The week began with the Rays playing arguably their worst home series in a number of years while being swept by the New York Mets before rebounding to take 2 out of 3 from the Miami Marlins to end the week with a 2-4 record. They are now 3.5 games out of first in the AL East as they head back on the road to take on the Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies. With a record of 37-29 the Rays are in 3rd place in the AL East 2 games behind the Baltimore Orioles and 3.5 games behind the streaking New York Yankees who have won 9 games in a row.
The good news is that the Rays should be getting Evan Longoria and Jeff Keppinger back in the lineup at some point this week which should add some depth to the lineup and bench respectively. The return of Longo and Keppinger in no way will be a magic elixir for the Rays inconsistent and at times vanishing offense but the road from here to a playoff spot will be a little more smooth once they return.
The Rays will have an off day on Monday before travelling to Washington to take on the Nationals and then to Philadelphia for a weekend series with the Phillies. The pitching matchups for the Nationals series will include David Price vs Chien-Ming Wang, Jeremy Hellickson vs Stephen Strasburg, and Matt Moore vs xx. The Rays and Phillies will feature James Shields vs Cliff Lee, Alex Cobb vs Kyle Kendrick, and David Price vs Cole Hamels.
AL East Upcoming Schedules:
The New York Yankees will host the Atlanta Braves before going across town to take on the Mets in a weekend series.
The Baltimore Orioles will be on the road to take on the New York Mets before returning home for a weekend series against the Washington Nationals.
The Toronto Blue Jays will travel to Milwaukee to take on the Brewers and then head south to Miami for a weekend series against the Marlins.
The Boston Red Sox will host the Miami Marlins for three games and the Atlanta Braves for a weekend series.
June 14th: Placed Luke Scott on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 9, 2012 with back spasms.
June 15th: Recalled reliever Brandon Gomes from AAA Durham.
June 17th: Brandon Gomes sent to AAA Durham. No corresponding move has been announced.
Evan Longoria has began his rehab program with the Durham Bulls and barring any setbacks should be rejoining the Rays at some point this week.
Jeff Keppinger has began his rehab program with the Durham Bulls and had a minor setback due to soreness after his first game on Friday. He should be ready to return to the Rays within a week.
Kyle Farnsworth continues his rehab assignment in Port Charlotte. He isn't expected back until around the All-Star Break.
One year ago the Rays were 37-33 and in 3rd place in the AL East, 3 games behind the Yankees and 5.5 games behind the Red Sox.
What Does Sternfan1 Have To Say:
G'morning Rays fans
Most of the time a well played win on Sunday at least softens my weekly thoughts. And to some extent a win is never a bad thing. However I'm not encouraged by what I see. This is a team that is supposed to dominate at home and lately have seen the last two series here include a sweep, and one by the Mets who went home and were promptly swept themselves.
The New York Yankees are taking no prisoners, not concerned or making excuses if they're up against a tough LHP or another injury occurs. And a quick look at the standings finds us losing four games to the pinstripers this week alone. Now it's on to Washington and Philadelphia where according to some of our fans we should just mail it in because of who we're up against.
Would the Yankees take that attitude? I don't think so. In an earlier post this week I said I wasn't going to rant much because I don't feel this team is nearly as good as earlier billed, so anything they do will be looked upon as positive. And I suppose some may see this as a rant. So be it. I'm still a huge fan.
As always Go Rays
Tuesday, Jun 12th: Mets 11 Rays 2
Chris Young held the Rays to 2 runs on 9 hits over 5.2 innings and the Mets slumbering offense woke up battered Alex Cobb, J.P. Howell, and Cesar Ramos for 11 runs on 14 hits.
Alex Cobb on his start:
"The fastball location was good, the changeup was good, I was mixing a few curveballs also," Cobb said. "I could tell in the bullpen everything felt good. I thought I was gonna have a good outing. That last inning, I need to bear down harder and get that final out." - mlb.com
Wednesday, June 13th: Mets 9 Rays 1
R.A. Dickey held the Rays to 1 questionable hit and struck out 12 Rays and the Mets offense continued their assault in St.Petersburg in teeing off on David Price for 7 runs and added 2 against J.P. Howell as the Mets won 9-1. The Rays lone hit came in the first inning on a B.J. Upton chopper to 3rd baseman David Wright who tried to barehand the ball and throw in one motion but failed to field the ball. The official scorer ruled it a base hit and the Mets appealed to MLB who upheld the official scorers ruling.
Carlos Pena on trying to hit R.A. Dickey:
"It was like a roller coaster, you just don't know what it's going to do," said Rays first baseman Carlos Pena, who struck out twice. "You could almost expect it to do a couple things, but those few things are just too much to handle. It could cut, it could drift up and away from a hitter ... he can throw it harder, throw it slower. It was an unbelievable pitching performance."- mlb.com
Thursday, June 14th: Mets 9 Rays 6
The Rays bats were able to put up 6 runs but the Mets hitters were better in tagging 8 runs in 3.2 innings off starter Jeremy Hellickson in completing the sweep of the Rays.
Joe Maddon on the Mets play in sweeping the Rays:
"I know they had lost a couple games before coming here, but they played really well against us," Rays manager Joe Maddon said about the series. "They play the game hard, they play the game properly and they beat us." - mlb.com
Friday, June 15th: Rays 11 Marlins 0
The Rays offense worked over Marlins pitching for 11 runs on 10 hits but the big story was Rays pitching holding the Marlins to only 1 hit on the evening. Matt Moore gave the team 7 innings allowing only the 1 hit while striking out 8 and walking 3.
Saturday, June 16th: Marlins 4 Rays
James Shields gives up 3 unearned runs and the Rays tie it late on a Sean Rodriguez triple but fall in the 15th inning 4-3.
Sean Rodriguez on the tough 15 inning loss:
"Every time we came up to bat, I definitely thought we were going to come through with a 'W,'" Sean Rodriguez said. "We've been known to do that a lot. We had a couple opportunities. You can't say we didn't have enough chances to come up to the plate -- 15 innings." - mlb.com
Sunday, June 17th: Rays 3 Marlins 0
Alex Cobb worked 7 shutout innings allowing 2 hits while striking out 10 and walking only 1 as the Rays defeated the Marlins to win the weekend series.
B.J. Upton on being put in leadoff position:
"That's just Joe, man," said Upton when asked about Sunday's lineup. "We know he's going to shuffle the lineup around. In reality, you're only hitting in that spot at the beginning of the game, so it really doesn't matter." - mlb.com