Make us your home page
Instagram

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 topkin@tampabay.com. 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

Loading...
  1. Volkov hopes to prove his surprise selection right

    Blogs

    RW Alexander Volkov was not a particularly talked-about player in the lead up to the NHL entry draft.

    Alexander Volkov’s KHL contract expired in the lead-up to the draft, which gives him the freedom to begin playing in North America right away.
  2. Competition and uncertainty keep New Port Richey's Steve Miklos hooked on power boat racing

    Outdoors

    HOLIDAY — If Steve Miklos could have it his way, every power boat race would take place in rough water. He finds the turbulent conditions calming, an attitude he's developed during a professional power boat racing career that spans hundreds of races dating back to 1991.

    Steve Miklos, the throttle man and owner of the No. 51 Sun Print Racing boat, poses at his shop in Holiday. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  3. Did a Cubs player give Trump the middle finger during a White House visit?

    Ml

    President Donald Trump welcomed former Rays manager Joe Maddon and the World Series champion Chicago Cubs into the Oval Office. But it was a photo that surfaced later that got much of the attention on …

    President Donald Trump welcomed former Rays manager Joe Maddon and the World Series champion Chicago Cubs into the Oval Office. But it was a photo that surfaced later that got much of the attention on social media.
The photo, taken by Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times, purportedly shows outfielder Albert Almora Jr. flipping a bird while standing just feet from Trump as the other players were gathered around his desk. [Gordon Wittenmyer via Twitter]
  4. Jeff Vinik contributing $6 million to fund Lightning's practice facility upgrade

    Blogs

    With free agency beginning Saturday, Lightning GM Steve Yzerman will have another selling point in the courting process.

    The plan will create a brand new locker room and training facilities for the team, an 18,000 square foot addition.
  5. Buccaneers defense was among NFL's best when its pressure got to the QB

    Bucs

    It doesn't matter how many times they've thrown a football. It doesn't matter how many seasons they've played. It doesn't matter whether they have a degree from Harvard or Central Florida.

    Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy recorded 6.5 sacks last season, but many of his other contributions didn't show up in the box scores. [ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times]