The Rays need this All Star Break in the worst way. With a super disappointing extra inning collapse yesterday, there is now a chance that the Rays go into the All Star break not in either of the Wild Card spots. They still hold a 1 game lead on the 1st Wild Card, and could use a win (or 3) desperately.
There was a fairly big bright spot from last night’s game: the 9th inning. The Rays showed extreme heart and fight to claw their way back and score two runs off Aroldis Chapman to tie the game.
Those are the first runs the Rays have ever scored off Aroldis Chapman. He had 19.1 scoreless innings with 35 Ks, 3 BB, 4 singles. #Rays— Josh Morgan (@JoshuaTMorgan) July 5, 2019
Being held to just a single run by JA Happ was bad, the choice for Oliver Drake in the 10th was bizarre and poor process, but coming from behind to tie the game (and nearly walk it off) against Chapman was as impressive as it was improbable.
Why these next two weeks are crucial for Rays - Juan Toribio, MLB.com: Rays have a chance to make up ground or slip right out of the race with 8 games vs the Yankees.
Out of control: What’s wrong with the Rays’ top relievers - Eduardo A. Encina, Tampa Bay Times: Walks. Far too many walks are what’s wrong.
Normally I am not a fan of MLBs 4th of July gear, but the Rays stuff looked alright this year:
Speaking of 4th of July stuff, the Rays art print series had another fantastic entry:
This print series highlights American freedom. A waving American flag under the water, rays flying in formation, and fireworks help to reinforce the celebration and traditions associated with the #4thOfJuly. https://t.co/hk0IQoEsPr @PinellasArts // Artist: Brian McAllister pic.twitter.com/hQ4mHdEpLX— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) July 4, 2019
All-Star Brandon Lowe (shin) placed on IL - Juan Toribio, MLB.com: Factoring in the All Star break, and the Rays facing a few left handed pitchers in the next few days, Lowe getting some rest to recover is coming at a good point. Still a shame he will get to miss out on playing in the ASG.
Some moving and shaking before the All Star Break, with BLowe to the IL, NLowe up to replace him, and Austin Pruitt and Jake Faria swapping spots.
Tampa Bay has disappointed as a baseball market, but have the Rays disappointed, too? - John Romano, Tampa Bay Times: Romano ponders if more creative marketing could have helped the Rays attendance issues much earlier.
Around the League
Joe Maddon got ejected from the Cubs v Pirates game yesterday, but Merlot Joe showed off a nifty spin move.
Happy 4th of July weekend everybody: