Rays squeeze by Tigers to stay in the wildcard race
The Tampa Bay Rays took the series from the Detroit Tigers over the weekend and have won seven of their last nine to stay in contention for a wildcard playoff berth in the American League.
The Tigers are the worst team in baseball and have a 37-83 record yet the Rays were not at their best offensively this weekend and really struggled to beat the Tigers two out of three winning the two games in walk off fashion in their last at bat.
The pitching however was outstanding. It’s hard to believe that Charlie Morton and Ryan Yarbrough are the only bonafide starters in the rotation, and the Rays are just patching the rest of the rotation together.
Trevor Richards started the game Sunday afternoon and immediately ran into problems giving up two runs in the first putting his team in a hole.
Richards acquired from Miami at the trade deadline, was making his first start for the Rays after spending some at Durham lasted just over three innings in his debut.
On Saturday night it was one for the record breaks as the Rays set a new record for most strikeouts in an extra inning game with 24 while not issuing one walk or allowing a run.
Ryan Yarbrough was outstanding striking out ten batters over 6 1/3 innings, then the bullpen took over and the relievers struck out out 14/20 batters the rest of the way as the Rays shutout the Tigers 1-0 in 13 innings.
Pinch hitter Michale Brosseau had the big hit for the Rays and drove in the game winning run.
As has been the case all season, Charlie Morton was outstanding on Friday night striking out ten in seven innings in the 2-0 loss.
The big mystery is the inconsistency of the offense. The Tigers have one of the worst pitching staffs in baseball and the Rays were only able to score six runs in three games.
If the Rays are to be considered playoff contenders and want to be playing baseball in late October they will need a better and more consistent offensive performance.
Yandy Diaz and Brandon Lowe are still out and Diaz will be for the rest of the season. We all were expecting Lowe to be back by now but he has not been progressing as quickly as the Rays thought he would. Joey Wendle is still struggling with his sore wrist.
Travis D’Arnaud and Eric Sogard have come in and given the Rays offense a lift at times, but the Rays need more timely hitting from Tommy Pham, Austin Meadows, and Kevin Kiermaier.
The Rays play Seattle and Baltimore this week. The Orioles are another team that the Rays should be feasting on as they have the worst pitching in baseball with a 5.93 ERA.