Sunday, November 19, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Evan Longoria makes three errors as Tampa Bay Rays lose 7-3 to Toronto Blue Jays

RECOMMENDED READING


TORONTO — Certainly, there were a number of things that contributed to the Rays' 7-3 loss to the Jays on Tuesday night.

A less-than-stellar start from Jeff Niemann, including home runs by Jose Bautista and Adam Lind. Subpar relief work, allowing two late runs. More futility at the plate, hitting into four double plays and going 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

But the most costly — and surely the most unexpected — were a team record-tying three errors by two-time Gold Glove winning third baseman Evan Longoria.

Or, on this night, E-E-E-van Longoria.

"A lot of it lies on my shoulders," Longoria said. "It was a rough day. I'm just trying to make the aggressive play, and trying to make the play. And (Tuesday) it happened to not work out three times."

Longoria is widely considered one of the best defensive third basemen in the game. He has not made more than 14 errors in his four seasons in the majors, with a total of 54 in his first 561 games at third. He had had four two-error games but never, not in the minors or majors, a night like Tuesday.

"That's very unlikely," first baseman Carlos Peña said. "He, in my opinion, is the best third baseman in the game."

Each error, in a mostly empty Rogers Centre (announced crowd: 15,331), led to a run.

At the start of the third inning, Longoria misplayed J.P. Arencibia's hard shot, the ball bouncing off his right palm. "All hand,'' Longoria said. "It hurts.''

Three pitches later, he scooped Yunel Escobar's bouncer with a chance to turn a double play, but lost the ball trying to transfer it from his glove, and the Jays went on to score three runs, on a sac fly and Lind's homer.

In the sixth, after the Rays had closed to within 4-2, the Jays had two on and one out when Longoria fielded a tricky slow roller and threw just too wide of first for Peña to hang on, with a run scoring on the play.

"We get out of those innings, it's a different story,'' Longoria said.

Longoria said he felt, strongly, that Arencibia's ball should have been scored a hit, but the other two were definitely his fault.

Others in the Rays clubhouse didn't agree. "Those balls were not easy," Peña said. "Those were very tough, tough plays."

"Those were not routine errors," manager Joe Maddon said. "He'll tell you he's supposed to make every play. They were not easy plays. And I promise you he'll make them in the future."

The Rays (5-6) got behind quickly as Niemann left a pitch up and Bautista, the two-time American League home run champ, knocked it deep into the second deck.

"He's always a threat," Niemann said. "And that's probably the worst pitch you can throw to him right there. It's like putting it on a tee for him."

Longoria's first two errors and the home run from Lind — making him 12-for-27 against Niemann, not quite the "31-for-30" Maddon guessed — put the Rays in the 4-0 hole, and they didn't muster enough offense (two of their 10 hits were Peña shift-"beating" bunts), nor get any breaks, to get out of it.

Pitching continues to be an unexpected problem, as the Rays have allowed a major-league high 64 runs and have a 5.90 ERA.

Especially against a Jays team Maddon has been touting as a legit playoff contender.

"You have to pitch a little bit better,'' Maddon said. "Pitching and defense first, and we'll figure out the rest after that."

Marc Topkin can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Topkin: As Rays start dealing, how far will they go?

Topkin: As Rays start dealing, how far will they go?

After collecting intelligence at last week’s GM meetings, the Rays soon will launch their offseason mission of trading at least a couple of veterans to reduce payroll.The question is how far they will go — how many players they deal, and how big of n...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Rocco Baldelli’s promotion on Rays coaching staff now makes him major league field coordinator

Rocco Baldelli’s promotion on Rays coaching staff now makes him major league field coordinator

The Rays completed the reorganization of their coaching staff by giving Rocco Baldelli the title of major league field coordinator.In being promoted from first-base coach, Baldelli will implement ideas and information from the staff, while assisting ...
Published: 11/17/17
Rays hope to cash in on Alex Cobb leaving

Rays hope to cash in on Alex Cobb leaving

LAKE BUENA VISTA — The Rays were banking on pitcher Alex Cobb declining their one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer based on the lure of a longer-term and more lucrative deal elsewhere as a free agent.With that decision official Thursday, now the ...
Published: 11/16/17
Commissioner Rob Manfred likes Ybor City stadium site, but must see more support to keep baseball in Tampa Bay

Commissioner Rob Manfred likes Ybor City stadium site, but must see more support to keep baseball in Tampa Bay

LAKE BUENA VISTA — MLB commissioner Rob Manfred didn’t want to talk Thursday about what might happen if the current effort to build the Rays a new stadium at the Ybor City site falls through."I’m more focused on working with the community to figure o...
Published: 11/16/17
A message to Rays fans from Alex Cobb

A message to Rays fans from Alex Cobb

Here is a message from RHP Alex Cobb after he officially left the Rays Thursday in declining their one-year, $17.4-milllion qualifying offer to seek a bigger and longer pact elsewhere:"Getting to this point in my career is truly bittersweet."Twelve y...
Published: 11/16/17
UPDATE: Rays to gain draft pick for loss of free agent pitcher Alex Cobb

UPDATE: Rays to gain draft pick for loss of free agent pitcher Alex Cobb

UPDATE, 5:01: Cobb did not accept the offer by the deadline, as expected.DEVELOPING: Sometime before today's 5 p.m. deadline, the Rays will get official word that their $17.4-million slight gamble on Alex Cobb paid off.The Rays made the free-agent ri...
Published: 11/16/17
As he prepares to leave the Rays, how will you remember Alex Cobb?

As he prepares to leave the Rays, how will you remember Alex Cobb?

Presuming Alex Cobb declines the Rays’ one-year, $17.4-million qualifying offer by 5 p.m. today, he has pitched his last game for Tampa Bay.Cobb has received preliminary interest from "lots of teams" already, agent Dan Horwits said. The Cubs and Twin...
Published: 11/16/17
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred says progress must continue on new stadium to keep Rays

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred says progress must continue on new stadium to keep Rays

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred made clear Thursday that identification of a site for a new Rays stadium is merely the first step for area leaders to show they want to keep the team long-term and that there needs to "consistent forward movement" on the ...
Published: 11/16/17
Sternberg: Tampa Bay Rays' share of new ballpark could be $150 million

Sternberg: Tampa Bay Rays' share of new ballpark could be $150 million

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Tampa Bay Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg said Wednesday that the team is "genuinely excited" about the proposed Ybor City site for a new stadium and more than "cautiously optimistic" the project can be completed. But ...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/16/17

Rays journal: No big deals at GM meetings, but possible groundwork laid

By MARC TOPKINLAKE BUENA VISTA — Rays officials left the GM meetings without making any big deals — such as trading Alex Colome or Chris Archer to the Cardinals — but more knowledgeable about the possibilities. "Expectations were to utilize these few...
Published: 11/15/17