Fifteen minutes ago, it seems, it was a Tampa Bay Ray world.
It was June 21, and they were 10 games above .500, on top of the AL East, and it seemed the Rays had it all figured out.
Then the bottom fell out, and the Rays have lost 13 of their last 16, and the record is back to .500, and the team has fallen to fourth of five teams in the division. And suddenly, Tampa Bay looks like a flawed baseball team.
Take Tuesday, for instance, when the Kansas City Royals swept a doubleheader from the Rays, scoring 16 times on the afternoon. The Royals won the first game 9-5 on a walkoff home run by Paulo Orlando, then took the nightcap 7-1.
The Rays had a 1-0 lead in the second game on John Jaso’s home run. Kansas City trailed 1-0, then tied it in the fifth and broke the game open with a four-run sixth. Alex Gordon had four hits for Kansas City.
The Rays have some hope for today when Chris Archer starts in what could be a debut performance to get the nod as the AL All-Star game starting pitcher.