The slide continues, Rays speared 7-4 by Marlins

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There’s no way around it: Garza looked horrible Friday night. He allowed two more runs to score in the second before being pulled in favor of Andy Sonnanstine. Garza, whose control was just completely out of whack, managed to only get four outs on more than 70 pitches. The numbers say it all, folks: three walks, seven hits, seven runs, and only four outs before getting the hook. Sonnanstine, by contrast, looked great in relief. He turned back the clock to his 2008 form and, along with Dan Wheeler and Lance Cormier, shut down the Marlins to give the Rays’ offense a chance to win. Seven-four would end up being the final score.

Tampa Bay’s bats chipped away a little at that five-run lead, with one run scored in both the fourth and seventh innings. In the end they came up short. The top of the order looked sloppy, with B.J. Upton leading off. The top three – Upton, Crawford and Evan Longoria – got into that home run hitting mentality and swung for the fences for the remainder of the game. Upton got caught stealing third to add to his recent sloppy base running, including being picked off at first against the Atlanta Braves.

Every time the Rays managed to get some forward momentum it was immediately given up. They shot themselves in the foot so many times I’d imagine they must be out of ammo and out of toes by now. The fielding was excellent and the pitching was great after Garza was pulled, but the hitting never showed back up. Fans are left wondering when in the course of the season it will return.

Out of bounds

What. The. F***? For a team decrying poor attendance, the Rays aren’t doing much to attract fans. This is where Joe Maddon’s huggy, we’ll-be-okay, feel-good management style fails to yield results. You can only make some many excuses before you start ripping some new asses for these results. I wish he’d show some of the fire he saves for horrible umpiring toward some of his under-performing players. Here’s the order of importance: 1) Results; at a verrrrrrrrrry distant 2) Player feelings. I don’t care if it makes them lose confidence, because that effect is already being felt in the fan community. [image-1]Times like these make me wish John Tortorella was still in town and would guest star in the Rays’ clubhouse for a day. Results guaranteed or your testicles back, no charge.

In parting, I just want everyone to know: I am sick of seeing the Rays lose to pitchers wearing douchey glasses. First it’s Toronto’s Brett Cecil and Kevin Gregg, now it’s Florida’s Nate Robertson. It must end.

Yet another game over in the first inning. The Tampa Bay Rays came out strong Friday night, scoring two runs in the top of the first inning on an almost-home-run double by Big Ben Zobrist that brought in Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena, but then the Florida Marlins got theirs, in a big way. Chris Coghlan doubled to start the bottom of the first and then the Rays' starter, Matt Garza, walked Hanley Ramirez. With two outs, he then walked Dan Uggla and Cody Ross to bring in a run. Next, rookie Mike Stanton cracked his first career grand-slam to erase the Rays’ momentum and score what would be the winning run.

Attention Matt Garza: your wife called; she said you left your arm at home!

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