A combination of umpire error and Ray mistakes lead to a Ray defeat at the hands of the White Sox in game 3 of the 3 game set, 4-3. SP James Shields was cruising along through 6 2/3 innings but was lifted for the BP after walking the #9 hitter. I rarely question what Ray Manager Joe Maddon does however in this case I will. I know Maddon loves the computerized match ups BUT sometimes you have to stick with what works. Even though Shields was up to 111 pitches and the hitter hit a HR earlier in the game I still think the best option was to leave Shields in that game. I have a ton of confidence Shieldsy would have gotten that out.
LHP Randy Choate was brought in to face LH Podsednik (mistake #1). Choate got a ground ball but the ball was a high hop to SS Jason Bartlett who had to hurry the throw and threw it into the dugout (mistake #2) leaving runners on 2nd and 3rd. RP Dan Wheeler was then called upon to get the 3rd out in the person of Ramirez. Home plate umpire Laz Diaz gave Ramirez an extra chance by calling a perfect knee high pitch a ball (mistake #3) that should have been strike 3 to end the inning. Wheeler made the perfect pitch in this situation and the Rays could not have asked for more and it was just taken away. With his extra life Ramirez rifled a ball to CF that BJ Upton misread…he came in when he should have gone out for an easy catch for the 3rd out (mistake #4). The Pale Hose scored the tying runs and left Ramirez standing at 3rd and later scoring on a single.
The 7th inning was not pretty at all! Mistake upon mistake leaving Shields with another well pitched no-decision. Maddon just needs to leave Shields finish his games and forget this match up stuff – give the guy a chance to record a ‘W’.
Not much to report on the offensive side. Pat Burrell managed to connect with a ball and drive it into the LF seats for his 6th, yes, that’s right 6th, HR this season. Burrell needs to offer the Rays a refund on what they have paid him considering he hasn’t performed worth a damn this season! Gabe Gross also connected for a 2 run bomb to RF.
Frustrating loss for the Rays and their fans! I have to say the only thing the Rays have been really consistent about all season long in being inconsistent. Again the lack of consistency haunts the ‘D’ and the BP. Another one of our inconsistent performers, SP Scott Kazmir, takes to the mound as the Rays try to earn the split in this 4 game set.