By Kirk McEwen

I was so excited to get out for the middle game of Boston’s three game stop at the Trop! On the way down to the game from Clearwater I ran into some traffic and I’m thinking, “This is pretty cool! Pennant race going on, maybe the dome will be filled tonight.” Well I didn’t hear the numbers, but let’s just say good seats were still available at game time. I stopped upstairs to the Fan Cave at Ferg’s to catch Booger & Rich’s last break or two and find my friends before heading over. Everything’s going great, at least on my end. I’m doing my part to support the Rays and I’m hoping they can shake their recent malaise and show some fight. Ferg’s is huge but I finally find my crew and secure my ticket. Are you ready for some baseball?

We get over to the stadium, escalator up a level to our seats (120, Row P – Sweet!) and settle in. Sure there are plenty of Sawx fans everywhere but that’s not the problem. The problem is the Tampa Bay Rays have chosen the absolute worst time of the season to go into a tailspin. This team seems to patch it together for so long into a season, long enough to get you to buy in, only to suck the air from your lungs! I’m sorry, one for ten at anything’s not gonna cut it, let alone runners in scoring position. Hit the damn ball! This team just can’t generate enough offense. Wil Myers looks tired, Longo can’t seem to really dial back in, and Joe. Sometimes Joe Maddon tries to do what I call “Joe” it up. Take bringing Hernandez out of the bullpen, for instance. This guy can barely get out of his own way all season long and you bring him in for only his third relief appearance since his rookie season so he can kill the team’s dreams? Guy gave up a grand slam to Mike Carp. Not Mike TROUT, Mike CARP! I know! Why was Roberto Hernandez anywhere near the mound late in such a meaningful game with the Rays most hated rival? Please don’t get me wrong. I love most of Maddon’s moves but they can’t all be home runs. The Rays not only fall just shy of ten games behind Boston in the East, but continue their worst stretch of baseball this campaign. Get a good look. If this keeps up they’ll be gone soon.

Follow Kirk on Twitter @KirkMcEwen