Plenty of blame to go around, Jays faze Rays 2-1

With Bautista at second after an Adam Lind single in the seventh, Lyle Overbay singled to left, scoring Bautista and putting up the winning tally. This was another play Crawford would have made look ridiculously easy. Instead, Kapler looked helpless as the ball went over his head and hit the wall. Studly tag at the plate by Shoppach, though. I guess you have to credit Kapler for the throw.

[image-1]The only earned run came in the first inning, courtesy of the Rays. Rodriguez doubled and moved to third on Evan Longoria’s sacrifice fly. Aybar offered a two-bagger as well, scoring Sea-Rod. Zobrist reached on an infield single, moving Aybar to third before Bartlett’s grounder.

What do you do with Kapler? He doesn’t contribute. He took Joyce’s roster spot Tuesday against the Twins because the Rays were facing a left-handed pitcher. Joyce won’t learn to hit a lefty if you never let him face one, Joe, and Kapler did nothing in his two at-bats.

I’m sure he’s a great guy and I’ll bet he works hard but heart means nothing in the major leagues, which is why everyone adores Alex Rodriguez. Results matter, wins matter, neither of which you get from Kapler. Joyce is an everyday player, regardless of his splits against lefties, and doesn’t need to be held out of the line up in favor of the guy who, in my opinion, may have cost Tampa Bay the game Friday night.

Anyway, it’s good to be back doing the game recaps after a few days off soul searching. Know what I found? I have no soul.

Ah, the blame game. Whose fault is it? Regardless of whom you decide is your sacrificial lamb, it doesn’t change the fact that the Tampa Bay Rays have just lost their third straight winnable game, falling Friday night to the Toronto Blue Jays 1-2.

Do you blame starting pitcher Matt Garza for his atrocious toss to first, which allowed the winning run aboard, in the form of Jose Bautitsta, to lead off the seventh inning? No, he probably blames himself anyway. You don’t throw an ace pitcher under the bus for an uncharacteristic misplay, especially not when he threw eight innings without an earned run against him. That’s right, folks, both runs against the Rays were scored on errors, big, fat, ugly, smelly errors.

Do you blame the bats for not picking up their pitcher? That idea holds some water. Jason Bartlett gave up an easy ground out in the first inning with Willy Aybar in scoring position in the opening frame. Toronto starter Brett Cecil was sharp but not lights-out sharp and Tampa Bay should have pounced when he started having control issues in the sixth. Instead, Ben Zobrist struck out with B.J. Upton on third base.

Do you blame home plate umpire Jeff Nelson for his ridiculous strike zone? If it was bad, at least it was consistently bad.

I think you can give some blame to Gabe Kapler, and Joe Maddon by extension. The decision to put Kapler in left field is the decision that turned this game into a loss. Kap, who’s done nothing notable all season, let Edwin Encarnacion’s double go by him to lead off the third. Carl Crawford had the night off but I think could have gotten to that ball running from the dugout. Instead, Encarnacion scored on a Sean Rodriguez throwing error after Jose Molina lined out to second. Sure, Sea-Rod made the mistake but if Encarnacion hadn’t been aboard in the first place, there's not a throwing error to make.

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