No, It’s Not Time to Panic

By Robbie Knopf

Yes, the Rays have gone into a slide, losing 6 of their last 7. No, there’s no reason to be worried.

The Rays pitching has hit a little rough patch, posting a… 4.14 ERA. That’s not that bad at all!  The Rays have lost a bunch of close games and Matt Moore is still searching for his command, but the Rays pitching has slipped just slightly and there’s plenty of reason to think they’ll be fine. The bullpen has allowed a few big hits late in games, but after a solid stretch where they didn’t allow anything, some lapses are to be expected. The Rays defense has let up a few unearned runs lately, especially in Saturday night’s game, but there’s no reason at all to doubt the Rays defense.

About Moore, his stuff is still as dominant as ever. His command has just been off, something that has happened before over the course of his pro career. And we also had to expect growing pains from Moore in his rookie season. Once he smooths out his control problems, he’ll be fine and we’ll see the outstanding pitcher that we saw at the end of last season.

The Rays have averaged 3.43 runs per game over their last 7, certainly not great. But they’re averaging 7.7 hits and 3.86 walks per game, and their 11.57 hits and walks per game is right around the league average of 11.78. A few clutch hits here or there and the Rays could have won a couple of these games. Sure, the Rays offense is not as good with Evan Longoria absent, but they’re getting on base and if they can hit better with runners in scoring position, they’ll be fine.

And by the way, the Rays are still 20-14. That’s nothing to complain about. We also happen to be just 34 games through a 162-game season. There is a ton of time left for the Rays to turn things around. It’s been a tough stretch for the Rays, but they’ll get by it and get back to being one of the top teams in the AL East and in all of baseball.