Rays suffer their sloppiest loss of all

by Gary Shelton on May 9, 2017 · 1 comment

in general

Kiermaier misplayed a base hit into a three-base error/CARMEN MANDATO

Kiermaier misplayed a base hit into a three-base error/CARMEN MANDATO

Tuesday, 4 a.m.

After a game like this, your eyes hurt.

After a game like this, you feel nauseous, and you feel dizzy, and there is flop sweat all over. You need a shower worse than the players.

After a game like this, there is but one question to ask about the Tampa Bay Rays: Why, exactly, are they not in last place again?

The Rays were terrible in Tuesday night's 7-3 loss to Kansas City. Awful. Of all the games they lost, and of all the leads they have blown,

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Rasmus (on base) tripled to start the second, but watched the Rays' side strike out./CARMEN MANDATO

Rasmus (on base) tripled to start the second, but watched the Rays' side strike out./CARMEN MANDATO

there hasn't been anything quite this wretched. It was a horror show, a train wreck, an affront to the very sport itself. Somewhere, Abner Doubleday is throwing up in his coffin.

I mean, wow. Was this ugly or what? It was the sloppiest game the Rays have played this season. It may have been the sloppiest game anyone has played. It was like the Hit Show joined up with Hal McRae's pitchers and Larry Rothschild's defense.

Once again, Snell didn't get very deep into the game./CARMEN MANDATO

Once again, Snell didn't get very deep into the game./CARMEN MANDATO

“It’s one of those where you are happy that it’s over with," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "We didn’t play very well, obviously. We didn’t do anything well. We didn’t catch the ball, we didn’t throw the ball, we didn’t hit. None of it. It will be a good day to come in and recharge a little bit. Look forward to playing tomorrow.

"Ideally when we are at home, we’d like to perform a little better than we did tonight, but I have all the confidence in the world that we will bounce back and put together a good game tomorrow.”

The Rays, of course, would like you to believe it's that simple, that different pitchers will set the tone and there will be a whole new game today. But do the Rays' have that kind of credibility after a 68-win season? Or are the team's shortcomings just catching up to the Rays?

There were small little stink lines, like in the comics, surrounding the Rays' play against the Royals. Now, sometimes, the Rays aren't good enough offensively. And sometimes, the bullpen fails them. But this was an all-around stinker. By the sixth inning, you were probably holding your nose. Or watching something else.

Morrison is unhappy after striking out./CARMEN MANDATO

Morrison is unhappy after striking out./CARMEN MANDATO

Break down the game into different categories:

The defense? The Rays had four errors. They didn't slow down the Royals on the base paths (four stolen bases). Even Kevin Kiermaier, the guy who leads the world in defense, let one go beneath him for one of those Pee-Wee League home runs.

The pitching? Blake Snell gave up 10 hits in five innings, his 14th start (out of 16) in which he hasn't gone more than five. Austin Pruitt went back to throwing slow-pitch. Kansas City had 13 hits, the most it has had this year.

The offense? Don't ask. The Rays seemed to think the point of the game is to get a guy to third. Colby Rasmus hit a leadoff triple in the second, and the Rays promptly struck out swinging three times. They loaded the bases in the third with none out, and followed it with a strikeout and a double play. They loaded it again in the seventh, but Brad Miller and Logan Morrison whiffed. (They did score on a wild pitch.) The Rays, who lead the league in strikeouts, fanned 16 times against Kansas City, the most of any game this year. Six of the strikeouts were with a man on third.

The resiliency? The Rays had a lead for the 13th time this year and lost.

"Not a heads-up play on my part," Kiermaier said. "I knew I wasn’t going to throw him out, but I still wanted to get to the ball and have the third base coach in his mind that maybe get him to stop right there. Like I said, just not a good play on my part and I paid for it and we paid for it. It was not a clean game by us tonight, starting with me.”

The Rays have now lost three out of four, all to last-place teams.

The Royals had six players with at least two hits. The Rays had Corey Dickerson with three and Evan Longoria and Colby Rasmus with two.

Tampa Bay plays the Royals again tonight, with Matt Andriese starting for the home team.

Pruitt had another rough stint for the Rays./CARMEN MANDATO

Pruitt had another rough stint for the Rays./CARMEN MANDATO

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Larry Beller May 9, 2017 at 6:07 am

Gary, You articulated everything I have been feeling about the Rays lately. I gave up watching this game after seeing 3 guys strikeout following the lead off triple in the second inning. Looks like I did myself a favor. Remember when we couldn’t wait for the Rays to bring up Blake Snell from the minors? After roughly 1 full year a lot of people are wondering when they will send him back down. What a huge disappointment that guy has been.

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