ST. PETERSBURG (CBS) The Tampa Bay Rays have had their fair share of poor offense over the coarse of the 2011 season, but this four-game offensive slump against the Detroit Tigers was inexcusable.
The Tigers were able to take three out of four from the Rays and cap the series with a 2-0 win Thursday afternoon at Tropicana Field.
Tampa Bay’s pitching rotation ended with a combined 2.87 ERA at the end of the four-game series against Detroit, but their offense managed to score only six hits in four games. This series performance by the Rays has sold me on the idea that this team may not be ready for the playoffs this year.
Jeremy Hellickson (11-9) gave his team seven solid innings of work this afternoon, but time and time again the offense has failed to produce in times of need. The four-game stint ultimately came down to pitching, and in this department the Tigers were able to overcome.
Doug Fister hit the mound for Detroit and threw seven shutout innings to pick up his sixth win of the year. The Rays fall to 70-59 on the year and remain 8 1/2 games behind the Yankees in the Wild Card race.
Lets face the facts; Tampa Bay went 3-for-29 with runners in scoring position over this four-game span. The pitching can’t bail this team out every game, and something has got to give.
It’s great that manager Joe Maddon still has faith in his ball club, but the wins have been few and far between, and Matt Joyce explained the situation best.
“We haven’t figured it out,” Joyce said to reporters after the game. “Obviously it’s late in the year and it’s getting to the point where it’s crunch time. We have to figure it out really soon.”