Today's 4-3 loss to the Rangers knocks the Rays out of the post season.
After starting out with a surprising 9-0 win behind call-up phenom Matt Moore, Tampa Bay got the broomage from the Rangers. Sadly, I sort of predicted this way back in the beginning of the season, when I pointed out that the team wasn't going to get through the playoffs relying solely on shut-out pitching performances.
Staff stars James Shields and David Price both melted down when the team needed them after pitching their asses off all season. Price, who is oh for September/October had a Beckett-like fail last night as he had 5 scoreless innings before the wheels came off. Ditto for Shields the night before.
Today it was Hellickson who gave up two solo shots to Adrian Beltre before leaving the game. Desperate for anything, Maddon went to Moore hoping for more magic like the first game. But Moore gave up a homer to Beltre as well, and that was pretty much the game.
With the Rays anemic bats, it is beyond unfair to put such a burden on the pitchers. Imagine what a team like the Yankees or Red Sox could do with a rotation like the Rays have? They'd be destroying the league and setting records for wins and runs that would have everyone going around with their mouths hanging open.
Alas, with the miniscule payroll here, the Rays are built only to make the wild card game each season. Especially with talk of expanding the playoffs next year.
Hoping to get your foot in the door then have a magical run every year is no way to run a team. And it isn't fair to the fans or the players who will spend their careers here watching other teams win it all. But unless there's a large influx of cash for this team, I think that is all we're destined for.
Nice try guys.