Rays Notes: Significance of Rays’ 9-8 Loss to the Royals

By Robbie Knopf

Last night’s Rays loss was extremely tough to watch. The Rays held early leads of 5-0 and 6-1 before completely imploding on their way to a 9-8 loss. The Rays are usually carried by their pitching and hope for enough offense to win–this game was the exact opposite, with the Rays’ offense stepping up only to see their pitching come apart. It was inexcusable that the Rays lost when their lineup had great a night. How rare was it that the Rays lost quite a game? It was something that hadn’t happened in more than two years.

The last time the Rays lost a game while scoring 7 or more runs was way back on September 14, 2010, 370 games ago. How notable is that? It was the longest active streak in baseball with no one else coming even close. The next closest two teams were the Atlanta Braves on 8/6/11 (238 games ago) and the Los Angeles Dodgers on 8/10/11 (236 games ago). Every other team in baseball lost when scoring 7 or more runs at least once in 2012 and 16 have lost in such a fashion already in 2013.

Where did the Rays’ streak rank in baseball history? Since 1915, it has been surpassed by only four other teams: the 1915 to 1918 New York Giants (564), the 1917 to 1920 Boston Braves (426), the 1970 to 1973 Baltimore Orioles (404) and the 1917 to 1920 Chicago Cubs (399). None of those teams performed the feat anywhere near recently, with only the Orioles performing it in the last 90 years. Unbelievable. The Rays had a special streak going, but unfortunately it came to an end on Wednesday night. What it teaches us is just how dominant Rays pitching has been the last two years, with them finding a way to win every single time the Rays offense got them 7 runs. The streak is over now. But if the Rays offense can have more nights like this, it bodes extremely well for the Rays this season. And once the Rays’ pitching staff gets back on track, it might be a very long time before they lose again when the Rays stake them 7 runs.