Rays’ pitching falters in another loss

by Gary Shelton on August 21, 2019 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Jalen Beeks was wobbly on the mound again./JEFFREY S. KING

Wednesday, 4 a.m.

Boy, do the Rays miss their pitchers.

Blake Snell? The team misses you. Tyler Glassnow? The light is still on. Yonny Chirinos? Please come home.

Hoo-boy, could this team use any of them.

The Rays lost to the last-place Seattle Mariners for the second straight day Tuesday. The Mariners scored seven runs, overcoming a 4-2 deficit and winning 7-4. Jalen Beeks, the second Rays pitcher, gave up four runs in five innings and walked three.

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Austin Meadows slides in with a double./JEFFREY S. KING

It was similar to the two-inning start by Brendan McKay (sent down Tuesday). The Rays have given up 16 run to the Mariners in the last two games. Beeks has now lost three straight games.

“It looked like he was throwing the ball with a little bit more conviction,” Rays’ manager Kevin Cash said. “He was willing to

Kiermaier had two hits for the Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

throw it over the plate and trust his stuff. Then a couple plays came up, a couple of runners got on and things started to take a toll. Maybe he lost command, fell behind and they kind of came up and got some big hits. Maybe a slight step in the right direction for Jalen. We’ll see. We’ll talk to him over the next four or five days and go from there.”

In a 21-game stretch against bad teams, this was a time the Rays were supposed to get rich. Instead, they have gone just 10-6 so far into the stretch. They are just 33-31 at home and have lost more games at the Trop than they did all of last season.

The Rays had eight hits, which isn’t much but is more than they

Zunino tags J.P. Crawford out at the plate./JEFFREY S. KING

have had for their previous six games.

“We’ve been in the rut here for a little while,” Cash said. “We’re fortunate that we’ve come away with some wins not hitting, but that’s generally not a good recipe. You’ve got to make the most of some of those opportunities. We talked yesterday about Travis and Tommy looking better at the plate, which is encouraging. (Kevin Kiermaier) got a big hit today, that’s encouraging. Maybe there are some things that are going to start going our way.”

Still, the team doesn’t have much of a shot when it gives up 16 in two nights to a last-place team.

d’Arnaud plays first base for the Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

Beeks was frustrated with his outing.

“It was frustrating with the walks,” Beeks said. “I think I had three again today. That’s really unacceptable to me. It’s just kind of been the same thing over and over again. I’m going to keep battling. I’m going to keep putting in the work. Hopefully help this team get some wins down the stretch.

“I don’t think it was too little aggressiveness. Maybe a little overzealous going after guys, just trying to step on it a little bit

Sogard waits for the throw and a forceout./JEFFREY S. KING

with runners on. Maybe just continuing to keep my front side closed – something (Kyle Snyder) told me. I think that would help.”

Kiermaier (two hits) and Adames (three) had five of the Rays’ eight hits.

“We’re not playing good baseball right now, that’s safe to say,” Kiermaier said. “I think it all stems from our offense – we just don’t have a lot of guys locked in right now to be quite honest. Just feel like we haven’t got a whole lot of guys on base lately. Our pitching has been a little bit more human here the last four or five games, but you look back at our series with them in Seattle, I think all pretty close to one-run games.

“If you don’t get a pitching effort from Yarbrough the way he threw is just one of those things. Scoring one run, two, three is

Duffy throws to second for the force./JEFFREY S. KING

not going to do it. I thought when I hit that double tonight to go up 4-2 and then that next half inning, or maybe two innings later, a walk here and there and a double. Then it was a tie ballgame and then they hit a couple homers after that. It’s a snowball effect. Everyone knows we’re not playing good baseball right now.

“Even the wins we’ve had…We’re a team that we’re capable of – with the way our pitching is and the way some guys in here can swing the bat – we should be winning games by 4, 5, 6 runs often at times. Right now, like I said, we don’t have guys very locked in at the plate. We’re sitting here and coming in and getting our work in. It’s just that baseball happens like that at times. I think from a personal standpoint I’m one of those guys as well. I’m not as locked in as I’d like to be. I felt pretty good tonight, but most of us play better when we have that confidence going and that swagger throughout the whole lineup. We feed off that. And right now we just don’t have a whole lot of momentum going for us. It’s tough. We’re in a tough situation but we all know we control our own destiny and we have to find ways to be better.”

The Rays try to avoid a sweep today when they play the Mariners at 1:10 p.m. at Tropicana Field. Charlie Morton gets the start against Cory Gearrin.

Adames had three hits for Tampa Bay./JEFFREY S. KING

 

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