Alex Cobb pitches against the Oakland Athletics. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Alex Cobb pitches against the Oakland Athletics. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

For the moment, everything is coming up Milhouse for the Rays. Not even a dazzling 2 R/5 H complete game outing by Alex Cobb was good enough Saturday night, as Tampa Bay’s anemic offense couldn’t muster more than a run in the 2-1 loss to the Athletics. Even then, that run came in a late game rally off former Ray Grant Balfour. It certainly doesn’t take into account all of the squandered opportunities leading up to that point.

The peripherals are staggering: Tampa Bay went 1-10 w/RISP, stranding nine men on the bags. Desmond Jennings alone stranded three men in scoring position, four overall. James Loney was the only Ray to put together a decent night in the box, reaching base safely on a pair of singles and a walk, while the big boys — Longo, Joyce, Zo, and Myers — combined to go 3-for-15, striking out five times. Tampa Bay ended the night four-and-a-half games behind the Boston Red Sox in the East, while maintaining a three-and-a-half game lead over the Yankees in the wildcard standings. Though the odds off the Rays making the playoffs are still good — a 69.2% chance according to Fangraphs, I cannot think of a worse possible time for Tampa Bay to go into a slump… One that found them scoring only 3.4 runs per game in the month of August. Thank god it’s a new month.

Moving forward Jamey Wright will get the nod today over Roberto Hernandez — effectively starting a parade of relievers against the Athletics batters. Expect reinforcements as well. With the September roster expansion, Tampa Bay have added Delmon Young, Chris Gimenez and Josh Lueke to the roster, while Luke Scott has been activated from the 15-day DL.

Rays 9/1/13 Starting Lineup

DeJesus LF
Zobrist 2B
Longoria 3B
Joyce DH
Loney 1B
Myers RF
Jennings CF
Molina C
Escobar SS
J Wright RHP


  • Delmon Young isn’t in the lineup vs. the RHP Griffin.
  • “We haven’t been coming thru. That simply can’t happen or we’re going to be going home at the end of September.” — Evan Longoria in the post game presser.
  • Marc Topkin brought up a good point, “What’s a clutch hit or two worth? The Rays have lost 4 one-run games in the last seven days, and another by two.”
  • Tampa Bay transferred Jeremy Hellickson from Class-A Charlotte to AA Montgomery, which allows him to be recalled Tuesday after Biscuits season ends.

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