Slumping Rays collapse again in late innings

by Gary Shelton on July 6, 2019 · 2 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Stanek gave up two homers in the 11th./JEFFREY S. KING

Saturday, 3 a.m.

Stop them if you have heard this before.

Please. For goodness sakes. Can someone stop them?

Once again, the Rays went kerblooey late, watching a 4-4 tie turn into an 8-4 victory. It was the third straight similar loss for the Rays, watching a late inning tie turn into a lopsided loss when the bullpen blew up.

In their last three games -- the ninth inning against Baltimore, the 10th against the Yankees and now the 11th against the Yankees -- the Rays have given up 15 runs and

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Wendle had two hits for the Rays./STEVEN MUNCIE

12 hits to their opposition in their last at-bat. Meanwhile, the Rays are sinking like a stone in the AL East division race and now trail the Yankees by eight and a half games. They are 2-9 this season against New York and have lost six in a row.

The last three losses seem to have been spit out of photo-copier. The Rays were in a tie, and though sloppy defense and shaky relief worth, the other team has run off and hid. The Rays make a bit of a comeback in their last frame, but they have continually dug a hole too deep.

In all three losses, different relievers have been victimized. Against Baltimore, it was Jose Alvarado. Against the Yankees, it was Oliver Drake on Thursday and Ryne Stanek on Friday.

The Rays are now 1-6 in extra innings at home.

The Yankees had four home runs -- including two by Aaron Judge, who hit his second in the 11th inning. Aaron Hicks and Brett Gardner also hit homers.

“There’s a lot of baseball left," Rays manager Kevin Cash said of the next two games. "We’ve just got to play better against this team. You take out what we’ve done against the Yankees and I think we’re all really thrilled. You can’t do that. We’d certainly like to feel better about ourselves going into the break. We’ve got the two right guys in Blake (Snell) and Charlie (Morton) going for us. But I’m not going to sit here and say ‘must-win games’ or anything like that.”

Cssh was pleased with the second start by rookie Brendan McKay.

“We did some good things," Cash said. "They battled. They got their runs off four consecutive singles. You don’t see that very often. But I thought Brendan looked really good again. He was sharp. A little out of whack early-on. He was throwing some balls up and away that we didn’t see against Texas, but he kind of reset himself and made some big pitches. Fairly quiet game and then it got to be kind of back-and-forth a little bit. We did do some good things. The hits. To take the lead right there, (Kiermaier) staying on the left-hander there, Cortes, that was nice. We just ran out a little bit right there and they didn’t.”

Said Stanek: “I figured they were going to be aggressive. I went out there and – know- ing where I threw the pitch – I would probably throw the pitch again. It’s what I do well. I’ve faced all those guys before. I’ve got them out before. Sometimes it just doesn’t go your way. It sucks, obviously. It’s tough, because we’ve played them so tight the past two days and it seems like everything they do against us right now turns to gold and it doesn’t really matter. It’s tough. Felt like I threw the ball pretty well, minus the results. I attacked, threw strikes, just didn’t quite go my way today.

“(The next two games) are obviously huge for us. We’ve got to prove right now to our- selves and everybody else that we can beat these guys. Like I said, we’ve played them so close the past two days. Brought them into extra innings and had chances to win the game and just kind of haven’t had that break that puts us over the top in some of these games. It’s tough. It’s definitely a grind mentally and physically for us. The only thing we can do is come back out tomorrow and play our asses off and try to win a ballgame and try to win the next two.”

McKay thought he outing was acceptable.

“I think it went good enough," McKay said. "Put the team in a spot to be able to score some runs and be right back in the ballgame – which we ended up doing. We were right in there. Just a couple swings away from being able to win the ballgame.”

McKay thought the pitch he threw to judge was okay.

“From my vantage point, I thought it was a fairly good pitch," McKay said. "He does what he does to a lot of guys. He makes a really good swing and puts the ball in the seats. It’s frustrating giving up hits and having guys on when it’s a close ballgame. I made a lot of quality pitches in that inning and kept the damage to a minimum. I think we came right back that next inning and Mikey (Zunino]) hit a home run. We were still one swing away from getting right back in the ballgame or a pretty big inning from breaking the thing open.”

The Rays play the Yankees again today at Tropicana Field at 4:10 p.m. Blake Snell starts for the Rays against C.C. Sabathia.

 

 

 

 

 

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Larry Beller July 6, 2019 at 6:00 am

I can’t put all the blame on the pitching for this one. Sure the last inning was bad but the game should have never gone that far. The Rays had a great chance to get a walk off win in the 9th and once again failed to get the big hit. Sometimes you have to score 5 runs to win a game. The Rays are just not that kind of team often enough and they don’t have the pitching now to prop up their weak hitters. It’s a team loss.

So what do the Rays do with McKay now? The original plan was to give him just 2 starts. It would be criminal to send him back to the minors but I wouldn’t put it past them due to their ever cautious way of handling young pitchers.

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Gary Shelton July 7, 2019 at 4:19 pm

As you know by now, they sent McKay down but with the promise to bring him back up. You know how I feel about their opener strategy. I’mm okay with it once in five starts, but I’d like four traditional starters (they ceem content with three). If Glasnow is able to come back strong, that would give them Morton-Snell-Glasnow-McKay and an opener. You could use Chirinos as a spot starter.

I agree it wasn’t all the bullpen, but the bullpen fires are glowing brightest right now.

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