Well, that's not completely true. We'll highlight a few bright spots during the week, but not many. The Tampa Bay Rays did about as quick of a 180-degree turn as you'll see in sports, but perhaps they'll pick it back up once they return from vacation.
SP Erik Bedard
(1 W, 6.0 IP, 1 hit allowed, 0 ER, 4 SO)
Congrats, Erik! In a week full of lowlights, you shined the brightest.
In all seriousness, Bedard's performance on Saturday against the Indians was refreshing, among other things. Six innings of work for Rays pitchers is hard to come by this season, so any quality start should be praised. After a struggling start, Bedard has seemingly turned a corner with two consecutive quality starts and two wins.
Ever since Maddon has let Bedard loose on his pitch count, the 35-year old veteran has looked more comfortable out on the mound and the Rays may have to lean on him more in these coming weeks than originally thought.
RB Brad Boxberger
(3 SO in 9 pitches w/ bases loaded against Orioles)
Brad Boxberger entered the game against the Baltimore Orioles on 5/8 with the bases loaded and no outs in the top of the 6th inning.
Nine pitches later, Boxberger was headed to the dugout after striking out the next three batters. This was the first time a pitcher has accomplished a nine-pitch, three strikeout relief appearance with the bases loaded and no one out in MLB history.
Hats off to Brad on his very exciting moment!
And that's it really.
I mean, Ryan Hanigan had a nice game last night with four RBI in Seattle and Loney tallied three hits in the 7-1 win against the Cleveland Indians, but even Brightest Rays of the Week is starting to feel a little gloomy. Here's to hoping for a turnaround...