Rays News

Game 162: Tampa Bay Rays Fall in Final 2014 Contest

By Fletcher Keel

It was a season of ups and downs. It stared slow, and was capped by a horrendous May, which left the Tampa Bay Rays nearly 20 games under .500. It progressed to be historic, as the Rays became just the third team in MLB history to ever be that far below .500 and manage to return to an even record later in the season. The All-Star Break came and went, and there was, all of a sudden, a glimmer of hope for the Rays. The Wild Card seemed to be in sight, and the division title was still within reach.

The second half started well, but the rest of the division played well also, and as the weeks went by, the Wild Card seemed to be the only hope. Then, the Rays fell back to earth and elimination followed a few weeks later. A that time, the Rays essentially began to play for next year and provided a look at what 2015 and beyond can hold in store.

In today’s regular season finale, the Rays were unable to hold onto an early lead against the Cleveland Indians in a rematch of last year’s AL Wild Card game. Cleveland scored in three consecutive innings to eventually win the game and the series, as they closed out the season with a 7-2 victory.

Rays starter Alex Cobb gave up a pair of solo home runs and was touched up for four total runs as he was the losing pitcher of record, but still finished the year above even with a 10-9 mark. Cobb also reached the minimum innings needed to finish 2014 with the sixth best ERA in the American League at 2.87. It would have been nice to see Cobb finish better, but the poor conclusion takes nothing away from his outstanding season.

The Rays had no trouble getting men on base, scattering seven hits on the day, and Sean Rodriguez had a multi hit game, including a home run in the top of the second to score the first run of the ballgame. A trio of guys who you’d want to end the year well–Wil Myers, Evan Longoria and Brandon Guyer–finished the season with a hit each. Myers stole his second base in as many days while Longoria at least mustered a tiny bit of Game 162 magic with a sac fly and a ninth inning single.

The Tampa Bay Rays end the 2014 year with a 77-85 record, but all the potential in the world for next year. While 10 fan bases are looking forward to next month, the fun for some fans begins now: hot stove league. Rays Colored Glasses has big things planed for the Winter Ball, the Arizona Fall League, the Winter Meetings, and everything happening all the way through spring training. April isn’t all that far away, is it?