Rays fall to the last wild-card position in AL

by Gary Shelton on September 15, 2022

in general

Thursday, 4 a.m.

With the Tampa Bay Rays running low on gas, the question is this: How do you believe they can finish this season with a wild card berth?

Hitting? No, not really. The Rays had just seven hits in a 5-1 loss to Toronto Wednesday night. They've scored three runs in their last two games, all on solo homers. They were 0-for-six with runners in scoring position.

Starting pitching? No. Four of the last five Rays' starters have failed to go deeper than four innings into a game.

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Bullpen? Not really. Both Jason Adam and Colin Poche blew leads in this series.

So what will it take? The Rays have now lost five out of six games and have sunk to third in the wild-card race. Fortunately, they still have a comfortable lead over fourth-place Baltimore.

One of the disappointing parts of Wednesday's loss was the performance of Drew Rasmussen, who had seven straight starts where he gave up two runs or less. He gave up four this time, on six hits, in four innings.

“They kind of timed everything up pretty well," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said". I don’t think they knocked the cover off the ball, but they certainly did a good job of putting balls in play, putting pressure on us and finding holes. They’re not a team that strikes out very much. When they have baserunners on, they can become very very dangerous."

The Rays had a small threat in the eighth inning, getting runners on first and second with no one out. But Toronto reliever Yimi Garcia struck out Randy Arozarena, Harold Ramirez and Ji-Man Choi in order to get out of the inning.

The Rays play Toronto for the fifth straight game today at 3:07 p.m. Shane McClanahan will start for the Rays against Kevin Gausman.

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