The clouds are turning ominous. I am not a naysayer but there are truly fewer and fewer positives to grab onto for the Tampa Bay Rays. The most telling stat right now is that the Rays have lost eight of the last nine games at home. No team can do that and expect to be successful. Frankly, the Rays are not a good team and are digging a hole that is growing deeper by the minute. There is plenty of time to turn this season around but, at some point, one has to wonder if this is the Rays. Alex Cobb and Jeremy Hellickson can come back and throw perfect games, but they are not hitters.
Hitting has become the bane of the Rays existence. Evan Longoria is battling a slump to rival last season. He is hitting .257 at a time when he is needed the most. Coming into the game, Desmond Jennings was in a 4 for 40 stretch, his batting average coming in at just .235. Wil Myers is hitting .241 and still has too many at-bats where he is lost. James Loney’s is sinking as well, now at .306. Today’s game was a summation of the Rays’ struggles. They got guys on base, but proceeded to hit into double play after double play. Desmond Jennings, one of their fastest players, hit into two double plays.
On top of that, Evan Longoria is in a downward spiral like no other. He is pressing and looks completely lost at the plate. It’s hard to imagine how he will dig himself out of this slump. I would suggest maybe days off, because he needs to decompress.
As for Jake Odorizzi, his start was a mixed bag. The three runs he gave up were all in one inning, the second. He righted himself for the most part, striking out eight in the process. The problem is, he only pitched 4.2 innings, walking five. Jake Odorizzi is a vastly talented pitcher. Going forward, the Rays need to work on a game plan for him, because that is when he pitches the best.