There are games when you lose because the other team outplayed you. Then, there are games that you lose because you beat yourself. That was what happened to the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday, as a David Price allowed multiple defense miscues to throw off his rhythm. With the 9-2 loss against the Chicago White Sox, the Rays now move to 11-14 on the season.
David Price cruised through five innings, though his stuff was not as sharp as normal. His secondary stuff was not great, but Jose Molina saved him multiple times with outstanding pitch framing and Price got through the first five innings in short order. But in the sixth inning, everything came crashing down. The Rays committed four errors in the inning, and there was also a play ruled a hit on a sharp grounder to Yunel Escobar, but it was honestly a play that Escobar usually makes. The most inexcusable play of the inning was on a Marcus Semien bunt. David Price fielded the ball and threw it away, but to make things worse Wil Myers bobbled the ball when backing up the play, earning himself an error, and then allowed a run to score by lackadaisically lobbing the ball back into the middle infield rather than making a strong throw towards home plate. The Rays made just seven errors in their first twenty-four games, but made four in just the sixth inning alone. Price ended up going 6+ innings, giving up eight runs (six earned) and striking out seven while walking one. Not a good line for Price, but you have to think that the defensive miscues threw off his rhythm and got to his head.
The bullpen tried to keep the Rays in it, but Josh Lueke was once again poor. He allowed two inherited runners to score before giving up an earned run of his own. Lueke has not looked good this year, and while the Rays will want to give him as many chances as possible because he is out of options, you would have to think they are beginning to sour on Lueke. Heath Bell, who has looked even worse than Lueke this year, did throw a perfect final inning and struck out a batter. Hopefully he is beginning to right the ship. Overall, not a good day by the entire Rays pitching staff.
The pitching staff may have been poor, but the offense also didn’t do much to contribute to the game. Their total of seven hits was not awful, but Ben Zobrist was the only player with multiple hits and they left too many runners on base. Despite scoring only two runs, the Rays needed help from the White Sox to get that much, as an error from outfielder Dayan Viciedo allowed David DeJesus to score the Rays’ first run in the top of the fifth. Evan Longoria drove in Zobrist with a single in the top of the eighth inning, but at that point the game was already out of hand. It is also of note that all of this came against 29-year old Scott Carroll, who was making his MLB debut after seven seasons in the minor leagues. The offense has been inconsistent so far this year, and that was evident once again today. The top of the order has finally been hitting as of late, but the bottom half is still struggling and you would have to think that is going to change before too long.
The Rays will take on the White Sox to try to even the series tomorrow at 8:10 ET. Andre Rienzo will start for the White Sox and will be opposed by Jake Odorizzi, who is looking to rebound on a rough past couple of starts. Come back to Rays Colored Glasses for all the analysis you need of the game.