After a four-game sweep of the Los Angeles Angels earlier this week, the Rays flew up the coast to Oakland for a weekend series with the Oakland A’s.
The A’s have given the Rays all that they can handle and have taken the first two games in the series.
It has been a combination of things that have led to the Rays dropping the first two games in Oakland.
The Rays have been horrible with runners in scoring position in Oakland. It’s almost as if the Rays left the offense in Anaheim when they got on the plane for Oakland.
The Ray’s best chance in the 2-1 loss on Friday night came in the eighth inning as the Rays had runners on first and second with one out and could only get one run across.
The Rays left 11 men on base in the 6-3 loss on Saturday. Again it was the eighth inning when the Rays were able to get two men on with nobody out and could only get one run across in the loss.
In the ninth, the Rays loaded the bases with no one out and could not get any runs across in the 6-3 loss.
Diaz flies out, Lowe struck out, and Wendle grounded out too short.
Cash talked about how frustrating that can be. “Yeah, it was frustrating. We worked really hard late in the ballgame to kind of make a comeback and kept tacking on. They got one across and we’d get one back.”
Cash seems confidant the Rays will start hitting. “Totally understand and recognize the hitting is going to come around, it’s just been kind of quiet here lately.”
The Rays are closing in on the quarter mark of the season. Many playoffs berths and division titles have been lost early in the season due to not being able to get going offensively.
The next question that needs to be asked is, Is it time to bring up Vidal Brujan and Wander Franco from Durham?
The answer is yes, yes, and yes.
In case you hadn’t noticed, those two guys are tearing the cover off the baseball. Brujan is hitting .429 with four homers and nine runs batted in. No player on the major league roster comes even close to those kinds of numbers.
Wander Franco is hitting .450 with two homers and five runs batted in. Erik Neander has to be looking at these guys and thinking how they could impact Tampa’s offense.
Ji-Man Choi is rehabbing his knee injury at Durham and is hitting .231 with one run driven in.
Choi would be an improvement over Yoshi Tsutsugo right now.
As a team, the Rays are hitting .224, which is 10th in the American League. The most consistent hitter on the team has been catcher Francisco Meija, hitting .300 with one homer and six runs batted in.
But Meija was put on the DL with an oblique injury. Austin Meadows leads the team with seven home runs but has been inconsistent with his hitting with his .202 batting average.
Starters Brandon Lowe, Willy Adames, Michael Brosseau, and Yoshi Tsutsugo are all hitting below .200.
The Rays pitching has been better than expected. The team has a 3.83 ERA, good for fifth place in the American League.
Tyler Glasnow has been very good despite getting roughed up yesterday, and rookies Shane McClanahan and Luis Patino have all delivered when called upon.
The bullpen’s performance has been spotty, and to be fair, they have had one injury after another. Closer Diego Castillo is currently on the DL with a groin injury, and Michael Wacha was put on the DL with hamstring tightness just as Colin McHugh was activated off the DL.
A roster move that went under the radar was Chris Archer being moved from the ten-day DL to the 60 day DL. As a result, Archer will be out till mid-June.
The Rays are 18-17 and trail the Red Sox for the division lead by 3.5 games.
The good news is the Rays will be back home this week for “New York week.” The Rays will play three against the Yankees and then three against the Mets next weekend.
The Rays are 5-1 against the Yankees this season and will look to build on that record this week.