Update…Rays Starting Lineup 5/30/12

Pena 1B
Upton CF
Joyce LF
Zobrist RF
Scott DH
Rodriguez 2B
Sutton 3B
Molina C
Johnson SS
Cobb RHP

Ugh. Two runs on seven hits, six runners left on the bags, 0-6 with runners in scoring position (RISP), and 0-4 with RISP and two outs. For shits and giggles, let’s pretend that Shields didn’t give up five runs (earned or otherwise) in the sixth. Could we have expected a tally in the “W” column by scoring only two runs? Should we have assumed that the Rays could have won tonight’s game by leaving six on the base paths?

After the game yesterday, Tampa Bay is hitting a paltry .230 with men in scoring position. What’s more, the Rays are striking out more than 1/3 of the time they come to the plate, while walking only 1/6 of the time. Those numbers are, uh…

To put it in simple terms, the White Sox have averaged eight runs per game over the course of the last seven games, and the Rays have averaged 3.85. The Rays cannot win by putting up a two spot in each of the last two games. But, at least Hideki Matsui did something awesome. His first hit as a Ray was a two run dinger. That’s pretty cool!

With men in scoring position, full season (source: Fangraphs)

Oh, and let me tell you how thrilled I am to watch LHP Jose Quintana (1-0, 1.54 ERA) pitch today. In his last two starts, Quintana has given up all of two runs on five hits and five walks, while striking out seven. I mean, just take a look at his pitching breakout (below) from his last start against the Indians on May 25th. 81 fastball’s, and 59 for strikes? Yeesh. Blake, the lead singer of one of my favorite bands, Jawbreaker, once sang, “Accept the best, expect the worst.” I kind of, almost, feel like that lyric is applicable.

Join the Conversation


  1. Don’t be too worried about Jose Quintana…. yet. The guy has only made a few starts filling in for John Danks, so his sample size is not very large.

    Also, you should take a look at other teams K and BB rates. When looking at K/BB Rays rank in the Top 5 so far this season. They actually rank somewhere in the middle for total Ks and are #2 for total BB this season.

    The biggest issue right now is not getting the needed hits wRISP. I would like to take a look at the team’s wOBA wRISP. That would really show the team’s true offensive capabilities, or lack thereof, wRISP.

    I thought I would just add this and not get too upset. But offense does need to start timing their hits up when they need them!

    1. Good points for sure. What I’d written was more based on strikeouts wRISP. Another comparison, in that case, would be to see where the Rays stand with striking out wRISP.

      Outside of striking out with two outs and RISP, I’d like to see how the Rays are getting that third out. Are popping, or grounding, out? With a .230 BAA wRISP, I’d imagine that they’re not finding those gaps. To that end, I’d assume that they’re more than likely popping out, which screams to me that the hitters are potentially swinging for the fences when a timely single or double would suffice.

        1. Yo, I’m going to extend what we’re talking about into another piece. I went on Fangraphs and I got standard and advanced stats for the whole season, wRISP (overall), the last seven games, and (for shits and giggles) against lefties. But like you said, overall they’re doing really well. The Rays are scoring above league average in runs, hitting more homers than league average, stealing more bases, yet the have a lower BA. An anomaly?

          1. It’s interesting you call it an anomaly, but it really isn’t. The problem with the statistic of batting average is that considers all hits to be equal… which they are not. It also takes into consideration no walks, which used to be assumed to be an error on the pitcher, and not actual plate discipline by the batter. So to see the difference in BA with other good numbers is not necessarily an anomaly as much as it is not what people are used to seeing. That’s why stats such as OBP or OPS are generally a step in the better direction. From a lot of the research and reading I have been doing this summer, Fangraphs even says the better statistic to use is the weighted OBA or wOBA which actually will change from year to year in how it is weighed. Interesting stuff. I’m really learning a lot by reading Moneyball. It’s an amazing book and is just making me love Maddon more and more.

            I’m not sure whether that stat I thought of using (K/BB) for batters is used at all, but I think it kind of shows plate discipline in a nutshell. The lower the ratio the better the plate discipline. So looking at the Rays stats this season they have pretty good plate discipline. Once again, I’m not sure how accurate this stat would be, but I think is a pretty rough estimate. What really needs to be analyzed for this team is the situational hitting. How are they doing with runners on base? What do they do with runners on base? What’s the K/BB ratio with Runners on base? There just seems to be a ton of questions that need to be answered. In my predictions, it really does seem like the team doesn’t hit well when they need to. I just need numbers to show it.

            I will be honest, I disagree with you sometimes on what you say, but keep doing posts with statistics. Not many people use statistics to argue their point and I wish more and more would start doing it! I was a lot more impressed with this post over others (although it’s been a while since I’ve read one) just because you brought good numbers into it. Definitely delve deeper into advanced stats. They can show a lot!

  2. Ah, my friend…didn’t call it an anomaly. I simply posed the question of whether you think it was. I made a fairly enlightening table with a bunch of standard and advanced stats. But, I’m not going to spoil the results at the moment. I will say, I think a couple o’ players that we know and love might need to come back soon!

Leave a comment