Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Joe Maddon says, "Watch me pull a rabbit outta my hat!" Blue Jays watch.

It was a sight to behold.

The Tampa bottom of the 2nd started with a HR run off of Carlos 'no-control-tonight' Villanueva. Then one after the other two hard hit balls; the first through the left side, the next straight up the middle dying in the centre field turf-grass - moving the lead runner first to third.

The Jays have no idea what's coming. This isn't yesterday where two great pitchers served up very few hit-able balls. That was then - this is game 2. Then intrepid manager Joe Maddon pulls a rabbit out of his hat - and everyone seems to just stare.

"What the f*ck is that?! Where did you get that rabbit man? This is a baseball game you know, not a friggin magic show."

But it looked like a magic show - with the Blue Jays playing the awe struck crowd.

8th hitter, shortstop, Scott Rodriguez lays down a beautiful safety squeeze between the third base line and the mound. As soon as B J Upton, the base runner at third, sees that the ball's on the ground, he boots it for home. The Jays' starter Carlos 'no-control-tonight' Villanueva is true to form - he fields the bunt and promptly throws it over J P Arencibia's head to the back stop. Run plates, runners first and third and everybody says, 'that sucked'.

  - and seemingly goes back to their memories of Yesterday's Win -

Because the next batter, 9th hitter, catcher Robinson Chirinos is bunting too!!! Aron Hill is running to cover second (?) as the pass bunt makes a perfect section of the turf between the mound and the first base line. Lind fields it and turns to get the out at first, he doesn't think he has a play at the plate right in front of him. But as soon as Lind turns he sees Aaron Hill isn't on the same page of the play book - Hill is nowhere near the first base bag, he doing a marathon from 2nd trying to beat the batter-runner over a similar distance as from the plate. The ball, the second baseman, and the batter runner arrive 1,2,3.

 - But not in that order. -

Run plates, safe at first - runners first and second, one out.

- Now the Jays are feeling stupid -

"What kind of a bunch of useless, turd, baseball players are we anyway? ..can't get an out when it's handed us. Not any more though boy-o! Just try That again - Now we're ready!!!" 

They never do that do they? When ever your ready for the bunt - they don't bunt. That's when they hammer the ball down your throat as your charging. ...Right?


Desmond Jennings lays down a perfect bunt on third base line. Bautista's playing in on the edge of the grass - so he's ready for this - he'll make an out with this...

But no, the fleet-of-foot Desmond beats out the throw - bases loaded.

Finally the Rays play real baseball - Jonny Damon hits a proper fly ball deep to centre field for an out - but it plates the runner from third. two are out. The next batter Evan Longoria fly's out to centre as well.

But its a bat around inning, 4 runs are in and this isn't a pitcher's duel - for sure.

Yesterday is gone.

The next AB's for the Rays in the 3rd is worse only because it's happening so soon after the last time - they send 8 to the plate and score 4 more. The game is over.

James Shields gets in a grove thereafter and shuts down the Jays' bats.

Tampa Bay  IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO  HR  ERA
Shields    7.1  3   1   1   3   6   1  2.95

Final is 1-9.

The complete game scorecard for this game is up - at the Blogger Baseball Scorecard: "August 3, 2011 Jays at Rays - Game 2 of 3".

Also, check out the Scorecard's new 'Landing Page': Blogger Baseball Scorecard - Home Page.


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