This was not the way the Rays were hoping to open up their season. After an off season full of losing players to free agency, the Rays were ready to open the season strong against the Orioles, putting the nay-sayers in their place and generating some energy for the defending AL East champs. Sadly, things couldn’t have gone less to plan.
Not only did the Rays lose this series to the Orioles, they lost it in epic fashion. The Rays scored a total of three runs while mustering only twelve hits through this series, while the Orioles nearly matched both those totals in yesterday’s game alone (5 runs, 11 hits). Such a pitiful offensive performance caused Joe Maddon to joke about how the Rays are on pace to score 162 runs this season, which “might be a record.”
Yesterday, the Rays were stymied once again by a young Orioles’ pitcher. Rookie Zach Britton got the start in place of an injured Brian Matusz, and he was masterful throughout the game. Britton had impressive action on his two-seam and four-seam fastballs, and the Rays couldn’t generate anything off of them. Britton generated 17 swinging strikes on the day, which is a high total and speaks to how much movement he was getting on his pitches. The Rays were simply baffled by him.
Wade Davis, on the other hand, wasn’t as successful. He had a fine day for the most part, but he fell apart in the seventh inning and let up three runs to let the Orioles walk away with the game. It was an overall solid performance by Davis, but the Rays simply couldn’t muster the offense to support him.
The Angels come to the Trop on Tuesday, as the Rays start a two game series against them. Here’s hoping the Rays’ offense decides to show up.
For more on yesterday’s game, check out the detailed game recap over at DRaysBay.