The reeling Rays host the surging-with-a-small-S Blue Jays in an important with-a-small-I series coming out of the All Star break. Tropicana Field figures to be
Important-with-a-small-I might still be an overstatement, but the Rays youthful roster and rich history of embarrassment combined with their current 7 game losing streak increase their need to right the ship. Seven game losing streaks are never good, but coming on the heels of a 7 game winning streak demonstrates how tough this team is to figure out. People have been anticipating the Rays collapse since May 1st, but they've continued to play excellent baseball. The Reverend himself declared them the real deal and I certainly won't debate their ability to hit. If the Rays lose 2 of 3 to the Jays, the self-doubt will creep in like so many boxes of donuts into Shitske's locker. They've been kicking the tires on all manner of replacement bat/bullpen timebomb with an eye on the stretch run.
The Blue Jays are in the unenviable position of being sellers with a glimmer of hope as the trade deadline looms. Any move involving AJ Burnett seems less and less likely, especially with Joe Blanton adding to the collective obesity of eastern Pennsylvania and southern Jersey. The not being showcased in the least Burnett starts tonight; his 100th in the last 2 weeks. The Jays need these divisional games if they plan on deluding themselves further into the season.
Should the Rays get back on track at the expense of our Blue Jays, expect nothing short of Hillsborough Bay transforming into a lake of fire. BJ Upton, Carl Crawford, Scott Kazmir and James Shields will be commuting to the stadium on the backs of their undead steeds. If the Rays can sustain their strong first half through the dog days of August, finding themselves playing the ever-popular Meaningful Baseball in September, we will be faced with nothing short of a zombie apocalypse. The head zombie himself, the seventh son born under the seventh sign could be ready for a miraculous September call-up. If that is the case, there can be no doubt of the frightening outcome: Alpha zombie leads soulless army to feast on the flesh of the living, World Series title.