Mariners 5, Devil Rays 1.
The Tampa Bay Devil Rays are still tied for second in the AL with 54 home runs, yet they rank 12th in the AL with 196 runs scored. Only the Mariners and White Sox have scored fewer runs. Why the problem scoring runs? The Devil Rays simply cannot get on base. The Rays rank 12th in the AL with a .321 OBP. 12th in scoring. 12th in OBP. Coincidence? We thinks no. The Red Sox lead the AL in OBP and are second in runs scored. The Rays can hit all the home runs in the world, and it won’t mean squat if there is nobody on base. Last night, BJ Upton hit his 8th home run, a solo shot for the Rays lone run of the game. Granted this home run led off the game, but solo home runs are nothing new for the 2007 Devil Rays. Of the 54 home runs they have hit as a team, 36 have been of the solo variety. Ty Wigginton, Elijah Dukes and Upton have each hit 8 home runs. All three have 7 solo home runs. It is no coincidence that the Rays recent struggles have coincided with the injury to Akinori Iwamura. Iwamura has a .479 OBP and drew 15 walks (to only 10 strikeouts) in 19 games. Muu-Rahs return next week could give the offense a lift that it desperately needs.
DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA…
- Akinori Iwamura is progressing so well that he may not need to go on a rehab assignment and could rejoin the Rays as early as Monday at home against Detroit.
- Troy Percival is now one step closer to joining the Devil Rays as the Anaheim Angels of Los Angeles, near Disney Land will not seek to re-sign their former closer.
- We would like to thank The Baseball Student for pointing out something that we have known for sometime…spending money on the bullpen in the off-season was not going to make this team a contender. Joe Henderson of the Tampa Tribune seems to think that a couple of free agent relief pitchers and the Rays might well be 25-18 instead of 18-25 (prior to the Mariners series). How does Mr. Henderson expect a team to be 7 games above .500 with three starting pitchers with ERAs north of 7.00? With three starting pitchers that rarely pitch past the 5th inning? While we agree the bullpen is brutal, things would be a lot easier for them if they did not have to pitch 4-5 innings every night.
- The offense is struggling and Carl Crawford thinks it may be due to pitchers making adjustments two months into the season. So why can’t the Rays pitchers make the same adjustments?
- James Shields has made a list of “All-Witness Protection All-Stars“