Video: Rays Peralta on struggling 'pen and 6-4 loss
Rays veteran reliever Joel Peralta may have picked up the loss Tuesday, giving up two runs in the ninth of a 6-4 defeat to Toronto, but he acknowledged the entire bullpen is struggling right now.
Tampa Bay has lost 13 games in which it has had a lead, the most in the majors, and Rays relievers boast the highest ERA in the AL (5.19).
But Rays manager Joe Maddon said it's not time to "blow things up," as it's more of a "confidence issue" rather than ability issue. He said it's just an anomaly moment right now, and firmly believes - by the end of the year - the group will be among the best in the league, like it was last year.
"It’s a bad stretch for almost everyone in the bullpen right now,” said veteran Joel Peralta, who gave up the go-ahead solo homer to Maicer Izturis in the ninth. “Almost everyone is trying to make pitches, we’re probably trying too hard. Sometimes the harder you try the worse it goes.”
"We need to get the confidence back to challenge the hitters, to try to hit the spot and definitely confidence is the biggest thing for a pitcher. Sometimes because of confidence you're going to make mistakes, but you believe so much in that pitch, you're going to throw it and you're going to get an out. But if you don't feel confidence, sometimes it's when you elevate the ball more or miss the target more. Confidence is one of the biggest things."