(Anybody get that headline? My mom watched Days of Our Lives when I was a kid.)
At long last, day 8 is here. It is Patriot’s Day in Boston which means, today is the last of 8 consecutive day games for the Rays.
All week I have been blaming our struggles on the schedule. After all, it stands to reason that a young team, managed by Joe Maddon is going to have trouble getting up in the morning and getting to the ballpark. Right? Joe isn’t the kind of manager to have a curfew and our young guys (who have been making the most out of Port Charlotte’s night life for a month) are almost certainly taking advantage of the night life in Detroit and Boston.
But, the numbers seem to refute that explanation. The Rays’ roster has been young for four years (based on the blog traffic, it has also been enjoying the night life in road cities for the last four seasons). And Joe has been Joe for a lot longer than that. Yet, that combination doesn’t seem to have effected the Rays during day games in the last two seasons.
In 2011, the Rays had a .586 winning percentage during the day (34-24) slightly better than their .547 winning percentage at night. Likewise, in 2010, the Rays had a .587 winning percentage during the day (27-19), just shy of their .595 winning percentage in the evening.
Moreover, a second week full of day games isn’t too tough for Major Leaguers. After all, the Rays just played a month of day games in Port Charlotte and their gameday clock should still be on the day schedule. It’s not like they got into the regular season regimen of night games only be jarred by this odd stretch.
Unfortunately, I think this stretch of games against Detroit and Boston is better explained by admitting that Detroit and Boston are as good as, if not better, than us.
Our team is very good but it isn’t good enough to simply steamroll its way to October glory. If we win this year, we will have to beat really good teams like Detroit and Boston.
Back to the grind. Today’s game is about to start.