Rays hammered as summer swoon continues

by Gary Shelton on July 30, 2023

in general

Paredes hit two homers./TIM WIRT

Sunday, 4 a.m.

Perhaps the question should not be if the Tampa Bay Rays will be active at the trading deadline. Perhaps the question should not be who they will pursue.

Perhaps the question should be how many trades they can possibly make.

The reality has been obvious for awhile. This team needs help, a lot of it. If nothing else, Saturday’s 17-4 embarrassment at the hands of Houston should demonstrate that.

It needs to swap for another pitcher. By now, it should be clear that young Taj Bradley simply isn’t ready for the major leagues. Bradley hasn’t won a game since June 21, and his ERA is rising like the flood. This time, Bradley got 10 outs and gave up five runs. Turns out, he was one of three Rays pitchers to give up at least five earned runs.

It needs to trade for more hitters. The Rays got seven hits, but five of them came after the seventh inning.

It needs to trade for impact. The Rays are now only three games ahead of Toronto in the chase for second place in the AL East behind Baltimore.

The Rays are now 6-16 in July and are averaging fewer runs than any team in the major leagues.

This was as bad as it has been all season. The Rays’ previous high in runs given up was 15. This was so bad the Rays replaced their pitchers with a backup catcher (Rene Pinto), who was so bad he was replaced by a pitcher.

It seemed to go south for the Rays in the first inning, when Wander Franco was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a foul fly by ball to Alex Bregman. The Rays never threatened; the Astros turned the game into batting practice.

Isaac Paredes hit two home runs for the Rays, but it didn’t erase the sting.

The Rays and Astros play again today at 2:10 p.m. at Minute Maid Park. The Rays will start Zach Littell against Brandon Bielak.

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