There is an alarming trend that seems to be developing with the Tampa Bay Rays through the first 19 games of the season. The Rays are having above all else, having trouble hitting the ball.
Last 5 wins, runs scored: 8, 9, 6, 15, 11…Average 9.8
Last 5 losses, runs scored: 1, 2, 0, 2, 2…Average 1.4
The Rays have started an alarming trend of losing a few games while looking atrocious at the plate, and then winning one with an offensive onslaught. This will not lead to succes in the MLB. The season is long and consistency and lack of injuries moreso than anything else are the keys to a long run into the playoffs.
Only 4 regular players (JB, Longo, Aki and CC) are batting over .300 through 19 games. Carlos Pena, Pat the Bat, Gabe Gross, Gabe Kapler, Dioner Navarro and BJ Upton are all batting under .250.
Other than Grant Balfour and Dan Wheeler, are bullpen seems to be calming down a bit as well, which is definitely a positive sign. I still think even moreso than the hitting problems we have had, that the bullpen is our biggest problem.
Andy Sonnanstine got shelled on Sunday and if he continues to struggle, his rotation spot might be the one in jeopardy when David Price eventually gets called up. Jeff Niemann has calmed down since his first rough start of the year and is looking like a solid pitcher. 11.1 IP, 4 ER, 6k in his last two outings.