Rays Update – Week of September 12th
Against 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.
One 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
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.
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.
Another player 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.
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.
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.
– 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 a sweep.
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.
Also continuing 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
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.
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
Considering 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.
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
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
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.
After 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.
Update – Week of July 18
There have 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 season.
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.
The Rays' 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
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
In the 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.
Rays 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.
During 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.
Rays Update – 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.
Rays 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.
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.
The Rays 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
After 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.
One 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.
Another 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.
Rays Update – 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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
But 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
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.
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.
2014 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.
Of 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 anywhere else.
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.
Bay Rays Trivia
Who holds the Tampa Bay Rays franchise record for the most home runs in a single season?
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.