Rays Battered, Fail to Take Advantage of Schedule

by Gary Shelton on August 26, 2019 · 2 comments

in general

Pham drove in his 55th run of the season./TIM WIRT

Monday, 4 a.m.

It was a stretch in which they were supposed to get rich.

Here in the Wild-Card race, this was a time in which the Tampa Bay Rays were supposed to run away and hide. Why, just look at the schedule. Miami. Toronto. Seattle. San Diego. Detroit. Seattle again. Baltimore.

It was the short-putt section of the schedule, a time when for the Rays to get fat and take over the Wild-Card race.

But they didn’t.

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Beeks is struggling for the Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

Oh, the Rays won games, but not nearly as many as a true contender would have. Not against the seven dwarves (counting Seattle as two). The Rays finished just 13-8, and they showed a severe shortage of starting pitching. They lost their last two games, giving up 15 runs to the woeful Orioles, as their pitching failed them.

Sunday, it was Jalen Beeks, the same Beeks who had won his first 10 decisions (over two years) with the team. Beeks has now lost three straight, giving up 28  earned runs in his last 30 innings. It was an effort that would disappoint even Jose Alvarado.

“He really couldn’t get anything going,” Rays’ manager Kevin Cash said. “It seemed Baltimore was on a lot of his pitches.  He didn’t get a ton of  swing-and-miss (pitches). They capitalized on every pitch threw over the plate. They were prepared and ready to hit.”

So how do the Rays get Beeks to return to form?

“I’m not really sure,” Cash said. “He’s working, getting messages delivered to  him. We’re doing what we can to get the best out of Jalen. He looks like a guy on the mound who — I don’t want to say lost but he’s not feeling it. Searching is probably the best word. It’s tough to compete when you’re searching and that’s what he’s doing.”

The Rays fell behind 1-0 behind opener Diego Castillo, but the Orioles added three in the third and two in the fourth. The Orioles pounded the Rays for 16 hits, including five by Anthony Santander.

For the Rays, Eric Sogard, Meadows, Austin Meadows and Ji-Man Choi each had two hits.

Kevin Kiermaier was injured running into an outfield wall. He is day-to-day.

“It’s sore,” Kiermaier said. It’s just all muscle. Obviously, you’re not trying to ever run into the wall. The ball was carrying real good today. I knew where I was at. I didn’t quite land gracefully. I hit my ribs against the wall pretty good.

“Nothing showed up (on x-rays). I knew that was going to be the case.  If I can try to take a run away right there … If we lose by one run and I didn’t make the play, I would have been upset about that.”

The Rays have today off, then start a three-game set at Houston on Tuesday. Charlie Morton will pitch against the Astros’ Justin Verlander at 8:10 p.m.

 

 

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Larry Beller August 26, 2019 at 6:22 am

The wild card hopes were so bright just a couple of weeks ago and now they seem so unlikely. With Beeks and Austin Pruitt pitching every 5 days what hope can the Rays realistically have especially now that the offense has come back to earth? This team is being held together with duct tape and spackle. The tougher teams are waiting and the Rays are woefully undermanned.

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Gary Shelton August 26, 2019 at 5:43 pm

It’s hard to disagree. Who knows what king of shape Glassnow and Snell will be in when/if they return.

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