After last night’s game that ended on a controversial call, Tampa Bay Rays fans expected the Rays coming in tonight’s game full of anger and ready to make the Texas Rangers suffer. Instead, the Rays only had one run and four hits throughout the game. They lose to the Texas Rangers 6-1. This time, the Rays had no one but themselves to blame for the loss.
- Desmond Jennings CF
- Matt Joyce RF
- Ben Zobrist 2B
- Evan Longoria 3B
- James Loney 1B
- Shelley Duncan DH
- Yunel Escobar SS
- Jose Molina C
- Kelley Johnson LF
- Roberto Hernandez P
- Ian Kinsler 2B
- Elvis Andrus SS
- Lance Berkman DH
- Adrian Beltre 3B
- David Murphy LF
- Nelson Cruz
- A.J. Pierzynski C
- Mitch Moreland 1B
- Leonys Martin CF
- Nick Tepesch P
Texas Rangers right-handed, 24-year-old pitcher Nick Tepesch made his major league debut tonight against the Tampa Bay Rays. He quickly got the first three Rays batters out. When the Rangers were up to bat, Rays pitcher Roberto Hernandez hit Ian Kinsler on the first pitch. It was probably just bad command because Hernandez hits Nelson Cruz later on in the game. Kinsler made his way to third base but failed to reach home after Adrian Beltre grounded out to Yunel Escobar. In the 2nd inning, Evan Longoria leads off with a walk and makes it to second after James Loney and Shelley Duncan ground out, but Yunel Escobar and Jose Molina walk to load the bases. At this point, the Rays are 0-for-9 (with 2 walks) in bases loaded situations this year. Pitcher Tepesch manages to strike Kelly Johnson out, making it 0-for-10 for the Rays in bases loaded situations.
The Rays take the lead in the 3rd after Desmond Jennings doubles and makes his way home after Matt Joyce and Ben Zobrist both ground out. The lead doesn’t last long after Leonys Martin walks and Ian Kinsler singles. With two outs, Lance Berkman singles to center field, allowing Martin and Kinsler to score. At this moment, 26 of 40 (65%) runs against Rays scoring w/2 out this season. Last year, it was 41%, the third lowest in the American League.
In the 4th, James Loney singles but the Rays fail to move him further than first base. Hernandez once again hits a batter, Nelson Cruz, but is able to get the next two batters out. At the bottom of the 5th, the Rangers score two runs thanks to Martin, Elvis Andrus, Berkman, and Beltre. Rangers now lead 4-1. The Rangers extended their lead in the 7th to 5-1 after Martin singles and makes it home on Kinsler’s single and Andrus’ ground out. Jake McGee replaces Hernandez, but an error by Loney allows Craig Gentry to score. Rangers lead 6-1. The Rays had a threat in the 8th inning with runners at 3rd and 2nd, but Sean Rodriquez pops out and Zobrist grounds out to the pitcher to end the threat.
I will not question the pitching, the bull pen, or the defense because baseball season has only been here for one week; but, I will question the Rays’ offense. Rays are known for having a bad offense and the goal of the 2013 was to have hitters to support the pitching staff. The Rays only managed to score one run against a young pitcher making his pitching debut – this pitcher barely made the Rangers’ roster. Rays can take down CY Young winners, but not rookie pitchers. At the moment, Zobrist and Longoria are the only Rays batting over .250. Desmond Jennings and James Loney show potential, but Matt Joyce and Yunel Escobar have had weak at-bats this season. The Rays continue to show that they either score numerous runs when everyone can hit, or no runs when only a few players hit. This puts more pressure on the pitchers because they know that if they give up a run, that could be the game.
Other Rays News
- Pitcher Jeff Niemann will have right shoulder surgery tomorrow – it will take 9-12 months to recover. The season is over for him.
- Coach Joe Maddon signed the lineup card for Joe Nathan’s 300th career save and gave it to him. Maddon wrote “Congrats. Outstanding career. Keep it going!”
- Matt Joyce may have injured his neck attempting to make a leaping catch in right field.
- Luke Scott took batting practice today and ran in the outfield while being watched by trainers.
- Rays have scored 3 or less runs four games so far this year – that is 50% of games.
Around the League
- New York Yankees beat the Cleveland Indians 14-1 and the Toronto Blue Jays lost 7-3 to the Detroit Tigers.
- Angels Pitcher Jered Weaver was placed on the DL for his fractured left elbow. He will be out at least for a month.
- Phillies Pitcher Roy Halladay has given up 12 runs in 7 innings this year.
- Chris Davis leads Orioles past Rays (mlblogstbchick2011.wordpress.com)
- Tampa Battles Back and Beats Baltimore (mlblogstbchick2011.wordpress.com)
- Tampa Bay Rays lose Opening Day (mlblogstbchick2011.wordpress.com)