Rays Struggles Continue In Loss To The Orioles

The Tampa Bay Rays would not make the playoffs if the season ended today. That is how far the Rays have fallen with their AAA lineup that has struggled since the big three of Franco, Ramirez, and Margot went down with injuries.

The Rays lost to the Baltimore Orioles 10-3 on Friday night, as Baltimore banged out 19 hits against the beleaguered Rays pitching staff. The loss dropped the Rays to 58-53 on the season. They now trail Baltimore by a half-game for the last wild card spot in the American League.

What began as a strength of the Rays has turned into a debacle, as the Rays pitching staff has struggled the second half of the season.

Corey Kluber started the game on Friday night and was shelled for seven runs in five and two third innings of work. Of course, the Rays knew that we would not see the “Cy Young” Kluber when he signed with the Rays, but I certainly expected a little better than this.

Kluber has been durable but inconsistent this season with a 7-7 record with a 4.40 ERA. However, you could say that his performance has mirrored the Ray’s season so far.

Randy Arozarena provided most of Ray’s offense on Friday night with his 14th home run of the season, a two-run shot in the sixth inning.

In Milwaukee, Wednesday Night, the Rays had a 3-2 lead going into the ninth inning. However, Colin Poche gave up a solo home run in the ninth to Rudy Tellez as the Brewers tied the game at three.

Milwaukee won in extra innings in the tenth on a walk-off hit by former Ray Wily Adames off Ryan Thompson.

It has not been just the bullpen and Corey Kluber, though. The Rays All-Star Shane McClanahan has pitched like anything but an All-Star since Mid-July.

In his last two starts, McClanahan is 0-2 with a 5.60 ERA. He has allowed 15 hits with four walks and 14 strikeouts.

If the Rays can hang in there, reinforcements are coming.

Wander Franco and Harold Ramirez took batting practice before the Rays-Orioles game on Friday and could begin rehab assignments next week.

Manuel Margot is scheduled to continue his rehab at AAA Durham beginning next week. However, the Rays need all three of these bats back in the lineup ASAP before the season is lost.

Pitchers Nick Anderson, JT Chargois, and Yonny Chirinos are all rehabbing at Durham, and all three could be back sometime in the next few weeks.

Don’t look for Shane Baz to be back anytime soon. Kevin Cash said the x-ray on his elbow went well, but Baz will need two weeks of arm strengthening exercises before he begins to throw again.

The big questions for the Rays are whether the players rehabbing from injuries will be available in time to help the Rays get back into a wildcard playoff spot.

As Franco, Ramirez, and Margot return to Tampa, it will be like spring training part two for these players. As a result, it may take some time for them to get their mojo back.

Let’s hope it’s not too late, and the Rays have one more good run of baseball left in them this season.

The Rays will play the Orioles again Saturday and Sunday at Tropicana field. Shane McClanahan and Drew Rasmussen will start for the Rays.

%d bloggers like this: