Rays shut out as their season ends in defeat

by Gary Shelton on October 9, 2022

in general

Sunday, 4 a.m.

In the end, there was nothing.

You knew how it would end. All season long, through the slumps and dips and flailing at whatever pitch that came, you could tell the Rays would go out with a whimper. That when it counted, they just wouldn't hit enough to advance in the post-season.

Yes, you could look at Saturday's 1-0, 15-inning loss to the Cleveland Guardians as simply losing a classic game. But the Rays' awful bats, their complete lack of offense, was bound to catch to them.

"I saw guys trying to do too much," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. "We were looking for the three-run homer with no one on base. When you take that mindset  against good pitchers, they can sit you down."

Think of this: In the post-season, the Rays scored one run in 24 innings. They went 7 hours and 14 minutes with a single run. They struck out 29 times.

And they scored ... one.

It is not a new problem. The Rays' pitching allowed only three runs in the series, certainly low enough to win at least one game. But all season, the Rays were going uphill when it came to scoring. At that rate, it was simply a matter of time until Oscar Gonzalez homered for the game's only run.

How bad were the Rays? Consider the two games.

Yandy Diaz was 0-10.

Wander Franco was 1-9.

Randy Arozarena was 1-9.

Harold Ramirez was 1-9.

Ji-Man Choi was 0-5.

Manny Margot was 1-8.

Jose Siri was 1-9.

Any questions?

Rays' fans will remember this team as a disappointment. No power. No clutch hitting. Bad base running. Too many strikeouts. Too many games, such as Saturday, when a pitching performance was wasted.

The Rays used eight pitchers in their last loss, and seven of them had shutout performances. Tyler Glasnow threw five shutout innings, and Jason Adam worked his way out of a bases-loaded, no one out situation with Jose Ramirez at the plate in the sixth.

So how does next season look? Pitching wise, the Rays should be fine behind Shane McClanahan and Tyler Glasnow. But how does this team get more offense? The outfield seems set with Arozarena, Siri and Margot. The Rays could bring in a better bat at first, maybe at catcher, but the payroll limits that.

Regardless, games like this are frustrating. The Rays are forever walking on ice, forever chasing balls below the zone.

Eventually, maybe you'll remember this season fondly. Despite injuries, the team managed to make the post season.

And maybe, just maybe, this season will be like a runner on third base, unable to get home.

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