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And the Rays come back fightin'! It reminds me of the end of "Rounders" when Matt Damon goes into the lion's lair, aka KGB's den o' poker sin. And Teddy KGB is making fun of his youthful confidence:

A new day, huh. And you will Good show, Rays. (Of course, this "Rounders" analogy isn't panoptic by any stretch, since in the movie Damon ultimately takes down the favorite, the underdog prevails, etc. But we all know that there's no way the Yankees would ever mirror the denouement of any movie that Bostonian Damon champions. No chance lance.)

So the sprightly Rays and their spiteful manager power past the Yanks in an arduous game that I think most fans and players may have tired of well before the last strike was thrown. That's not ALWAYS the case with rain delays. I'd say that about 75% of the time, I'm handcuffed to the game just as much as ever, even with the cheesy "Getting to Know the Real Yankees!"-esque fillers that--while interesting--mainly serve as a guillotine to momentum and vested excitement in the game at hand.

Today, admittedly, wasn't one of those games for me. I don't even know where the rain came from, it was like 70 degrees and cloudless all day today, then all of a sudden I see the tarp being rolled out. It reminded me of the time my mom took my parents' cat to the emergency vet in the middle of the night, and the cat's sitting patiently in his carrier with the woodtick on his neck getting more engorged by the second, when all of a sudden I notice the cat's basting in pee sloshing around him.

"Um, Mom? I think Grey pissed in the carrier.."

"WHAT?! He did not. Are you serious??"


"But...but...I don't understand. He never even made any indication that he had to go."

That's how I felt. Grey never tapped my mom on the shoulder and asked if he could stop at a Dunkin Donuts real quick to use the litter box facilities. And the rain never made indication it was coming, either.

In both cases, the abrupt nature of the surprise didn't make it any less annoying to deal with.

To state the obvious, rain delays end up reducing the game to only 1 or 2 mitigating factors. It's usually the bullpen. The game ends up coming down to watch team can a.) endure longer, and b.) patch together a better string of relievers.

AJ gave up 1 run in 3 innings, while Wade Davis had a no hitter going. (There was a good amount of talk in the booth about the kosher-ness of pointing this out....ultimately they all agreed that Vin Scully said it was ok to do, and he's the bible on broadcasting protocol.)

What KILLED me though was how Kay had the nerve to be all, "Oooh, are we allowed to even say that? Uh oh. Not cool" when he wastes NO time hauling in the floats and parades if CC so much as has a hitless 1st. "CC IS PERFECT THROUGH ONE EVERYBODY. HEAR THAT? NO RUNNER HAS REACHED BASE AT ALL. WE'RE WATCHING HISTORY UNFOLD RIGHT NOW!"

2 hours of thunder and lightening later, the players take the field, Tampa holding on to its paltry 1-0 lead, the Yankees HITLESS THROUGH FOUR!!! AHHHHH!!!

After Crawford singles in a run in the 5th to make it 2-0, Berkman breaks up the NO HITTER with a solo shot, cutting the lead to 1. Manageable, you'd think. But I gotta admit, even with the 2-1 game against the AL East nivals*, I was still losing steam.

This is not to say the PLAYERS were, because Teixeira was playing like he was auditioning for a roster spot, with pro scouts in the stands or something. Oh Mark! You do something incredible every game. EVERY GAME! It's amazing!

We only got to enjoy the close game for a little bit, actually, since Dan Johnson hit his 102nd homerun against the Yanks in about a week. Or that's what it felt like anyway. We had a little nip-tuck-back-and-forth thing going for the next inning or so.

Arod singles in Jeter, both of who are making discernible swing changes and plate discipline alterations that are gonna undoubtedly pay us big dividends in the coming weeks/months even. Our captain was 2-for-4, so we can hopefully put this whole Jeter-in-the-market-for-LifeAlert-and-Hoverchairs panic epidemic behind us?

3-2 score lasted about a minute til Crawford and Longoria hit b-2-b bombs in the 7th in the span of 4 seconds basically. 3 pitches (literally) from Gaudin and it's a 5-2 game.

Jonathan ALbasajsdkj [sic] walked in a run, and I'm gonna look at this positively: At least he didn't up a grand slam!

So, yeah, it was a lousy game. The Rays left 11 men on base, but that's nearly 3 times the number of men that the Yanks even ever had in scoring position. The lumber slept tonight, the pitching was listless, and it's almost like they pitched like they were scabs. The "guys we didn't really want playing if we had our druthers, but they'll have to do because of unforeseen circumstances of nature beyond our control."

Hmpf. You know, our BATTERS who come in to these types of "Know your role, and it's not important" situations (ie Pena, Colin Curtis, Nunez, et al) did the opposite and rose to the occasion. Relievers can be such whiny bitches, I swear. I would KILL to have your job, where the most work you're expected to do is a couple of hours a week (if that).

It's like Strange astutely noted:

Our relievers played like they were doing us a favor or something.

The rampant sense of entitlement in this society is disturbingly pervasive, I swear to God.

Sigh. So we lost. Here are the byproducts of this:

A.) Losing always sucks.
B.) Rays gain ground, now only 1.5 back in standings.
C.) Rays think they're just as good as us.
D.) The whole "playoff preview" thing.
E.) The fact the Rays are 9-8 against the Yanks for the season. If the division somehow ends in a tie, there's the obvious rule of going by whichever team has the better season record.

And lastly, I really can't stand Maddon. I hate how the Rays celebrating the game loudly and exagerratingly. Really. That's a word, shut up.

And the shut up part goes for you, Maddon.

C'mon Yanks. Bring out the big guns tomorrow.

Show the scrubs that we will not be pushed around.

*Novel rivals.


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