This time, Cash can turn away from Rays’ meltdown

by Gary Shelton on May 10, 2017 · 0 comments

in general

Cash argues against a seldom-called balk rule./CARMEN MANDATO

Cash argues against a seldom-called balk rule./CARMEN MANDATO

Wednesday, 2 a.m.

Cash ejected for sixth time./CARMEN MANDATO

Cash ejected for sixth time./CARMEN MANDATO

At least this time, Kevin Cash didn't have to watch.

This time, Cash was safely ejected, and from his seat in the manager's office, he could look away as the Rays blew a game one more time Tuesday night. Tampa Bay lost a 7-6 game in 12 innings for its third straight defeat.

In this one, the Rays  kept watching different relievers walk different batters. They lose partially because of a seldom-called rule, partially because of sloppy fielding and partially because the Royals seem to have their number.

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Andriese had "no idea" about the new balk rule./CARMEN MANDATO

Andriese had "no idea" about the new balk rule./CARMEN MANDATO

The Rays are now 2-5 on a home stand that included games against Miami (next to last), Toronto (last) and Kansas City (last).

For the Rays, the play wasn't quite as sloppy as the night before, but it was still wretched. Tampa Bay blew a 4-0 lead, and a 6-3 lead heading into the seventh inning. The Rays used seven relievers who gave up four runs.

Beckham has a laugh in the dugout./CARMEN MANDATOTampa Bay, which leads the league in offensive strikeouts, had 14 against the Royals. Kevin Kiermaier made one error, and could have been charged with another.

Cash was ejected in the third inning for arguing when starting pitcher Matt Andriese was called for a balk. Matt Andriese failed to inform the third base umpire that he would be pitching from the windup — a new rule that is evidently rarely called, and Kansas City's Jorge Bonifacio – on third — was awarded home plate.

It was only the first swing of the axe in the blown lead, but Cash was upset. He says that, for all the runners on third against the Rays this season, it was the first time the rule has come up.

Kiermaier unhappy as Rays blow another lead./CARMEN MANDATO

Kiermaier unhappy as Rays blow another lead./CARMEN MANDATO

“It was an atrocious call, period,” Cash said, his anger still showing. “I don't know what else to say. Veteran umpire, veteran crew for the most part out there. They're better than that. We've had guys on third base multiple times this year. Matt Andriese has had guys on third base.We haven't had a pitcher declare, be asked to declare or talked about declaring.

“It's a terrible way to involve yourself and dictate the outcome of a game...or help out the outcome of the game. I think there was a good second-and-a-half delay.They didn't know what the hell they were talking about or what they were doing. It's on them. I will get repercussions for commenting on it. Go ahead and bring the fine on. That's ridiculous.

“That's not why we lost the game. We lost the game because we couldn't protect

Morrison hit his eighth home run./CARMEN MANDATO

Morrison hit his eighth home run./CARMEN MANDATO

the lead., but that's poor preparation on their part, unaware of what's going on, unaware of the pitchers. I don't know how many times that all has been in effect this year. I know not one time in a month and a week that it hasn't been brought up.”

Crew chief Mike Everitt said the rule was “cut and dried.” However, Everitt would not say how many times the rule has been enforced. Third base ump Bill Welke said it was the first time this crew has enforced it.

Andriese said he was unaware of the rule. “I was shocked,” he said. “I was trying to get some sort of explanation. I wasn't trying to be discreet about anything. I'm not trying to trick anybody.”

Okay, okay. It was only one run. The Rays still led 4-1, and then 5-1, and then 6-3. But the Royals kept chipping back. After Brad Miller's homer in the sixth, the Rays had only one more hit over the last six innings.

The slump by Kiermaier is mystifying. He's a two-time gold glove winner, but he's made errors in two straight games now.

“Bad decision making,” he said. “My defense doesn't slump. It was bad decision making. We need to pick it up collectively as a team and we have to start closing teams out a lot better.”

The Rays, 16-19, have lost 19 times this season, and they've blown a lead in 14 of them. They've held a lead in 22 of their last 23, and they're 10-13 in those games.

The Rays try again today, when Chris Archer pitches against former Ray Jason Hammel.

Dickerson had two hits for the Rays./CARMEN MANDATO

Dickerson had two hits for the Rays./CARMEN MANDATO

 

 

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