Game 66: Jake Odorizzi Great, But Offensive Woes Continue

By Drew Jenkins

It has been one thing after another for the Tampa Bay Rays this season, and lately it has been the offense that has kept the Rays from winning games. They wouldn’t score for the third night in a row on Tuesday, losing 1-0 to the St. Louis Cardinals. With the loss, they Rays fall to 24-42 on the year.

Jake Odorizzi turned in a brilliant start for the Rays. He would go 7.1 innings, giving up just 3 hits and 1 walk while striking out 5. His only blemish of the day would be a mistake that Matt Holliday took out of the park for a solo home run. It has been a mixed season for Odorizzi, who has put up a disappointing 4.85 ERA to date. However, this start shows just how good he can be when he is on, and the Rays are looking to hone his consistency moving forward. It will be interesting to see how Odorizzi pitches in his next couple starts, as Jeremy Hellickson is nearing his return and will likely take the roster spot of either Odorizzi or Erik Bedard.

Joel Peralta would come on after Odorizzi and got the only two hitters he faced out. After struggling some earlier in the season, Peralta has now given up just 2 runs in his last 14 outings. Jake McGee would then continue his All-Star worthy season by firing a scoreless 9th inning. As a whole the pitching staff certainly did their job, limiting the Cardinals to just 3 hits and allowing just 1 run.

While the pitching staff was great, the offense once again struggled. They were shut out for the 4th time in 5 games, and all-together they have not scored in 28 innings, a franchise record. It wasn’t for a lack of chances, as they would put up 8 hits and drew 3 walks. But, they would go 0-6 with runners in scoring position, and they now have only gotten 10 hits in their last 101 at-bats with runners in scoring position. Someone is going to have to start coming through in the clutch if the Rays offense is going to get going.

The offense may be struggling, but Kevin Kiermaier hasn’t gotten the memo. He would go 2-5 tonight, and his average is now sitting at .362 in his 17 games this season. Kiermaier is certainly making the most of his big league opportunity. James Loney would also put up a 2-4 performance. However, key lineup pieces like Evan Longoria, Matt Joyce, and Ben Zobrist would all stay quiet.

The Rays and Cardinals will be back in action tomorrow, and the Rays offense won’t be getting any breaks by facing Michael Wacha. Erik Bedard is the Rays’ probable pitcher for the 7:10 ET start time.