Nine years. More than a thousand games.
And now, they’re back. Miserable again.
The Tampa Bay Rays completed their worst month in years Friday night in Boston, dropping a 5-7 decision to the Red Sox that left them with a 9-16 record for the month of July, the worst record in the major leagues. To find a worse complete month for Tampa Bay, you have to go back all the way to 2007, the first season of Joe Maddon and Andrew Friedman. The team was 7-20 that month, a team that didn’t appear to be going anywhere. That year, they were 24 games back going into August with a 40-66 record.
This year, they’re closer. They’re 51-53 and seven games back, so things could be worse. But the Rays seem to have lost all interest in being a competitive team in the AL East.
The Rays had the best record in the major leagues in July during 2013 and 2014, but this has been a nightmare. The Rays are averaging 3.38 runs per game and hitting .225, both their lowest figures.
The Rays took a 5-4 lead Friday night on John Jaso’s double, which drove in Joey Butler and Mike Mahtook. But in the bottom of the inning, Mike Napoli drove a high fastball over the Green Monster off reliever Jake McGee to give the Red Sox the lead. A wild pitch brought an insurance run home for the Red Sox.
The Rays committed three errors and left 13 men on base. In all, there were five errors, nine walks, three wild pitches and a hit batsman.
Today looks like a day for the bullpens. The Rays’ Matt Moore has not gone more than five innings in any of his five starts. The Red Sox’s Joe Kelly has had 10 starts of less than six innings.