Sunday was one of those days where it was very easy to get down on the Rays. With the hope that Tampa Bay could rectify things after a disappointing 2-1 loss to the Red Sox Saturday, Tampa Bay didn’t get a hit off a masterful Clay Buchholz until the eighth inning. And even though they had ample opportunity to score runs against Buchholz and the Red Sox, they again settled for subpar numbers wRISP, this time going 0-6.
Before I continue, I have to give credit where it’s due. See, sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of the forest from the trees, especially after seven innings of no hit baseball. It would be too easy to blame Tampa Bay’s hitters for not getting the job done. And to a degree it was their fault, after all they were the ones that couldn’t figure out Buchholz. However, Buchholz deserves credit, he was masterful. Ultimately posting an 8 IP/2 H/o R/0 ER/4 BB/11 K slash line on 109 pitches (69 for strikes), Buchholz kept the Rays off-balance for the entirety of his outing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not giving the Rays offense a pass. But when both of the Rays best hitters struggled at the plate, going a combined 0-5 with two walks against Buchholz, proof is in the pudding — Buchholz dealt.
Now that that’s out of the way, I’ve got two words for you: Rays offense. I’ve got one more word: oof.
The Rays have only two hits in the last 13 innings. Furthermore, they have scored only eight runs in the last six games, while going 27 of 178 (.152 BA). Then consider that Tampa Bay is last in the AL in homers (4) and runs batted in (31). They’re also 25th in batting average. (.221), and 28th in slugging (.306). To put things into perspective a bit, the Miami Marlins are ahead of the Rays both in hits and triples.
Seven players are hitting below the Mendoza Line: James Loney (.192), Shelley Duncan (.192), Sean Rodriguez (.167), Matt Joyce (.133), Yunel Escobar (.105) and Sam Fuld (.091). I know what you might be saying, batting average isn’t everything. However, their slugging and on base percentages aren’t anything to write home about either.
If Buchholz’s outing did anything, it magnified the Rays inability to string together consistent at-bats. Look at the bright side, at least the pitching staff is starting to normalize.
Rays 4/15/13 Starting Lineup:
- Cough…following the recently broken streak of sellouts at Fenway, the question begs: When is the city of Boston going to build the Red Sox a new tax payer subsidized facility? I also can’t help but wonder if the ownership wants to move the BoSox out of Boston, or if MLB wants to contract the team? Seriously, this buzz-kill lack of fan support is really disgusting.
- Zobrist and Longoria are again back-to-back, hitting second and third in the lineup.
- The Rays’ are 3-0 in Patriots’ Day match-ups. Kansas City is the only other team that is undefeated on Patriots’ Day (1-0). Last season, James Shields and Fernando Rodney combined on a 1-0, four-hit win. In 2010, Jeff Niemann defeated John Lackey, 8-2, and in 1999, Rolando Arrojo defeated Bret Saberhagen, 4-1. The Rays have allowed only three runs in 27 innings and held the Red Sox to a .167 average on Patriots’ Day.