The Rays completed a disappointing road trip today with a 3-2 loss to the Tigers. The team went 2-4 on the trip, their first losing roadie this season, despite outscoring their opponents 28-25. Outside of the game against Toronto where they allowed 17 runs, in no other game did the opposition score more than 3. Unfortunately, all losses count the same. The Rays currently sit 1.5 games behind the Yankees in the East, which isn't too bad considering their recent struggles. If they are going to catch, and this time stay ahead of, the Yankees they'll need to win games like today's.
Even though they were facing Justin Verlander, the offense was presented with ample opportunities to score runs. They just...didn't. The Rays had at least one base runner in all but one inning, yet managed to score just two runs. Verlander wasn't so sharp today, allowing nine men on base while hurling 119 pitches in his six innings of work, yet got the key outs in the right situations. The same could have been said for Matt Garza - right up until the Ryan Raburn home run. He had worked out of two bases loaded situations, each with two outs and Johnny Peralta at the plate after walks to Miguel Cabrera. The Rays REALLY don't plan on letting Cabrera beat them this season. Garza would last only 5.1IP, while giving up seven hits and three walks while striking out just four. It was a far cry from his no hit performance in his last outing against Detroit. His pitch f/x numbers don't look terrible, he just threw far too many pitches. He threw his fastball 82 times for a near 70% strike rate, and even got eight whiffs on it. The pitch to Raburn was a fastball that caught too much of the plate and ended up costing the Rays the game, though it really shouldn't of come to that.
- It was nice to see the Rays keep up their walking ways, racking up six more bases on balls today, two each from B.J. Upton and Kelly Shoppach. The hitting with runners in scoring position just wasn't there.
- Evan Longoria hit a triple today, his third extra base hit in as many games. He had been slumping this month, so a 5-14 series is encouraging.
- Very nice relief work by Chad Qualls and Dan Wheeler. Qualls has been exceptional since coming over from Arizona.
- Not to hate on Bartlett, but having him face a hard throwing righty is never a good idea. He's been playing a lot lately, why not give Brignac the start today?
- Hopefully the Orioles don't keep up their recent hot play when they visit the Trop this weekend.