Tampa Bay Rays In Midst of Historically Bad Run
The past week or so has not just been bad for the Tampa Bay Rays, it has been historic.
August has been a rough month for the Tampa Bay Rays. The offense has gone stone cold, and while the pitchers are performing relatively well, it is impossible to win a game 0-0. At some point, the Rays offense will need to heat up again.
Just last week, the Rays ended what was a truly horrific run of offensive futility. On Saturday, they were shut out for the fifth time in eight games, a streak that had not been seen since the Dodgers in 2012. If we want to look only at the American League, then we need to go all the way back to 1978, when the Oakland Athletics performed that feat of futility. At least the Dodgers came close to the postseason that year, although they were ultimately left out due to that horrific run.
This stretch has truly hurt Tampa Bay. At one time, they were neck and neck with the Yankees for the top Wild Card spot, and there were dreams of catching the then scuffling Red Sox. Since then, the Rays have dropped to two and a half games out of the Wild Card, tied with the Baltimore Orioles. A total of five teams have passed them in the standings, and the Rays offensive struggles do not appear to be coming to an end.
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It is a dramatic change from the beginning of the year. The Rays were winning with their offense, outslugging their opponents at a historic rate. Tampa Bay set a team record for the fewest games needed to reach 100 homers in team history earlier this season. Logan Morrison had been a legitimate candidate for the Home Run Derby, and Corey Dickerson turned into an All Star.
However, since August 4, everything has changed. The Rays have a total of 12 runs in their last ten games, going 2-8 in that stretch. In doing so, the playoffs have become a questionable proposition. It feels so long ago where the Rays were buyers at the trade deadline.
As the past two weeks show, a lot can happen in a short amount of time. The Rays could well break out of their offensive malaise, and find themselves back in the thick of the Wild Card race. The bats could come alive once more, with Tampa Bay slugging their way back into the postseason.
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If that is going to happen, the Tampa Bay Rays need the offense to come alive soon. Otherwise, they may fall too far behind.