Rays Scuffling on Road Trip
You knew it would happen sooner or later. The Red Sox have too much talent to lay dormant for long, and their recent surge, coupled with the Rays troubles over the past few games, have the AL East looking like quite the scrum right now. Baltimore is the only team under .500, and that by only two games. The Yankees bats have kept them alive even as they continue patching holes in their pitching staff with guys like Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia.
So what has happened to the once high-flying Rays? Well, honestly, it’s baseball. No team can continue the hot pace they had on the road all season. There are still a lot of holes in the lineup.
A look at the team at first blush, you’d think you had the Bad News Bears in the club house. Kyle Farnsworth was always in trouble it seems. Casey Kotchman was a first round pick gone bad. Sam Fuld was the poster boy for grit and determination not being enough to keep him in the big leagues. Kelly Shoppach and Felipe Lopez are vagabonds, moving from city to city selling their wares. Yet somehow Joe Maddon has managed to infuse them with a sense of accomplishment and a desire to excel, and that has a team baseball was tossing in the trash in March one game out of the lead in the AL East.
The team hasn’t been able to hold on to close games like they did earlier in the season. That’s the breaks. But there is a whole lot of baseball yet to be played; 113 games remain on the Rays schedule and the next two teams are two of the best in the AL in Texas and Cleveland. As fans we have to ride the roller coaster of emotions that come with a 162 game schedule and expect some trials and tribulations mixed in with our joy and elation.
I’m certain there is a lot going on that we can’t see. June 1st is coming, which could see Desmond Jennings making his debut. Alex Cobb might get another call if he’s been able to work on masking his pitches. One thing for certain, the Rays haven’t pulled all of the rabbits out of their hat yet.
Stay tuned – It’s going to be an interesting season