Rays lose another game in the late stages

by Gary Shelton on June 13, 2019 · 2 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Colin Poche is irked after giving up a grand slam./TIM WIRT

Thursday, 4 a.m.

They are built to win late, and to win close. They are built to turn tie games into victories. They are built to be better when the finish line is closer.

Lately, however, the Tampa Bay Rays are not.

The Rays saw another late game run away from them Wednesday afternoon as the Oakland A's turned a 2-2 eighth inning tie into a 6-2 victory after Ramon Laureano's grand slam. The Rays are 2-6 when they are tied after six innings, and they've lost 10 times (of 26 losses) when giving up the go-ahead run in the eighth inning or later.

The Rays lost their fifth series of the season.

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Heredia slides in for the Rays' first run./TIM WIRT

The grand slam, given up by Colin Poche, was the third one the Rays have given up this season.

“He’s been so good," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said of Poche. "He throws basically one pitch that’s so heavily swung-and-missed at. Obviously bases loaded, one out right there, we need to find a way to get a strikeout. He did a good job of getting to

Chirinos surrendered just two runs./TIM WIRT

0-2 and then it seemed like Laureano had probably just seen enough of consecutive pitches over and over and got a pitch he could handle.”

Said Poche: “As a reliever, those kind of situations are something that you’re going to come into and you’re going to have to find a way to have success in them. Started off the at-bat with two swing-and-misses on fastballs kind of elevated. The plan was to go back to that. I missed twice, so with the bases loaded, 2-2 count, you’re trying to be a little more fine. You want to be over the plate. Just didn’t get it up enough and he put a good swing on it.

“I guess it’s a learning experience. For me, it’s a little bit of a disappointment. Our hitters scratched those two runs across, we got some momentum and my job is to keep that going and I kind of let the team down there.”

For the Rays, Yonny Chirinos started and gave up two runs. The Rays rallied in the seventh to take him off the hook, however.

Diaz had three hits for the Rays./TIM WIRT

“I thought he was really good," Cash said. "He made some really big pitches. Just another strong outing that gave us a chance to stay in a ballgame and gave us
a chance to win it. Just came up short with the bats, but Yonny did his part for sure.”

The Rays had 12 hits, but half of those came from Yandy Diaz and Tommy Pham, who had three each.

“His timing is getting a little bit better," Cash said. "Giving him a better chance there. Swung the bat well again. That’s encouraging, because we always talk about with Tommy what a presence he is in our lineup and we missed him for the seven, eight days he was not playing because of the calf. It took him a couple days to get going. Looks like he’s in the right direction.”

Cash was unhappy the Rays couldn't take the series.

"You’d like to win a series," he said. "We’re not satisfied losing series, especially a three-game at home. But I also think that team over there is a good team, and I don’t even know what their record is right now. They’re pretty talented. They came in here and did a lot of things well. They’re built similarly to us. They wait for that big hit. They play really good defense and have some good pitching. That’s what we saw.”

The Rays face the Anaheim Angels tonight at 7:10 p.m. at Tropicana Field. Ryan Yarbrough (5-2) will start for the Rays against Tyler Skaggs (4-6).

Garcia makes a running catch for the Rays./TIM WIRT

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Larry Beller June 13, 2019 at 8:12 am

This bullpen is springing leaks everywhere. It’s just amazing the Rays are winning as many games as they are. Your stat on losing games being tied after 6 is very telling.

Kolarek needs to be sent down to the minors, Chaz Roe needs to be sent home and Poche needs to develop another pitch. And that doesn’t even address the issues with the back of the bullpen. Unfortunately the guys the Rays have been bringing up from their farm system are no help. There has to be a trade to pick up additional bullpen help. The Rays have a lot of middle infielders and an extra catcher now that should bring some value.

Don’t wait for the trading deadline in July to make a deal. They need to make a move now. If they can’t pull off a deal to bolster the bullpen this team will eventually fall back in the standings.

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Gary Shelton June 13, 2019 at 11:15 pm

We’ve discussed it before. They struggle against good teams. They’ve seemed short in the pen for weeks, haven’t they?

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