The Rays Tank: That Road Trip Was a Bust

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

One road trip + two sweeps = not much fun.

The Rays just wrapped up their worst roadtrip since 2008, going 0-5 and getting swept by both the Diamondbacks and the Dodgers. Our bullpen reverted back to the way it looked in the beginning of the season. It wasn’t pretty and seems to be causing panic amongst the fanbase.

That roadtrip is now in the past and we can look forward to this week. The Mariners come to town for a three-game series, immediately followed by three more games against the Blue Jays. According to Raysbaseball.com, Chris Archer is listed as the starting pitcher for Tuesday night’s game, so it looks like his forearm strain wasn’t too serious. Archer will face Erasmo Ramirez.

Then on Wednesday, David Price will take the mound against Aaron Harang. As we all know, Price’s gem of an outing on Friday ended in a no decision when our bullpen completely imploded and blew a 6-1 lead.

Thursday’s starting pitcher for the Rays is still listed as TBD on their website, but Alex Cobb is the tentative starter, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. The Mariners scheduled starter is Joe Saunders.

That means the Rays will not have to face King Felix, nor will they face Hishashi Iwakuma. Hopefully we can pull off a sweep and pick up some momentum again. Or as Joe Maddon likes to refer to it, SWARM.

Matt Moore threw 50 pitches off of a mound yesterday and told MLB.com reporter, Bill Chastain, that he "couldn't imagine it feeling better based on how the last two weeks went." According to Chastain, if everything goes ok with Moore’s next bullpen session on Tuesday, a simulated game might not be necessary. He also stated that Moore could return in the Oakland series "next weekend", but I think he meant the Toronto series considering we don’t face the A’s until the last weekend in August.

As of right now, the Rays are three games behind the Red Sox for the AL East lead, and currently share possession of the AL Wildcard with Oakland, who also holds a record of 66-50. Boston travels to Toronto on Tuesday through Thursday and then hosts the Yankees this Friday through Sunday.

Links:

- Jose Abreu defected this weekend. Ben Badler has the full story at Baseball America, and here’s a piece from Jonah Keri in 2012 describing Abreu's offensive power. The Rays could definitely use another bat in the lineup, but considering Abreu profiles as one of baseball's best hitters, he will most likely be out of their price range.

- While others are focused on attendance, Stephen Nolgren of the Tampa Bay Times focused on the Rays' continued high draw in television ratings. His overarching articles tackles the future benefits and risks to come. Here's to hoping 2017 comes before the television contract market has a bubble burst...

- Albert Pujols isn’t the only one thinking about taking legal action after allegations flew this weekend about PED use. Kevin Slaten, co-host with Jack Clark, is taking legal action against the radio station WGNU 920 AM after his termination this weekend. Jack Clark will make a decision on Monday whether or not he, too, will sue.

- Joe Maddon talked with MLB Network Radio this weekend about Chris Archer, ARod’s appeal and PED use in general. Thanks to our own Steve Kinsella, you can listen to the interview here.

- Ken Griffey Jr. was inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame this weekend and many former teammates and players around the league discussed their memories of him in a tribute video.

- Talk about disrespectful…Adam Jones had a banana thrown at him in centerfield at AT&T Park yesterday and he took to Twitter after the game to call the fan out.

- Just so your Monday isn’t completely terrible, here’s a look at last week’s wildest pitches around the league.

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