It was a bad night at the Trop.
And it wasn't long before the Rays found themselves in a big hole.
After surrendering two quick runs in the first inning, Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez launched a no-doubter to center field that knocked in three more runs. Before you knew it, the Rays were trailing 6-1.
Honestly, how the Pirates got the final two runs in the game aren't really important. Overall, the Pirates ran circles around the Rays last night and it certainly looked like only one team came to play.
A couple of takeaways from last night:
- Alex Cobb isn't ready to be the No. 1 guy. Face it, Price is on his way out. And if you asked fans before the season who would be the next guy to step in to the team's No. 1 slot, Cobb probably would have been the popular selection. He's looked great at times this year, but last night marked the third time he's given up at least six runs in an outing since he returned from injury on May 22. He only has two wins. Sure, if he had any sort of offensive help on occasion, he would probably have about four wins. But still. Two wins. And a 4.10 ERA. Last night didn't quell any concerns as he looked uncomfortable on the mound all night.
- Yunel Escobar is on the media's radar. A while ago, I wrote an article discussing the drastic shift in Defensive Runs Scored for the Rays this season. As of last night, they are on pace to lose the team 26 runs, whereas they saved the team 10 runs in 2013, a 36-run difference. One of the biggest reasons for that change is the lackluster fielding of Yunel Escobar, who has committed more errors this season than all of last year. He's clearly not the same fielder as last year and has lost a few steps on his fielding range. I could speculate the reasons range from he's not in the last year of his contract anymore or he's not in as good of shape or he's hurt, but whatever the reason, the media is starting to catch on.
I hate to be outwardly critical of players, but IMO Yunel Escobar has to go...Just not the type of guy that will help the Rays going forward
I hate to be outwardly critical of players, but IMO Yunel Escobar has to go...Just not the type of guy that will help the Rays going forward— Mark Pukalo (@mpukalo) June 24, 2014
Last year, Escobar was the "sparkplug" for the Rays - in the field and in the dugout. This year? Not even close. If he's not fielding, he doesn't bring much value to the team.
This tweet perfectly summarizes the Rays season, I think.
Your 2014 Rays!