After being swept in a doubleheader by the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday, the Tampa Bay Rays have now lost 10 games in a row. The Rays are now 12 1/2 games back of the O’s in the AL East. No doubt our Tampa/St. Pete based correspondent Larry Thornberry can’t be pleased.
Nine of their ten losses have come against first place teams (the Orioles, Indians & Giants). Their offense has imploded with injuries to Steven Souza, Jr. and Steve Pearce. Until they scored six runs in the second game of the doubleheader against the O’s, the Rays had not scored more than four runs. In five of the ten losses, the Rays have scored one run or less. Evan Longoria, who is having an All-Star caliber season, now has virtually no protection in the lineup. The Rays have added outfielder Oswaldo Arcia from the Minnesota Twins, but even if their offense improves the pitching has been a major disappointment with the possible exception of Matt Andriese who is somehow 6-0 on the season. Chris Archer, seen by many as a Cy Young candidate, already has 10 losses which leads the AL.
What makes things all the more frustrating for the Rays was that it appeared they had turned the corner. They won 9 of their first 13 games in June and were a game under .500 when the losing streak began on June 16th against the Seattle Mariners. As in politics, a week in baseball is a lifetime.