The Tampa Bay Rays lost to the Minnesota Twins on Thursday afternoon at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. If you only watched the first seven and a half innings of the game, you should not have been surprised by the fact the Rays lost the game. As we all know, baseball is a nine inning game and anything can happen on any given day. Thursday’s game was a perfect example of just that.
Those of you that watched the entire game know the last inning and a half of the game provided the most excitement. The Rays scored the first run of the day off a homerun by B.J. Upton in the bottom of the eighth inning. The Rays then loaded the bases when the second run was walked home. With the score now 6-2, Rays manager Joe Maddon sends Jason Bartlett to pinch hit for Matt Joyce. Maddon appeared to be a genius when Bartlett hit a grand slam off Twins reliever Ron Mahay to tie the game at 6-6.
The ninth inning proved to be just as exciting for all the wrong reasons. Jason Repko of the Twins hit a pop up that hit the “A” ring on the catwalk and the ball dropped onto the infield for a single which scored Jason Kubel of the Twins to make it 7-6. Cuddyer singled to left off Rays reliever Benoit to make the score 8-6. The Twins won the game when the Rays failed to score in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Rays manager Joe Maddon was visibly upset after the game. His comments after the game showed his frustration. “That was probably the perfect commercial advertisement, reason to have a new ballpark. There’s no better reason than that. I know it works both ways, but to lose a game in a pennant situation like that because of the roof totally indicates why there’s a crying need for a new ballpark in this area, regardless of where they put it. It just needs to be a real baseball field, where if you were to lose the pennant by one game and look back on a game like that because the roof got in the way, you’d be very upset. There’s not better reason than that.”
The bottom line is that the Rays may need a new stadium but will not get one this season. Hopefully, this amazing team will put the last two heartbreaking losses behind them and play well down the stretch. They still have the second best record in baseball and played the team with the best record in baseball, Yankees, very well last weekend. The Rays might be the only team in baseball capable of hanging with the Yankees so it is essential for them to focus on finishing strong this season and not looking ahead to the possibilities that await them in the future.