Cold Rays are swept by Boston as funk continues

by Gary Shelton on August 10, 2017 · 2 comments

in Baseball, general, Tampa Bay Rays

Odorizzi had allowed only one run before being hit by a line drive./CARMEN MANDATO

Odorizzi had allowed only one run before being hit by a line drive./CARMEN MANDATO

Odorizzi is helped to the dugout after being it by a line drive./CARMEN MANDATO

Fortunately for Odorizzi, there were no broken bones./CARMEN MANDATO

Thursday, 3:30 a.m.

Here's a thought. Maybe it's time for the Tampa Bay Rays to stop talking about the American League wild-card race.

After all, the way they are playing, it's hard to consider them to be a post-season team.

The Rays lost their fourth out of five games Wednesday night, and it really didn't matter that 14-game loser Rick Porcello was on the mound instead of 14-game winner Chris Sale. The Rays lost 8-2, and continued to look like a team unraveling before your eyes.

Consider this: The Rays got four hits, the third time in the last five games they've been held to four or fewer. They made two errors, and they had two wild pitches, and they had a passed ball, and they hit a batter. They struck out nine times and went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position.

Does that sound like good baseball to you?

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Miller tags out Ramirez in the fifth./CARMEN MANDATO

Miller tags out Ramirez in the fifth./CARMEN MANDATO

Eventually, Tampa Bay did score two runs, both on solo homers by Adeiny Hechavarria and Brad Miller. But by then, it was all but over.

If things weren't bad enough for the Rays, Jake Odorizzi – just returning from the disabled list — was pitching in the fifth inning when he took a line drive off his foot. X-Rays were negative, and Odorizzi was hopeful of making his next start, but it was one more thing to go wrong for Tampa Bay during the homestand.

Okay, okay. Chris Sale is a fine pitcher. And Zack Davies of Milwaukee. Maybe Jimmy Walker. But Porcello?

Hechevarria grins after hitting his first homer as a Ray./CARMEN MANDATO

Hechavarria grins after hitting his first homer as a Ray./CARMEN MANDATO

Brandon Woodruff? These days, every pitcher seems to turn into Sandy Koufax against the Rays.

How cold are the Rays' bats? Consider:

– Corey Dickerson has gone 0-for-his-last-17. He's down to .293 this year.

– Logan Morrison is 0-for-his-last-10.

– Evan Longoria hit for the cycle last week, but he's three-for-26 since then, a .115 average.

– Wilson Ramos is hitting .181. Over his last 13 starts, he's hitting .122.

– Outfielder Mallex Smith is 0-for-his-last-13.

– Outfielder Steven Souza is 0-for-his-last 7.

In all, the Rays have four runs and 26 hits in their last five games. They are hitless in 28 at-bats with runners in scoring position.

On July 18, the Rays were seven games over .500. Since then, they have gone 7-13.

“The offense was quiet,” manager Kevin Cash said. “We got sloppy a little today, but at the end of the day if we aren’t going to put runs up it’s going to be tough to win. Porcello, he’s tough and good, but we’ve had plenty of games where we’ve had success against him. I thought today we missed pitches that we normally hit off him. We probably expanded a little bit more. We talked about before the game we hadn’t expanded too much. Today I thought we took ourselves out of some opportunities to get on base.”

Wilson Ramos, who had a tough night, buries his face./CARMEN MANDATO

Wilson Ramos, who had a tough night, buries his face./CARMEN MANDATO

Even before Odorizzi's injury, Cash wasn't pleased with his pitch count.

“I thought Jake obviously did a good job of limiting damage, but the pitch count is something that we really need to temper,” Cash said. “Foul balls, deep counts, all of those things. Giving up one run, that’s good, but at the same time, we need him to go deep. 55 pitches after two innings and 73-74 after three, generally that is not going to line you up to get deep in too many ballgames.”

Odorizzi said the pitch-count was high because of the Boston hitters.

“It was one of those situations where it was death by foul ball," Odorizzi said. "There was a lot of foul balls. It drove the pitch count up. It's a product of a good team. From a body standpoint, I felt really good. I thought I executed some of the pitches pretty well. I'm sure I can obviously improve. I need to get some more early count outs. They did a really good job. They fouled a lot of pitches off and made me work."

Odorizzi said his foot will be fine.

Mallex Smith overwhelmed by another Rays' loss./CARMEN MANDATO

Mallex Smith overwhelmed by another Rays' loss./CARMEN MANDATO

"Just got some nerves in there more so than bones,” Odorizzi said. “Bones are fine. That's all that matters,” Odorizzi said. “It was right below my ankle and above the bottom of my foot. Bones are good. I guess I have good bones. I was surprised. It was a weird sensation. As soon as it hit me, it started burning. Then, I had no feeling in it.

"I was kind of expecting the worst, but we got the best news. If all things go as they should, I should be good to go for my next start. We just dodged a big bullet. I'm sure it will be sore tomorrow. It's sore right now. I think it's going to be sore in the nerves. The nerves are the big thing. Once they kind of relax, it will be alright. I dodged a bullet for what could have been. It will be nice to avoid some baseballs moving forward. It's been a tough year for getting them hit back at me."

The Rays will try to break out of their slump today when they play against the Cleveland Indians. For the Rays, winless Blake Snell (0-6) will start the game against Danny Salazar (4-5). Game time is 7:10 p.m. at the Trop.

Cishek had his sixth scoreless appearance since joining the Rays./CARMEN MANDATO

Cishek had his sixth scoreless appearance since joining the Rays./CARMEN MANDATO

 

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Larry Beller August 10, 2017 at 6:25 am

Thanks for the game summary Gary. I can’t watch this team implode anymore. That’s a shame because I was so looking forward to seeing them play meaningful games in September. Do you think Tebow outdraws the Rays tonight?

Reply

Gary Shelton August 10, 2017 at 8:41 am

I think they have one more hot streak in them. I don’t think they make the post-season, but it’ll get interesting again. I hope.

GS

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