Rays Update – Week of September 19th
Anyone who thought that the Rays were going to go quietly simply weren't
paying attention, as the Rays continue to put together quality wins as they come down the home stretch looking to make a statement.
Looking to prove a point that they won't back down in the division, the Rays recently pulled down two impressive series against
teams that were looking to stay in the mix in the A.L. East. After winning two out of three in Toronto, one of the toughest
places to play in the league, the Rays came home and took two more from the Yankees, all but pushing the Pinstripes all the
way out of the playoff hunt in the process.
In one of the most impressive games of their recent stretch, it was Alex
Colome who took to the mound and gave the Rays a major boost against the Yankees, pitching nearly seven shutout innings and
helping to guide the Rays to a 1-0 win. Considering Colome hasn't started since late-June, it was impressive to see Colome
pick up right where he left off, as the last time that he started a game he beat the A.L. East champion Baltimore Orioles
in their own ballpark.
With 25-year-old Colome showing some major signs and Evan Longoria and others swinging a hot
stick in the lineup coming down the home stretch of the season, the Rays are looking to pull down some big wins in the final
stretch of the regular season. The Rays will wrap up their final home series of the season against the Chicago White Sox before
hitting the road, where they'll take on the Red Sox in Boston and then the Indians in Cleveland. With the Rays battling through
injury, flashing the talent of their youngsters and not backing down in arguably the toughest division in baseball, the future
again looks very bright for this talented ball club.
Rays Update – Week of September 12th
the best teams in the league this season, the Rays have routinely shown that they can be a major factor, which they did once
again recently by taking two out of three from Baltimore just when the Orioles though they were just going to run away with
the A.L. East. After holding the O's to just two runs in the first two games of the series, both wins, the Orioles had to
take the Rays to extra innings in the series capper to eventually get a win. But that has been nothing new for the Rays, as
they've taken series from plenty of different playoff-contending teams, particularly in the second half of the season.
of the stars of the Baltimore series was Brad Boxberger, the outstanding reliever who continues to be a major factor in the
Rays' bullpen. Boxberger pitched perfect innings in back-to-back games against the Orioles during crucial spots, earning him
wins in back-to-back nights to run his record to 5-1 on the season. Though those around Tampa and the A.L. East already know
about Boxberger, the rest of the league is starting to see just how dynamic he can be. After dominating against the O's, Boxberger
put together an identical performance against the Yankees, marking the third straight appearance in which he struck out two
without walking a batter or allowing a run in his one inning of work.
With Boxberger showing his electric stuff, as
a whole his season is looking like a clear bright point for the Rays as they continue to bring home some big wins in the final
portion of the season. Boxberger showed some signs in San Diego, but his first season in Tampa has seen his ERA dip below
2.00 and his strikeout to walk ratio – a crucial stat for relievers and pitchers in general – has improved markedly.
Though relievers don't often get the fanfare of some other positions, the Rays and fans have found out that they have something
special coming out of the bullpen with Boxberger.
Rays Update – Week of September 5th
With the Rays
looking for some clutch contributions in the final portion of the schedule this season, Evan Longoria has been showing up
in a big way as he continues to give a spark to the lineup. In August, Longoria racked up 23 RBIs in August to make it easily
his most productive month of the season so far, helping to give the Rays the boost they've needed in their efforts to stay
in the wildcard race. Longoria is on pace to surpass his 2013 season in terms of run production and might even have a chance
at RBIs as well, reminding fans all over the league that he's still one of the very best third basemen in the league when
it comes to the batter's box.
Due mainly to unfortunate injuries, Longoria hasn't had a 100-RBI season since 2010, though
he has battled back from injury and is once again settling in the heart of the order. Also providing a major spark in the
lineup has been James Loney, as he hit.300 in August to mark the first month since April that he's done that, bringing his
swing around during the home stretch of the season. Loney is having just another very solid season at first base for the Rays,
continuing to establish himself as one of the most underrated players at his position in the league.
giving the Rays a chance to win every time that he's on the field has been Chris Archer, who had a strong month of August
as he continues to prove his consistency in the heart of the rotation. Archer notched wins against Texas and Los Angeles (Angels)
and also put together great efforts against Detroit and Toronto despite not bringing home the win. As Archer and company look
to continue to prove a point in the final weeks of the 2014 season, there's still plenty to like about the Rays every time
they take to the field.
Rays Update – Week of August 29th
The Rays have shown again and again that
they have a lot of fight left as they continue to battle their way towards a playoff position, and they continue to be a thorn
in the side of the other teams also in the postseason mix. Recently, the Rays knocked off the Jays two times out of three
in Toronto, right when the Blue Jays were hoping to make their move on the Yankees and the Orioles. Though the Rays got off
to a very slow start, they've come on very strong and fans know that all it takes is another hot streak (like they saw at
the beginning of the second half) to get right back in it.
The Jays got a great taste of what the Rays are about during
the series-capper on August 24th, as the Rays held on for a 2-1 in extra innings on a 10th inning, game-winning hit from Evan
Longoria. Though it was Longoria who put the final touches on the win, the Rays had a bevy of big contributions, particularly
from starter Chris Archer, who allowed just one earned run over seven innings. Brad Boxberger and Jake McGee took it from
there, pitching three scoreless innings to deliver the win.
As the Rays look to again pick up the momentum, they will
be looking to get more efforts like that from their rotation and their bullpen coming down the home stretch. The Rays also
have all kinds of great matchups within the division, including a nine-game home stretch against Boston, Toronto and Baltimore.
They'll also get another shot at the Yankees in the Bronx as well as the Blue Jays up north as well, giving the Rays some
major opportunities to make up some ground on the teams ahead of them. As they continue to get major contributions all over
the roster, anything can happen from here on out.
Rays Update – Week of August 22nd
One of the best
young players that has yet to gain national attention is Alex Cobb, though a recent outing against Detroit might do quite
a bit to change that. Against Detroit and going up against former Rays ace David Price, Cobb went seven shutout innings to
lead the way to a 1-0 win over the Tigers, a team right in the heart of the playoff chance. With the win, the Rays took an
important win from a team they will probably need to hurdle if they're going to slide into the playoffs, simultaneously avoiding
In fact, Cobb hasn't really been doing anything but winning over the last couple of months. Since losing to
Pittsburgh on June 23rd, Cobb has won seven consecutive decisions and has absolutely dazzled a variety of very good offenses
along the way. Not only has he beaten Detroit twice during this stretch, he had an amazing performance in St. Louis against
the Cardinals, beat the Orioles in Baltimore and took a game from the Yankees at home. Put it all together and Cobb has completely
turned around his season, lowering his ERA to around 3.00 and giving him a 9-6 record on the season.
to pitch very well has been Jake Odorizzi. Since his July winning streak was snapped at the beginning of August, Odorizzi
has bounced back with some great performances since then, including a dominant outing in Arlington against the Rangers. With
Odorizzi, Cobb and Chris Archer doing some major damage in their rotation, the Rays are still very much alive for the playoffs
and are starting to show some positive signs in the batter's box as well, making them a team to watch out for as we move closer
to the home stretch of the season. As they head into a crucial part of their schedule that will take them to Toronto and Baltimore
before coming back to play the Red Sox, the Rays are playing some very good baseball as they look to keep their season headed
in the right direction.
Rays Update – Week of August 15th
After a couple of tough series losses
against A.L. West powerhouses Oakland and Los Angeles, the Tampa Bay Rays picked up their winning ways once again with a few
big wins that once again brought them right to the doorstep of.500. The Rays saved a series sweep against the A's by taking
down a clutch 7-3 win in Oakland and then took two of three from the Cubs in Chicago, only losing a dramatic 12-inning matchup
on Aug. 10. They didn't stay down for long, however, as they took two out of three from the Rangers as well, bringing them
right back into the mix as they look to climb into the playoff race.
One of the bright spots in recent weeks has also
been the performance of Chris Archer, who continues to show major flashes of brilliance on the mound. Against the Rangers
in Arlington, Archer went seven innings, allowed just one earned run and earned his eighth win of the season. Archer has lost
just one time since June 24th, an outing in which he still went six innings against the Boston Red Sox and got stuck with
a tough loss. With Archer providing a major spark in the rotation, the Rays definitely don't seem to be going anywhere but
up as they look to close out their season on a high note.
The Rays are also hoping that Archer can keep it up as they
head into what could be a make-or-break portion of their schedule. After playing the Yankees at home in a three-game set,
the Rays will next host the power-hitting Detroit Tigers before hitting the road, where they'll head to Toronto for a crucial
series before traveling to Baltimore to take on the division-leading Orioles. Though the Rays still have a ways to go to get
back into the playoff hunt, they're playing some inspired baseball and know that all it takes is a winning streak to make
the rest of the wildcard teams get a little nervous about the Rays.
Rays Update – Week of August 8th
the level of competition that the Rays have faced so far since the All-Star break, many would expect that they would be way
out of the race, but instead they've played some very good baseball and remain right with striking distance of all of the
other teams in the playoff hunt. With series sweeps (on the road) against the Twins and the Cardinals and series wins against
the defending champion Red Sox and the Brewers, the Rays clearly aren't intimidated by any team in the league and are looking
to take it up yet another notch as they look to make a move up the A.L. East standings.
The Rays also showed some serious
backbone on the road in Oakland, as they were in danger of getting swept by the best team in baseball so far this season.
Instead, the Rays jumped all over A's pitching and ended up delivering Sonny Gray a rare loss, dropping his record to 12-5
on the season to help escape a series sweep. For the Rays, it was Jeremy Hellickson who ended up dominating for the Rays,
going seven strong innings, allowing just one earned run and picking up his first win of the season.
As the Rays look
to get back to their winning ways, they'll also have plenty of opportunities to do exactly that in the coming weeks. After
a road trip to Chicago to take on the Cubs, the Rays will be off to Texas for a series against the Rangers before heading
home, where they'll have a huge series with the New York Yankees. It won't get easier from there either, as they'll take on
the Toronto Blue Jays in a highly anticipated series that should have some major playoff implications.Though they're currently
on the outside looking in, fans know better than to count out the talented Rays as they look to swing their way back into
the playoff picture.
Rays Update – Week of August 1
With a blockbuster deal that sent David Price
to the Tigers, the Rays have shown that they have an eye on both the present and the future. Thanks to some serious momentum
and some pieces coming together in a very nice way this season, the Rays are confident that they can continue to challenge
for a playoff spot this season, but they also picked up some very talented players that will help them to build towards the
future as well. Considering that the Rays have continued to post plenty of wins since the All-Star break, keeping the momentum
they began in June, the season looks wide open right now as the Rays inch closer and closer to the rest of the top teams in
the A.L. East.
Of course, nothing comes easy in the A.L. East, the division that remains as good as any other division
in baseball. And the Rays have been the team to prove exactly that. While many predicted that the Rays were in the middle
of a down season after a rough early portion of their schedule, the rest of the A.L. East knew that it was only a matter of
time before they made their run. Suddenly, as we flip the calendar to August, there the Rays are right in the thick of the
action in the division and in shouting distance of the rest of the top teams in the American League.
After winning nine
of their first 10 games to start the second half of the season, the Rays have also made quite the statement to teams all over
the league. In fact, the Rays have lost just one series since June 25th, even though they've consistently gone up against
some of the toughest teams in the league – often on the road. With their confidence growing and the series winning streak
starting to really pile up, the Rays and their fans are ready to see if the team has what it takes to swing their way back
into the postseason.
Rays Update – Week of July 25
Though the first half of the season had a few
downs, the Rays have been turning it on in a very big way in recent weeks. After a great stretch heading into the All-Star
break, the Rays kept it up by sweeping the Twins in Minnesota over three games and then winning a short two-game set in St.
Louis against the Cardinals, solidifying them as one of the very best teams in the entire league in the road. In fact, over
the last month of the season, the Rays have been one of the hottest teams in all of Major League Baseball, putting them right
back in striking distance in the wide open A.L. East.
Leading the way, of course, has been some very good pitching,
as they didn't let up more than three runs during their stint in either Minnesota or St. Louis. They also had some timely
hitting to boot, helping them win each game by at least two runs. In the process, Alex Cobb has already won two different
starts coming out of the All-Star Game, giving the Rays a major boost while David Price continues to lead the way, as the
dominant left-hander is now up to 10 wins on the season and is starting to push his way into the Cy Young conversation.
showing some sensational play on the road, the Rays will now come home for a nine-game home stand that will test their ability
to win at home as they take on some of the top teams in the American League. The Rays will at first stay in the division against
the world champion Boston Red Sox before hosting the Milwaukee Brewers and then the smoking hot Los Angeles Angels, who have
surged all the way to striking distance of the Oakland A's in the American League West. But with the Rays turning the corner
and picking up some momentum, the rest of the A.L. East definitely isn't thrilled to see Tampa getting right back into mix
to make the divisional race that much more interesting.
Rays Update – Week of July 18
been some anxious moments for the Rays this season, but we found out a lot about what the Rays are made of over the last few
weeks leading up to the All-Star break. Despite a brutal road stretch against some of the toughest teams in the division and
American League, the Rays won 11 of 15 to get them back into the mix in the A.L. East, giving fans some major reasons for
optimism heading into the second half. The Rays also capped off their first half with a stellar performance from David Price,
who went eight shutout innings at home against the power-hitting Blue Jays' lineup, delivering their fourth series win out
of five – all of which were against teams above.500.
With the Rays proving that they can play with anyone when
they play their style of baseball, the Rays head into the second half of the season with plenty of confidence, particularly
considering they've shown that they can play on the road as well as they can at home. Though their offense is still looking
to turn the corner, James Loney and Evan Longoria have both shown some major signs at the plate, putting the Rays in a position
to win no matter who takes to the field against them.
The Rays will be looking to keep up their prowess on the road
as they start away from home in the second half, as they'll take on the Twins at Target Field before heading to St Louis to
play the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Then it's back at home, where the Rays will have a challenging home stand against the
Red Sox, the Brewers and then the Angels. Though the Rays have had some troubling spots this season, they have the talent
to rise above their mediocre start and are looking to become a major threat in the A.L. East from now through the end of the
Rays Update – Week of July 11
Now this is more like Tampa Bay Rays baseball. Though the
first couple of months weren't necessarily pretty, the Rays have been coming on strong in recent weeks, bringing some much-needed
wins home as they head closer to the All-Star break. Despite playing a brutal road trip that brought the Rays up against some
of the top teams in the American League, they more then held their own, taking three of four from the Orioles in Baltimore,
three of four from the Tigers in Detroit and sweeping all three games against the Yankees in the Bronx, moving them out of
the cellar and helping them pick up some serious momentum.
Though the Rays' bats definitely had some major outbursts,
it's mainly been the pitching that has been getting the job done, putting the Rays in position to win just about every single
night out in recent weeks. In a tough game in Detroit, David Price dealt Rick Porcello a very rare loss and moved his own
record back over.500, going 8 2/3 innings against arguably the best offense in the league. Alex Cobb has also started to show
some major signs as well, beating the Orioles and Tigers in succession on the road, which is never easy to do.
offense also chimed in with some clutch performances as well, including by hanging seven earned run on Rick Porcello on July
6, with Matt Joyce, Desmond Jennings, Sean Rodriguez and Ben Zobrist all helping to lead the offensive explosion that ended
up with 19 total hits on the day. Tampa would love to see that continue as they look to close out the official first half
of the season on a high note, though that also won't be easy as they'll have to host the Toronto Blue Jays. Still, the Rays
have shown recently that they're more than capable of dominating good teams, making them a team to watch to see if they can
continue the turnaround.
Rays Update – Week of July 4
If there was any doubt about the grit and
determination of the Rays, those doubts likely got erased over the last week or so, as the Tampa Bay Rays headed into their
toughest road trip and immediately brought out the lumber. After taking three of four from the Orioles in Baltimore, the Rays
then went into the Bronx and swept the Yankees just when the Pinstripes thought they could start making their move in the
A.L. East. With five straight road wins against a couple of the toughest teams in the division, the Rays showed that they
still have lots of upside if they can start playing Tampa Bay Rays' baseball with a little more consistency.
process, the Rays also had a couple of signature wins. In the series-capper against Baltimore, the Rays went off against Evan
Meek and company, racking up 12 runs on a romp to give them the series win. But the Rays took it to a different level the
following night, edging the Yankees in 12 innings on Logan Forsythe's RBI single. After picking up a little bit of momentum,
the Rays kept it going by putting together very good games the following two games as well, with David Price going seven strong
innings to pick up his seventh win of the season in the process.
It doesn't get any easier for the Rays with a trip
to Detroit, who just come off a sweep of the A.L.-leading A's, but the Rays have shown that they definitely aren't going to
be going quietly this season. After playing the Tigers, the Rays will have a couple of other tough series before the All-Star
break, though they'll get a crack at both the Royals and Blue Jays at home. If the Rays can keep up the momentum heading into
the Midsummer Classic, fans know they'll be in good position to make their move in the second half of the season.
Update – Week of June 27
It hasn't all been flowers and sunshine for the Tampa Bay Rays this season, but they've
also stabilized in recent weeks and have been showing some major signs of life as they look to get back into the thick of
it in the A.L. East. Recently, the Rays went into Houston and dismantled the Astros, beating them three out of four and helping
them pick up a little momentum in the process. Most impressively, the Rays even shutout the Astros in two out of three nights
in the series, showing that this is still a team that can be deadly on the mound if their pitchers start to get in a groove.
the first shutout, it was Chris Archer who pitched into the seventh without letting up a run, striking out nine Astros batters
and putting the Rays in the perfect position to win. Then it was a great bullpen effort across the board, culminating in a
perfect ninth inning by Grant Balfour to seal the win. And by perfect ninth inning, we're talking three batters and three
strikeouts, sending the Rays off with the dominating win. Hitting-wise in the game, it was Kevin Kiermaier and Evan Longoria
both bashing homers in the heart of the order, providing all the offense that the Rays would need.
In the second shutout,
the Rays looked even more impressive. From the beginning, it just looked like Jake Odorizzi's night, as the 24-year-old pitched
7 1/3 strong innings while striking out 10 batters and surrendering just one hit – more than enough for the Rays. In
the end, the Rays also had more than enough offense, with James Loney leading the way with three RBIs and Desmond Jennings
setting the table at the top of the order with a couple of hits to boot. With some of the Rays' young pitching starting to
pick up some steam and the lineup showing what they're capable of, the Rays are hopeful that they'll be able to end the first
half of the season on a high note and set themselves up to make a move after the All-Star break.
– Week of June 20
It hasn't all been pretty so far this season for the Rays, but they're still capable of beating
just about anyone at any given time, which is exactly what they proved recently to the Baltimore Orioles, who have been trying
to make their move up towards the top of the A.L. East standings. In a tie game heading into the late-innings against the
Orioles, Jerry Sands came to the plate as a pinch-hitter and changed the game with one swing of his bat, delivering a clutch
two-run homer to give the Rays a 5-3 lead. The Rays were able to hold on and deliver a 5-4 win, with Jake McGee ending up
with the win to improve his record to 3-0.
Despite a few tough spells so far the Rays, though, one of the major bright
spots has been seeing Evan Longoria start to come on. Longoria struggled early in the season but June has been his most productive
month so far, with an OPS close to.900 and the big hits starting to come with some regularity. The Rays' fans know that Longoria
can really carry a team when his bat really heats up, which is exactly what he's hoping to do as he hopes to pick up some
momentum heading deeper into the season.
The Rays also have plenty of challenges and opportunities coming up as they
look to turn it all around. Following a four-game home set against the Astros, the Rays will have an interleague series at
home against the Pirates before heading to Baltimore, where the Rays will be looking to get some revenge after struggling
against the Orioles so far this season. From there, the Rays will close out June in New York, where a three-game set against
the Bronx Bombers will be another divisional test that will have plenty of fanfare leading up to the series.
Update – Week of June 13
If we've learned anything from the great sport of baseball, from iconic movies to real-life
success stories, it's that absolutely anything can happen. Though the Rays and their fans have been used to winning a bit
more in the first half of the season in recent years, 2014 hasn't gone quite as planned, yet there is still plenty of optimism
surrounding this team because everyone knows that the Rays have too much talent to be held down for long. While the rest of
the division is surprised to see the Rays in last place at this point, there still isn't a team in the league that will take
them lightly, and fans are patiently waiting for the wins to start coming in bunches.
And Rays' fans got a good taste
for the grit of their team during a recent matchup against the Cardinals to open a quick two-game home set. Though the Rays
had been scuffling heading into the game, particularly at the plate, Desmond Jennings set the table beautifully and both James
Loney and Evan Longoria had big hits to get the Rays headed in the right direction, then it was the bullpen that took it from
there by pitching five scoreless innings to seal the deal. The Rays may still have some work to do this season, but the rest
of the division and league understands that the Rays are still dangerous every time they take to the field.
also have plenty of opportunities coming up to get the season headed in the right direction. After an away series against
the Astros, then they'll come home to play the Orioles and the Astros once again. With some speed at the top of the lineup
and David Price just waiting to breakout this season, the Rays are glad to have a lot more baseball left to play, and all
it takes is a winning streak or two to get right back in the hunt.
Rays Update – Week of June 6
a rough patch on the road against the Red Sox, the Blue Jays and the Marlins, the Rays are happy to finally be coming home
to take on the Mariners and the Cardinals, where the Rays will be looking to get back on track and start their ascent up the
A.L. East standings. It hasn't been easy so far for the Rays, but the team still has a long season ahead of them, which means
plenty of time for them to turn it around. Though the Blue Jays, Yanks and Orioles seem like a ways ahead so far this season,
a couple of winning streaks can change anything in this game, which is one of the beautiful things about baseball.
of the players that the Rays would love to see fully get on track, of course, is David Price, who has been somewhat subdued
this season and fans are still waiting for him to bust out. But even though the wins haven't come as of late, he's been showing
some major signs, particularly in his last two outings. After getting a no-decision despite going seven innings and letting
up two runs against the Red Sox in Boston, not to mention actually losing to the Marlins despite letting up one run and pitching
into the 8th, Price should be able to pick up some big wins if he can keep it up over the long haul this season.
bright spot has been Chris Archer, who has been showing some flashes of dominance so far while leading all starters in ERA.
Archer has had some tough luck recently, getting no-decisions in great outings against both Boston and Toronto before taking
a loss while giving seven strong innings against the Marlins. But, much like Price, the pitching consistency seems to be there
for the Rays, and the wins are sure to come once the Rays get rolling again in the batter's box.
– Week of May 16
It hasn't all gone according to plan this season for the Rays, but they still have had some
major bright spots that they can build upon, and Rays' fans know by now that this is a team that doesn't tend to get down
for very long. One of the statistical highlights so far this season has been their on-base percentage, as the Rays rank sixth
in the league in on-base percentage, which is the first step in scoring a lot of runs. Though some of the bats have gotten
off to a somewhat slow start to the season, the signs are pointing in the right direction as the Rays look to right the ship
and make their move up the A.L. East standings.
Two of the biggest bright spots, of course, have been James Loney and
Matt Joyce, who have both been major sparks in the order so far this season. With Loney leading the team in batting average,
hitting at a clip of well over.300, and Joyce's on-base percentage hovering near.400, the Rays are showing they have a lot
more firepower than just Evan Longoria. With Ryan Hanigan and speedster Desmond Jennings also contributing in a big way, this
is a balanced attack that makes it only a matter of time before the wins start falling into place.
But one of the top
reasons the Rays remain incredibly dangerous could have been seen recently in Seattle, when ace David Price carved up the
Mariners with a complete game that guided the Rays to a 2-1 win. Price even ended up with 12 strikeouts while not even yielding
a walk, cutting down the hot Mariners in their own ballpark and reminding everyone that the Rays have a chance to win every
single time they take to the mound. With upcoming series against the Angels on the road before coming home to take on the
Red Sox and Blue Jays, the schedule is loaded with opportunities for the Rays to make a move up the division standings.
Rays Update – Week of May 9
Though the Rays would be right in the middle of one of the lesser divisions
in baseball, in the A.L. East, winning 15 of your first 34 games is only good for last place, though they remain right within
striking distance as they head deeper into the regular season. With some big road wins against both the Red Sox and the Yankees,
the Rays have shown that they're at the best when they're playing the other top teams in the division, which is a great sign
as they move forward and hope to continually add marks to the win column in the process.
Leading the way for the Rays,
of course, has largely been James Loney, who held the highest batting average on the team through his first 32 games of the
season and also boasted an on-base percentage hovering right around.400. With Loney doing his thing and Evan Longoria starting
to turn the corner and continuing to lead the team in run production, the Rays have plenty of offense. Part of that has also
been Desmond Jennings, who was tied for the team lead in homers in mid-May while also leading the team in stolen bases, giving
them the type of dual threat that always makes it tough on opposing pitchers.
On the mound, the usual suspects have
locking down offenses, with David Price leading the team in wins and Grant Balfour making the most of his save opportunities.
Another great sign has been coming from Erik Bedard, who shut down the potent Yankees offense recently in the Bronx with six
strong innings to give him his first win of the season. With upcoming series in Seattle, Los Angeles (Angels) and then home
against the A's, the Rays will be looking to build on the positive signs from the first month and a half of the season as
they look to make their move in the A.L. East.
Rays Update – Week of April 25th
If you think that
the Rays are going anywhere, you probably haven't been paying attention as to how much resolve this team actually has. With
David Price among the leaders in pitching in the A.L. throughout the first month of the regular season and both Matt Joyce
and Evan Longoria spraying the field with hits on a regular basis, the Rays have the type of talent to play with anyone in
the league, and right now they're locked right in the middle of the competitive A.L. East as all of the powerhouses look to
put some distance between them and the rest of the opposition in the early going.
It hasn't only been about the starting
pitching of Price, however, as Chris Archer continues to put together impressive starts and their bullpen has been equally
solid. Grant Balfour has been known to blow away the opposition at the end of the bullpen and Joel Peralta has been the bane
of several attempts at late-inning rallies. Put it all together and the Rays have the type of balance that isn't going to
have too many significant losing streaks, likely keeping them right in the thick of the A.L. East race throughout the season.
it won't get any easier in the short-term either, as the Rays will head to the road for a four-game set against the White
Sox and then come back within the division to take on the Red Sox in Boston, wrapping up the first month of the season and
kicking off the second. The Rays would love to get a couple of series wins to finish off April on a high note before heading
into more tough series to start May, as they'll travel to the Bronx to take on the Yankees before finally coming home to play
the Orioles from May 6-8.
Rays Update – Week of April 18th
This season has already started to prove
exactly why the A.L. East is so difficult, as the Rays have shown some major signs of brilliance this season but find themselves
in the middle of the pack after the first few weeks of baseball in 2014. The Rays have had some chances to get out of the
A.L. East, however, and they won an impressive road series against the Reds, with Price and Cobb bringing home wins and Grant
Balfour slamming the door shut twice in two days. The Orioles gave the Rays some problems in the following series, but the
Rays tend to be a team that isn't held down for very long, and they're licking their chops as they look to close the first
month of the season on a high note.
Of course, having a one-two punch like the Rays have tends to make losing streaks
a rarity, as both David Price and Alex Cobb have shown exactly why Rays' fans have such high hopes for the season. Though
Price is considered the ace, and pitches like one, Cobb held an ERA below 2.00 in his first three starts of the year and is
showing the type of control that should translate into plenty of wins throughout the season. One of the brightest spots of
the pitching staff, though, has been Balfour, who didn't allow an earned run in his first five appearances of the season,
locking down four wins with saves and striking out more than a batter per inning.
With one of the top pitching staffs
in the league, the Rays will be looking to separate from the rest of the pack in the A.L. East with upcoming series against
the Yankees, the Twins (both at home) and then tough away series against the White Sox and the Red Sox. Thanks to a balanced
club that has the talent to turn the corner and pile up wins in a hurry, the Rays remain a team that is poised to be a major
factor in the division.
Rays Update – Week of April 11th
So far it's business as usual in the super
competitive A.L. East, where the Rays are knotted right near the top of the division once again as some of the best ball clubs
in the league battle it out looking to take the early lead. Splitting their first 10 games of the season, the Rays are exactly
where they need to be, with Evan Longoria doing what he does best, namely bashing the ball all over the ballpark and giving
the Rays a much-needed spark in the heart of their lineup. Also getting off to great starts for the season are Ben Zobrist
and Matt Joyce, who have both shown some power and have led the Rays' offense in the early going of 2014.
On the bump,
Chris Archer has so far led the way, with two quality starts, an impressive win and an ERA below 1.50 after his first couple
of outings to start the season. Of course, David Price is still the stalwart that the Rays need him to be, leading the team
in strikeouts in the early going (no surprise there) and getting the Rays off to a good start by beating the heavy-hitting
Blue Jays to start the year. And dicing up good lineups hasn't been much of a problem so far for the Rays, with two convincing
wins against the Rangers and a shutout of the Royals led by Joel Peralta. Though it's a long season and the Rays are playing
in the toughest division in baseball, the Rays are showing all the signs of being the competitor that Rays' fans have come
to expect in recent season. After some tough early-season away series against the Royals, Reds and Orioles, they'll come home
to take on the Yankees and the Twins to wrap up the month as the Rays look to continue their strong early start.
Tampa Bay Rays Schedule
The Tampa Bay Rays are ready to hit the diamond in 2014 and do battle with the best teams in
the American League, providing a steady stream of thrills as they look to round into form and once again swing their way towards
the top of the standings. This Rays team is coming off a very good 2013 season in which they were able to earn one of the
A.L.'s wild card playoff sports, though they were unable to advance to the World Series. Still, this team comes into 2014
with high hopes and a roster stacked with talented baseball players who can do a little bit of everything, with a balanced
squad that can light it up both in the batter's box and on the rubber. This should be a fantastic season to get out to Tropicana
Field for all the biggest Rays home games, though you also shouldn't make the mistake of skipping the away games.
course, divisional matchups tend to be best of the best, as the Rays will regularly host their American League East rivals
at The Trop this season. When the World Champion Boston Red Sox come to St. Petersburg, it's going to be tough to get into
the stadium. Rays fans all over Florida are surely going to be clamoring to see the Rays try to down the reigning champs,
and for good reason. Boston was the best team in baseball last season, essentially wire to wire, and if the Rays can take
down the Sox regularly in 2014, it could be a sign that this Tampa Bay team is ready for bigger things.
The Rays will
also partake in interleague play this season when they host some of the National League's best teams. This is a great chance
for fans of the Rays to be exposed to teams that they normally wouldn't get to see come into Tropicana Field to face Tampa
Bay. Interleague play is always a good time for fans and it allows access to players and teams that you just don't usually
get to see. As soon as you're there watching all the action first-hand, you'll definitely be glad that you're not sitting
Tampa Bay Rays Team Info
The Tampa Bay Rays play in the American League East division of
Major League Baseball, a division that also features the New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays and Boston
Red Sox. This is often one of the most competitive divisions in the MLB ranks, and the Rays know they have to play hard each
and every time they hit the baseball diamond in order to have a chance at coming out on top. The Rays had a good showing in
2013, making the postseason via a Wild Card spot, but this team has bigger plans this season. With a roster that features
some of the most talented young players in the major leagues, the Rays should have a roster that can compete with any other
team in the American League. Of course, it helps that the Rays have talented pitchers like David Price and slugger like Evan
Longoria, giving you plenty of reasons to head out and see if they have what it takes to go all the way to the top.
The MLB Experience
The sport of baseball holds a special place in the hearts of many a sports fan across the
country, and that's because people have been attending baseball games for more than a century. This game is steeped in tradition
and has a rich history that dates back before the year 1900. Going to a game is an experience that every sports fan should
be a part of at least once. Hearing the crack of the bat and the roar of the crowd is an exciting yet comforting experience
that keeps fans coming back for more each and every baseball season, and that's a tradition that isn't likely to slow down
anytime in the near future. You can be a part of it when you head out to see the Rays this season when they take on a division
rival or another team they don't usually play, and you never know when you're going to be a part of the next Rays classic.
Tampa Bay Rays History
The Tampa Bay Rays were founded in 1998 as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays; the franchise would
ultimately drop the "Devil" from their name in 2008 and now are simply known as the Rays. The Rays got off to a rough start
in their history, which is to be expected from an expansion franchise. What those losing seasons did, though, was allow the
Rays to stockpile talent in their farm system with their high draft picks, and eventually those kids grew up and are now top
players in the American League. This Rays team made it to their first, and currently only, World Series in 2008, but this
is a team that certainly has the chops to return to the biggest stage in baseball.
Tampa Bay Rays Trivia
holds the Tampa Bay Rays franchise record for the most home runs in a single season?
The answer is Carlos Pena, a slugger
that holds several Tampa Bay records. He hit 46 home runs in 2007 and put together one of the best seasons in the history
of the franchise.
The Tampa Bay Rays are usually a competitive team, which is always a recipe
for dedicated fans that love to come out and see their team play. That is definitely the case for the Rays, who have a loyal
following of die-hards that refuse to miss a home game. Join these passionate sports fans in the stands this season by taking
in a Rays' game in person. It's not only about the home games, however, as Rays away games are also loaded with passionate
fans as well, making it always a great idea to head out and get right into the thick of the action as the Rays look to swing
their way up the standings in the toughest division in all of baseball.