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Rays Takeaways: Is Tampa Bay too dependent on the long ball?

Lately, the team has struggled to come up with clutch hits
Rays DH Austin Meadows high-fives teammates in the dugout after hitting a homer in the bottom of the sixth inning against the Yankees on Sunday, May 12, 2019. [ALLIE GOULDING   |   Times]
Rays DH Austin Meadows high-fives teammates in the dugout after hitting a homer in the bottom of the sixth inning against the Yankees on Sunday, May 12, 2019. [ALLIE GOULDING | Times]
Published May 13, 2019
Updated May 13, 2019

Where’s the offense?

The Rays’ only run on Sunday came on Austin Meadows’ solo home run. And in this series — and throughout the season — they’ve been too dependent on the longball. Nine of their 11 runs this series came off home runs. The opportunities were few on Sunday, but after going 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position, they are hitting just .237 as a team with runners in scoring position.

Speaking of power

Maybe there's truly no one to blame for Sunday afternoon's 43-minute power outage. We've seen those lightning strikes put the 16th street substation offline. There were no storms on Sunday. This one was an internal issue at the Trop. Regardless, can we all agree that given the Rays' uncertain long-term future in Tampa Bay, this is another bad look?

Take a pitch?

Yes, Masahiro Tanaka was at his best on Sunday, but when Blake Snell’s pitch count goes from 38 to 68 in one inning, shouldn’t it be second nature for his hitters to take some pitches and give him some time to get a breather? Tanaka — whose walk numbers are higher than ever — made such quick work of the Rays through the middle innings, and it didn’t spell well for Snell or those pitchers who came after him.