This Tampa Bay Rays team might just be in it for the long haul. After a solid week, in which they took six of seven games, the Rays won five out of six contests.
This was yet another week of divisional play. The Rays started against the New York Yankees in the Bronx and finished the week at home against the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Last Week
The Rays had Monday off but hit the ground running on Tuesday night. Former Cy Young winner Blake Snell had a solid night on the mound, throwing five innings and allowing three runs. A four-run third inning opened the scoring and would be enough. Rays win 6-3.
The Rays returned to St. Pete on a winning streak, but it wouldn’t last. The Blue Jays got solid pitching from their ‘pen, and their bats jumped on Ryan Yarbrough early. The game went to extra innings tied at four, but the Rays could only muster one run to the Jays’ two. Toronto wins 6-5.
The Blue Jays’ celebration didn’t go on for long. The Rays let Aaron Slegers, a pitcher who looks more like he belongs on the hardwood than the mound, go four innings, striking out five and allowing no hits. The game was low scoring, tied 1-1 going into extra innings. It was the Rays who took advantage of the free runner on second, winning 2-1 thanks to a walk-off RBI by Kevin Kiermaier.
The Rays and Jays played another tight game on Sunday. Rookie Josh Fleming got his first MLB start, and the first MLB win. Manager Kevin Cash was ejected in the sixth inning for arguing a blatantly missed call, but the team held firm. Rays win 5-4.
AL East Standings
Tampa Bay Rays: 19-10 New York Yankees: 16-9 Baltimore Orioles: 14-14 Toronto Blue Jays: 13-13 Boston Red Sox: 9-20
Batter of the Week
0.289/0.413/0.352, 2 HR, 4 RBI
The Tampa Bay Rays had another solid week at the plate. While I would love to keep giving this award to consistent performer Brandon Lowe, Yandy Diaz had a very good week.
He got on base almost every other time that he stepped up to bat, and he finally hit his first homer of the season. Diaz came up clutch with some RBIs to the opposite field.
Pitcher of the Week
3 IP, 0 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 1 SV
This selection is a bit of a weird one, but it was a difficult choice with the number of pitchers that Cash used this week. Beeks got minimal time, but he really showed off what he could do this week.
He shut down the Yankees’ offense more than once with his sneaky release and surprising power from a short-armed pitch. Beeks limited the number of base-runners against him, allowing just one walk this week. Beeks will have to continue this week’s worth of dominance if the Rays are to succeed.
The Week Ahead
The Tampa Bay Rays have a tough test ahead of them. They have one game left against the Blue Jays on Monday; then, they welcome the Baltimore Orioles, a team that they have struggled against, to the Trop. The weekend has the Rays traveling across the state to play the Marlins.
A huge part of what will make, not only the week ahead but also the rest of the season. Making things extremely difficult, is the plethora of injuries to the pitching staff. Charlie Morton is getting ready to return from the IL, but Brendan McKay and Yonny Chirinos are done for the season. Just this past week, the Rays put another two relief pitchers, Chaz Roe and Nick Anderson, on the IL.
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