With the Rays snapping their four game losing streak last night, everyone seemed to be finding their swing again while beating Boston 13-3. Prior to last night, they lost six out of seven games to the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees, who are contending for the AL East Division title and first AL Wild Card slot. If the Rays could have won even one of those series, their claims to the fans that they can still make it to the postseason would not have seemed so empty. While the rest of his teammates floundered around offensively prior to last night’s game, Ben Zobrist’s performance was solid as usual. He hit one RBI in the third inning and scored one run in the sixth inning Wednesday. But his real value could be witnessed on Tuesday night, when he batted in four runs and had two hits. Unfortunately, his effort was not enough as the Rays lost to the Red Sox 7-5.
Zobrist currently leads the team with 4 runs and 9 RBIs over the past seven games. Evan Longoria is regarded as the offensive leader, but he has 3 runs and 4 RBIs to show for the past week. Zobrist has remained an offensive staple during this season while also leading the team for the season with .267 batting average, 69 RBIs, and 79 runs scored.
When the Rays’ bats get hot, everyone is praised. But during the past week’s offensive drought, where was Zobrist’s pat on the back? He usually gets commended just for his defensive skills as a utility player, even being nodded for playing shortstop in the past week. The Rays proved last night they could still contend for the second AL Wild Card spot. Their schedule for the next week includes a three game series against the Toronto Blue Jays and a two game series against Boston. Considering both of those teams have kissed the postseason goodbye, the Rays can gain significant ground in the second AL Wild Card race. They just need to look to Ben Zobrist to lead the way.