Interesting Tidbits on the Rays Offensive Feast
I knew it still resided within the
Tampa Bay Rays. That fighting spirit and competitive nature than
churns your stomach and makes you want another chance to show the
forward momentum instead of their early 2011 offensive backpedaling.
Even a 2010 seasonal overall record of 11-7, their best ever against
the Red Sox did not parlay a positive vibe going into last night’s
You knew somehow the Rays would soon
find their fingers on the offensive triggers, but early indications,
plus an 1-8 record only showed an abysmal effort and frustrations
rising. Suddenly Rays DH/LF Johnny Damon took the first pitch from
Daisuke Matsuzaka and deposited it into the Rightfield stands and the
Rays had only their lead.
In the end, the Rays would score 44
percent of their 2001 runs in this one contest (16/36 runs), produce
a .500 average with runners in scoring position, and raise their
overall team batting average from .163 to just over the Mendoza Line
( .201). Suddenly there was a bright ray of light at the end of the
once darkened Rays tunnel.
The Rays 16 runs last night is the
fourth largest total in team history and the most since they tacked
on 17 against the Orioles on September 5, 2007. Want to hear another
interesting fact, the Rays have scored 25 runs in their 2 “W’s”
and 11 runs in their 8 losses. The Rays also raised their average
against right-handed pitching from a bargain basement .138 to a more
The Rays have also now won 7 of their
last 10 games in Fenway Park, in which the Rays have outscored the
Red Sox 78-53 over that span. In 2010 the Rays went 6-3 in Fenway,
eliminating 10 straight losing campaigns in the Boston ballpark.
More remarkable, the Rays have now
scored 35 runs in their last 3 games in Boston, and have mustered 9
extra base hits in their last 2 contests. Not surprising, the Rays
have a .318 batting average in their last 7 games at Fenway ( since
Then you have tonight’s Southpaw
match-up of 2010 AL Cy Young runner-up David Price, and the always
elusive Jon Lester. Interesting side note, tonight’s game is the
first between a pair of 2-8 teams since April 30, 1918 when the
Brooklyn Robins (1-9) played host to the Boston Braves (2-8) at
Since divisional play started in 1969,
this is only the second time two teams from the American League East
are 2-8 ( or worse). The only other time was in 1980 when both the
Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers were sporting 2-8 records.
Right now the Rays are the first team since the 2003 Arizona
Diamondbacks to be 2-8 the season after going to the postseason.
All in all it was a dynamic display by
the Rays to finally cast the chains off their offensive power and
turn in a stellar performance against one of their biggest divisional
rivals. It set the tone for tonight’s battle between the two dynamic
lefties, with tonight a better than average probability of a low
scoring pitcher’s duel.