener in advance of the game for the first time since the Inaugural game, and the Rays responded. Jamie Shields pitched 6 2/3 innings giving up 3 runs on 6 hits and striking out 3. After Stokes finished off the 7th inning for him, good ole Shawn Camp proceeded to give up 2 runs in 2/3 inning. The Jays called on stud closer BJ Ryan in the 9th and the game looked just about over, but the young rays responded to the electric crowd that was left. Delmon Young hit a 2 run home run and BJ Upton had the winning hit, knocking in Aki who went 4-4 in the game. After the game, things looked like they were clicking for the Rays, they woke up alone in 1st place in the AL East for the first time in Franchise history and the city was excited, but then came reality, our bullpen sucks.
Since the Home Opener the Rays have now dropped 4 in row. The bats are not the problem, the rays have scored runs and have scored a lot of them. The Rays have been let down by the pitching time and time again. The day after the exciting home opener, Fossum took the mound and looked horrid giving up 7 runs in 3 2/3 innings. Sunday brought hope with Ace Scott Kazmir taking the mound. Kaz looked amazing outside of 2 mistakes which caused him to give up 4 runs on 2 home runs. Kaz left the game down one and Stokes proceeded to give up 2 runs in the 8th and the Rays couldn't come back against the Jays on this day.
The Rays are now on a Road trip and have stopped in Texas. The Bats have stayed hot, but the pitching, has stayed crap. Edwin Jackson started the first game and looked very good going 6 2/3 getting pulled with 2 on and 2 out, in comes.... you guessed it Shawn Camp. Camp proceeded to give up 2 hits and the 2 runs scored, Camp was pulled for Lugo who gave up 2 more hits and the Rays found themselves now down 8-2 and Gary Glover was called upon to get the final out and finally ended our suffering. Crawford hit a 2 run bomb, but the Rays could not get to 8 runs. Last night Jae Seo looked horrible giving up 10 runs in 3 innings. The rays fought back, but again the bullpen gave up more runs.
The Rays have the bats and the talent offensively to compete, but there pitching, mainly the pen is letting them down. This is something that will not change unless they change the players. Camp, Lugo, Stokes and the like are not Major League pitchers, they need to be replaced with guys who can get outs and can hold a lead or keep the Rays in the game. If we are going to lose like this, why not call up some of the younger pitchers we have and let them gain experience because the guys we have now are not going to do it. Another possibility is going out and making a trade for a guy. Why not go after a guy whose stock is very low right now, but has a high upside, Brad Lidge. Lidge could be a great addition to the Rays and could add much needed help in the pen. The pressure will not be there on Lidge and a change of scenery will bring him back to his form in my opinion. Francisco Cordero looked horrid last year until a trade sent him to Milwaukee and he returned to form, why not Lidge? The Rays need to do something because after a while the position players are going to get tired of busting their butts only to lose because of the pig pen.