The Tampa Bay Rays lost two out of three games to the New York Yankees this weekend due to bullpen and pitching problems. The bullpen continues to haunt the Rays as there seems no way around this mystery. Joe Maddon is going to continue to keep sending these guys to the mound and hoping they perform up to their capabilities. It looks like Tampa is going to need serious help with the bullpen if they want to keep in contention this year. The Rays can’t continue to put guys on the mound that can’t throw strikes. If these pitchers are throwing strikes it seems to be right down the heart of the plate and the batters are hitting them over the fence.
On Friday night, Roberto Hernandez was getting hit right from the get go in the second inning. He only lasted four innings and gave up five runs. Tampa is not a team that is built to come back in recent years past but with this new high powered offense anything is possible. The Rays made it close and had a shot late but eventually fell 9-4 to the Yankees. Hernandez got the loss and has given up five runs in most of his outings this year. He is not living up to his potential as an inning eater. Could Chris Archer sitting down with the Durham Bulls, the Rays farm system, be the answer later this season?
On Saturday, Tampa was tied with New York 1-1 until Kelly Johnson hit a single bringing in two runs; as Tampa took a 3-1 lead in the seventh inning. Fernando Rodney came in to try and save the game in the ninth inning and could not produce. Rodney has been bad and inconsistent all year and unable to have shutdown innings like the year before. He gave up a walk and two doubles and the Yankees tied the game. Tampa could not provide a walk off win, as it went into extra innings. In the 11th inning Josh Lueke gave up a solo homer to Lyle Overbay and the Rays fell once again losing 4-3.
On Sunday, Alex Cobb was terrific and only gave up one run in an 8-3 win for the Rays. James Loney and Sean Rodriguez both had two-run homers for Tampa. The Rays continued to hit CC Sabathia well once again. The bullpen for Tampa gave up two more runs in the ninth and continues to be inconsistent.
Tampa is now (25-24) and will welcome in the Miami Marlins (13-37) on Monday, Memorial Day. Miami has struggled this season to say the least. Rays play them Monday and Tuesday in St. Petersburg. Then travel to Miami for Wednesday and Thursday. Hopefully, Tampa can get on a roll this week as they are five games back in the American League East.