PHILADELPHIA — The Rays don't play today, yet it might be the most important day of the season.After a second loss in three days to the worst-in-baseball Phillies, this one an ugly 5-4 10-inning walkoff defeat that the Rays fully earned with arguably their worst performance of the season, manager Kevin Cash said he had seen enough."I don't know what else to say other than that was ugly," he said Wednesday.Except that he had better see improvement when they re-gather Friday to open a series at the Trop with the Orioles."Kind of a little bit of a gut check for all of us, I think. Myself included," Cash said. "If 24 hours off helps do that, evaluate that, then so be it."We need to kind of flip a switch here. Now."Evan Longoria, the team leader whose offensive struggles have been part of the problem, agreed with both of Cash's assessments.First, with what they're doing on the field."We're playing like an A-ball team," Longoria said.And second, at a game under .500 at 48-49 with the division lead and wild-card spots getting further from view, that they had to figure out how to do something about it quickly."Obviously, if we keep playing the way we're playing, it's going to fall apart pretty fast, our chances of competing for a playoff spot," Longoria said. "And the teams in our division have started to play better. It's not like early in the year where we're getting opportunities because other teams are losing."We're burying ourselves."Wednesday, there were plenty of hands on the shovels.They weren't as sharp as usual on the mound, Jake Odorizzi putting them in an early 2-0 hole (and being unhappy about getting pulled after five), relievers Brandon Gomes and All-Star Brad Boxberger failing them at crucial junctures.They wasted repeated opportunities, including an almost impossible-to-figure stretch from the second to fourth innings where they went 7-for-11 and didn't score. For the day, they were an abysmal, even by their standards, 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position, leaving 12 on."That was pretty rough to sit there and go through," Cash said. "We just had opportunity after opportunity, don't capitalize."And completing the triangle, they were uncharacteristically sloppy in the field. They made three errors, including one that put the Phillies ahead in the sixth when normally silky smooth first baseman James Loney let a routine grounder go through his legs as he rushed — "Probably a little too soon" — to try to turn a double play.There were a few other misplays, but it was a missed play in the 10th that loomed largest, as it set up the winning run.Boxberger, admittedly not as sharp in working a second inning, got off to a bad start, allowing a leadoff bloop single to Domonic Brown, the former Pasco High star.Worse, Boxberger fielded Carlos Ruiz's popped-up bunt by the side of the mound but rather than throw to second to get the lead out, as the other infielders were urging him to do since Brown had to hold up, took the safe way and threw to first."I didn't look at the runner," Boxberger said. "It was just a bad read."An out later, Odubel Herrera fouled off six two-strike Boxberger pitches, five in a row, and capped the 11-pitch at-bat with the winning single that sent the Rays headed for a long trip home."Those are the plays that have to be made," Longoria said. "It's one of those games where you shake your head and think about all the chances you had."The more games you have like that make for a long year. And it's pretty easy to figure out why you're not contending in September and October when you're doing those things."Cash, in the toughest stretch of his first season, said he didn't plan to meet with the team, assuming the situation would be obvious as they have lost 19 of 27.But with several players saying they see the extended skid as just part of the ups and downs of a long season, Cash's sense of urgency that it was "gut check time" was not apparent — not yet anyway — in all corners of the clubhouse."I don't know," Odorizzi said. "If he seems to think it is, I guess we need to take a day and get our heads right, I guess, and get back on the right track."With only 65 games remaining, it does seem clear they have to do something — and soon, or the trade deadline may be more about whom they trade away than whom they get — to keep the season from slipping away. And Friday, with ace Chris Archer on the mound, is a good place to start."We definitely put ourselves in a hole, losing this series to a team we should have definitely taken the series from," Boxberger said. "We'll see how we react. We've got some good teams coming up. It's just a matter of turning things around or else it's not looking too good." Contact Marc Topkin at firstname.lastname@example.org . Follow @TBTimes_Rays .