Here are a handful of updates ahead of the start of the symbolic second half of the season.
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.
Ouch. Yesterday’s game against Zach Greinke and the Dodgers certainly didn’t play out the way we hoped it would. Tampa Bay has now dropped its fourth consecutive game, and second consecutive series, after being blanked 5-0 by Los Angeles Saturday. If the Rays are going to salvage a game on their current road trip, they’re going to have to do so against a very tough pitcher tonight. It won’t be easy. It’s time for another edition of The Good, The Bad, and The Argyle: A Bulleted Game Summary.
The Rays will attempt to bury the Yankees — consequently relegating them to their rightful place at the bottom of the AL East — in a three-game set in the Bronx, starting Friday. Tampa Bay is coming off a franchise tying eighth consecutive series victory, following the aborted game four in Boston, Thursday.
It was a hallmark type game that you’ve come to expect out of the Rays, a game that had everything: excellent pitching, outstanding defense, and a scrappy offense that was able to push across five runs — all on base hits. Tampa Bay again moved a game closer to owning sole possession of first place Wednesday night, with a 5-1 win against its AL East rivals Boston. Handcuffing the Red Sox, the Rays made a four run deficit feel like a wide chasm that was impossible to cross. And to be fair, it was an impossible chasm to cross when you consider that nothing was getting by the Gold Glove caliber infield of Longoria/Escobar/Zobrist/Loney. I’ll highlight (below) a few things that I may have neglected to talk about in our live blogged coverage of last night’s game, on our Tumblr page.