The Tampa Bays Ray’s offense continues to struggle. On Monday night, the Rays dropped a 4-2 decision to the Chicago Cubs to drop their record to 1-3 on the current road trip. The Rays have lost six of their last seven and are now 5-6 on the season.
Outside of the nine-run outburst against the White Sox on Sunday afternoon, the Rays are averaging two runs a game over their last seven games.
I expect the offense will get it going at some point, but two runs a game will ensure you are home in October watching the playoffs.
Shane McClanahan started for the Rays and his best outing of the young season, giving up two runs in six innings of work with a career-high nine strikeouts and no walks.
McClanahan turned it over to Jason Adam, who allowed the first two batters to get on base before turning it over to Jeffrey Springs. Springs allowed a single to Ian Happ driving in the go-ahead run, and that was the ball game as the Ray’s offense could never get it going in the 38-degree weather last night.
Manager Kevin Cash put more of the blame for the loss on the offense than on the bullpen. Our relievers have done a really nice job,” he said. “We can dwell on that inning, and that’s fine, but there were many opportunities that we had before that you feel like we could have capitalized to give our pitchers a little bit more room.”
It didn’t help that the Ray’s best bat Wander Franco was sidelined Monday with quad tightness. Franco is expected to be back in the lineup on Tuesday night.
This season, Franco, Ji-Man Choi, and Manuel Margot have led the Ray’s offense, all batting over .300. Choi is hitting .423.
The Rays have been somewhat of a disappointment so far this season. We all expected much better from an offense that many projected to play in the World Series.
Kevin Cash talked about some of the main issues as the Rays struggle early on. “I think a lot of it is because we haven’t been as crisp on defense. We’ve been running into outs. That is a little uncharacteristic for this club. But we’re going to work hard to get it right. It’s early, but that’s not an excuse. We’ve got to play better.”
It seems to always come down to execution when the wheels go off the track.
Outside of Corey Kluber’s first start of the season, an 8-0 win over the Orioles; this was the best start from a Rays starting pitcher this season.
The Rays will have two more cracks at the Cubs before a weekend series with the Boston Red Sox. Matt Wisler will be the opener Tuesday night at Wrigley, while Drew Rasmussen will start on Wednesday night.