Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays lose to Marlins as skid hits 10

ST. PETERSBURG — Watching the Rays play, with one thing or another going wrong seemingly every day, it has been fairly easy to see how their losing streak, after Thursday's 11-6 defeat, has now reached 10 and they have the worst record in the major leagues.

But living it, apparently, is something else.

"It's unbelievable," outfielder Matt Joyce said. "It's almost to the point that it's ridiculous. We're not a bad team; we're really not. We have some great players who have some tremendous talent. It just seems like we have not been on the same page."

Thursday's debacle against the Marlins served as the latest example.

They got a decent start from Jake Odorizzi. Churned out more offense than they'd had in a week. Played a clean game in the field. And … lost it when their bullpen, specifically their two hottest relievers in Jake McGee and Brad Boxberger, failed them.

"We just can't balance it all out," manager Joe Maddon said.

The 10-game streak matches the fourth worst in franchise history, second longest since shedding their Devil Rays past to a 2009 11-gamer. The 23-38 record, and accompanying features, such as games under .500 and games back, also take them back to their dark (green) days.

"It's frustrating, it's shocking, there's a long list of words that can describe it," Joyce said. "At the end of the day, we're stuck in the middle of it, and we're the only ones that can pull ourselves out."

After taking and losing a 1-0 lead, the Rays fell behind 3-1 as Odorizzi gave up five straight two-out singles (two ground balls through the infield and a chopper among them), but then came back to tie on fifth-inning homers by rookie Kevin Kiermaier and Ben Zobrist.

After Odorizzi allowed a double to open the sixth, Maddon went to the bullpen, and in a somewhat unusual — or perhaps more urgent — way, summoning McGee at what Maddon obviously felt was a critical juncture.

And McGee, who had retired 21 consecutive batters and hadn't allowed a run since April (with 15 appearances since), allowed three singles and an RBI groundout, promptly ending both of his streaks and leaving the Rays behind 6-3.

"Jake just had one of those unusually tough days," Maddon said

The Rays closed the gap to 6-5 on a single by Desmond Jennings, a triple by Joyce and a one-out RBI pinch-hit single by Jerry Sands, snapping their 0-for-34 hitless streak with runners in scoring position that dated to last Friday in Boston.

Maddon then turned to Boxberger, who hadn't allowed a run in his past nine appearances. He then let them down, allowing a leadoff single to Donovan Solano and a loud laser-like homer to Giancarlo Stanton, his NL-leading 17th. Peralta was next, and he gave up another run to make it 9-6.

"It's just hard — we've just got to keep trying to piece it together," Maddon said. "Always talk about that formulaic kind of game — it's been a while since we had it."

Maddon remains resolute that they can and will turn it around.

"I still believe there's a really good finish to the season for us," he said. "I still believe the playoffs are a possibility. I'm not just saying that, I believe that."

But, he also admitted, what's gone on is hard to believe.

"It's very difficult," he said. "There's teams you could bed on that you could almost understand it, that it could happen. … This team is too good for that. There is too much talent out there to go through this particular moment."

   
Comments
For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Archer facing Price

For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Archer facing Price

The Rays are set to take on the Red Sox again tonight with a bit of a student-mentor framing as Chris Archer takes on former Tampa Bay ace David Price.The Rays announced they are putting RHP Jake Faria on the 10-day DL due to the oblique strain he su...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays put Jake Faria on DL, call up Vidal Nuno

Rays put Jake Faria on DL, call up Vidal Nuno

The Rays, as expected, are placing RHP Jake Faria on the 10-day DL with a left oblique strain that he sustained during Tuesday's game.Somewhat unexpectedly, they are calling up LHP Vidal Nuno to take his place.Nuno, 30, has pitched parts of five seas...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rays morning after: Faria frustrated after latest letdown

Rays morning after: Faria frustrated after latest letdown

Whatever pain RHP Jake Faria was feeling as a result of the oblique muscle on the left side he strained throwing a fourth-inning slider to Boston's Hanley Ramirez couldn't compare to the hurt in his heart.Forced to leave Tuesday's game and likely hea...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Willy Adames homers, but Rays fall to Red Sox and suffer injuries

Willy Adames homers, but Rays fall to Red Sox and suffer injuries

ST. PETERSBURG — Top prospect Willy Adames is only going to get to stay with the Rays for a few days, so good for him for making the most of it with a home run in his first big-league game, and off Red Sox ace Chris Sale no less.But the good fe...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays loss to Red Sox

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays loss to Red Sox

Marc Topkin's takeaways from Rays 4-2 loss to Red Sox on Tuesday:* The Rays record against a Red Sox team they consider a measuring stick doesn't look very good at 3-8. But, as manager Kevin Cash and several players pointed out, there is some consola...
Published: 05/22/18
Rays journal: Critics don’t faze Sergio Romo or team

Rays journal: Critics don’t faze Sergio Romo or team

ST. PETERSBURG — Criticisms of the Rays' latest innovative pitching strategy have piled up since Angels INF Zack Cosart said after Sunday's game that starting RHP Sergio Romo to get the first three-six outs was "bad for baseball.''One of the lo...
Published: 05/22/18
For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Faria on the mound

For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Faria on the mound

UPDATE, 6:04: Cash said the Rays don't know yet if Wendle will be  back Thursday or Friday, though with the Sox starting RHP Rick Porcello on Thursday that would make sense. …  Cash said OF Carlos Gomez (groin strain) will run the bas...
Published: 05/22/18
Rays call up top prospect Willy Adames – but only for a couple days

Rays call up top prospect Willy Adames – but only for a couple days

The Rays have called up top prospect INF Willy Adames – though likely for a short stay.INF Joey Wendle was placed on the paternity list Tuesday, which allows him to miss up to three days.Manager Kevin Cash said Adames is headed back to Triple-A...
Published: 05/22/18
Rays journal: Christian Arroyo set to play first game at Tropicana Field

Rays journal: Christian Arroyo set to play first game at Tropicana Field

ST. PETERSBURG  — Christian Arroyo has watched more than 50 Rays games at Tropicana Field from the stands. Has been on the turf for his younger sister's gymnastics competitions and once, while it was in football configuration, to take grou...
Published: 05/21/18
There’s a swing by Rays CF Kevin Kiermaier …. and a gender reveal for November baby

There’s a swing by Rays CF Kevin Kiermaier …. and a gender reveal for November baby

Tampa Bay Rays OF Kevin Kiermaier and his wife Marisa are having a boy.Kiermaier shared the news on Twitter over the weekend in a most appropriate themed gender reveal event — taking a swing at ball that exploded with blue powder.Looks like im ...
Published: 05/21/18