Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rays making uncharacteristic mistakes

SEATTLE — The Rays aren't used to this.

Not just that they have a losing record for August and September, but how it's happening, with a lengthy rap sheet of costly mistakes and uncharacteristic misplays.

"This," manager Joe Maddon said Saturday afternoon, "has been our worst baseball all year."

Maddon already felt the players have been tight and trying too hard, and Saturday he suggested that the carryover is showing up on the field.

"Just a little unsure of ourselves," he said.

"We're making mistakes we normally don't make. I don't want to say routine-routine, but they're pretty basic things that we normally do well late in the ballgame and we've just got to get back to not making those mistakes."

The eighth inning of Friday's staggering 6-4 loss to the Mariners was a frustrating microcosm of how it has been going.

In the top half, Sean Rodriguez made the first out by inexplicably getting picked off second, and Evan Longoria made the last out by being too aggressive with the bases loaded, swinging at the first two pitches and grounding out. All told, the Rays got three walks, a single and a pinch-hit RBI double from Luke Scott in the inning yet scored only one run, tying the score at 4.

And that was just a warmup for the bottom of the inning. First centerfielder Desmond Jennings dropped a fly ball (his third error in less than two weeks) to put the go-ahead run on second with one out. Reliever Joel Peralta made it worse by walking Kendrys Morales. And rookie rightfielder Wil Myers completed the festivities by mistiming his dive for Justin Smoak's line drive, the ball bouncing off the heel of his glove to allowed two runs to score.

"We have to be able to make those plays," Maddon said. "To go to the promised land, you've got to be able to do those things."

Maddon noted but had no answers for why they have played poorly on both West Coast road trips (including Arizona), winning only two of the first 13 games. "For whatever reason, we have not adapted well," he said.

Some of the mistakes have been odd, some weird, some hard to explain.

The Rays are going to have to do a lot of things better over the remaining three weeks, specifically in late-game situations.

"Already this year we've talked about that we've lost a lot of games late that we have not normally lost in the past," Maddon said. "I keep saying at some point we've got to stop doing that, and we really do. It's there for us to take. There's a lot of time for us to start playing our best baseball of the year, which I'm anticipating that we will do. We've played badly and we've played really well this year.

"We're normally a good August-September team, but we're not showing up yet."

Marc Topkin can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @TBTimes_Rays.

Rays making uncharacteristic mistakes 09/07/13 [Last modified: Sunday, September 8, 2013 12:33am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning's Steven Stamkos looks close to top form in first game since November

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Lightning captain Steven Stamkos was curious how he would feel — and perform — in Friday's exhibition against Nashville, his first game since mid-November knee surgery.

    The Lightning’s Alex Killorn, left, makes his preseason debut and has an assist in a 3-1 win against the Predators at Amalie Arena.
  2. Rays journal: Rays tie franchise home run record

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — A major flaw in the Rays offense this season — and thus a major reason for their inconsistent play and losing record — has been too much reliance on the home run.

    Wilson Ramos points after hitting a grand slam during the second inning, putting the Rays up 4-0.
  3. Ww's Odessabeach makes run at Husker Magic stakes final


    ST. PETERSBURG — When Hurricane Irma blew through Florida earlier this month, Ww's Odessabeach remained in her comfort zone.

  4. Steven Souza Jr. vindicating big trade for Rays

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — There was a time when the three-team, 11-player transaction the Rays orchestrated to get Steven Souza Jr. from the Nationals looked liked a bad deal.

    The Rays’ Steven Souza Jr. has 30 home runs while improving his defense and baserunning.
  5. Rays at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. Saturday, Baltimore

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Orioles

    7:05, Camden Yards, Baltimore

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Pitcher Jake Odorizzi #23 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait at Charlotte Sports Park during photo day on February 26, 2014 in Port Charlotte, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)