Monday, July 2, 2007

Rays need only look to lineup for recent losing streak

The Rays are marred in a seven game losing streak and may be swept in consecutive four game series. Now most of the season the Rays troubles were easy to see and they were the starters and the bullpen, but now its easy to see it is the lineup. The Rays had been scoring runs all year with ease and now they can't get a hit.

The Rays had reason to be excited 7 days ago. They had just won a good series against the Dodgers and had the White Sox coming into town, who were on the verge of a fire sale because they were playing so bad. Although the Rays pitchers got over 10 strikeouts in every game the offense only managed to score 8 runs in the four games. The bats were cold against a team that had previously been dominated, especially the bullpen, which the Rays were not able to take advantage of.

The Rays are now on a 10 game road trip that has started off very poorly and may only get worse. The Indians are one of the best teams in baseball and we are seeing what they have done to our hitters. Also, we next move on to Boston, who is the best team in the league. If the Rays bats don't get hot they may be in for a very long road trip.
Just how bad have the bats been? Here are the stats for the 8 lineup regulars for the Rays during the 7 game skid.
Name Avg. Runs RBI HR SB
Iwamura .222 2 0 0 1
Harris .260 0 1 0 0
Crawford .120 2 1 0 0
Wigginton .192 0 3 0 0
Pena .142 2 2 1 0
Young .185 2 1 0 0
Gomes .181 2 2 1 0
Navarro .222 2 0 0 0
The Rays have one guy hitting over .250 and only 3 hitting over .200. Its not just one part of the lineup it is the whole lineup. Still, the Rays have had some chances to score more and the manger has screwed it up. Why are we having a hit and run with Johnny Gomes? Why are we not bunting Aki over when he does get on? When you are not hitting the ball you need to manufacture runs and they are just not doing that right now.
The Rays also are not benefiting from the babying that still goes on by this manager. The Rays don't take BP when they have early games because its too early. Ar you kidding me? These guys need extra BP not days off. He sits are best players because he wants to give them days off that they do not need. When your team is not hitting you need to leave your best players in to try and get out of the slump.
Upton is scheduled to come back when the Rays get to Boston, so hopefully he can spark something in the lineup. The Rays need something right now to kick start this offense, while they actually get good pitching. Rotating guys like Gomes, Norton, Mohr, and Cantu is not going to get it done. Gomes went on his tear, he is most likely done now. Mohr should only be around for emergencies and Cantu as well.
The Rays need to get the hitting going or they will keep this losing streak going even longer. As promising as this season had looked the Rays are actually a couple games behind where they were last year. If they do not jump out of this slump and finish ahead of last year, all the progress with the fans will be for not.

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