ST PETERSBURG, FL - JULY 17: Pitcher Matt Moore #55 of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches against the Cleveland Indians during the game at Tropicana Field on July 17, 2012 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
The Seattle Mariners and Blake Beavan took the final game of their 3 game series with the Rays by a final score of 2-1. The loss drops the Rays to 49-47 on the year and certainly reinforced the notion that if the Rays want to contend for a wild card in 2012 Andrew Friedman is going to have to repair the anemic offense. The Rays have to do something between now and Tuesday evening to spark the offense.
Matt Moore was the victim of the Rays lack of offense as he took the loss to drop his record to 6-7 on the year despite delivering the Rays a much needed 8 innings allowing 2R/2ER on 5 hits whiles striking out 7 and walking 0. Kyle Farnsworth followed Matt Moore and retired the side in order. Moore and Farnsworth combined to retire the last 20 Mariners in a row.
The Rays only threatened to score in the bottom of the 9th versus Tom Wilhelmsen who gave up a 2-out double to Matt Joyce and walked Jeff Keppinger. Hideki Matsui was summoned to pinch hit for Brooks Conrad and attacked the first pitch he saw popping out to shortstop Brendan Ryan to end the game. Beavan earned the victory to improve to 5-6 on the year and Tom Wilhelmsen was credited with his 10th save on the year.
Through 96 games this year the Rays have been held to 3 runs or less a staggering 48% of the time (46 out of 96 games) and have a record of 8-38 in those games. It seems as if every pitcher the Rays come up against, whether a well established star, a journeyman, or fresh from the minors has a way of shutting the Rays offense down.
We see it in any city where the opposing fans take to twitter and message boards and name the opposing pitcher Cy whatever but in 2012 the Rays are truly allowing the opposing pitchers to put up Cy Young type performances day after day. If getting shut down by Cleveland Indians hurler Josh Tomlin wasn't a big enough warning flare being shut down by Blake Beaven should.
Entering the game Beavan was 4-5 with a 6.06 ERA on the year. His last 4 outings were against the Kansas City Royals (5ER/6IP), LA Dodgers (6ER/2IP), LA Angels (6ER/5IP), and the Texas Rangers (5ER/6IP). Add it all up and that's 22 earned runs in his last 15 innings pitched. Against the Rays on Sunday he worked 8 innings allowing 1R/1ER on 4 hits while striking out 5 without issuing a walk..
Game Highlights After The Jump
The Mariners jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Casper Wells led off with a ground rule double but was erased when Ichiro Suzuki sent a groundball back to Matt Moore who threw Wells out at 3rd base. Moore was unable to escape damage as Suzuki stole second and third before coming in to score on a double off the bat of Jesus Montero.
The Rays came back to tie the game in the bottom of the first. With 1-out Carlos Pena just missed a homer and was robbed of at least extra bases on a nice leaping grab at the wall by Ichiro Suzuki but the Rays fortunes changed as Ben Zobrist lined a ball off the first base bag and came around to score on a RBI single by Matt Joyce.
The Mariners regained the lead in the top of the 2nd. With 1-out Michael Saunders reached base on a bunt single and beat a throw to second from Carlos Pena on a pickoff attempt. With 2-outs in the inning Brendan Ryan lined a single into the left field corner to score Saunders to give the Mariners a 2-1 lead.