Criminal. That’s the only way to describe what happened to starting pitcher David Price, as he saw another solid outing wasted by his Tampa Bay Rays teammates in a 2-0 loss to the Boston Red Sox Tuesday night.
Looking to rebound from a couple tough outings, Price took a perfect game into the fifth inning, but a few huge blunders by the normally outstanding Desmond Jennings and a big single from Rays killer Jonny Gomes led to the Red Sox’ only two runs.
That ended up being plenty considering the suddenly inept Rays offense. I mean, come on, four hits and no runs? Pathetic.
Evan Longoria led the charge, striking out three times. In fact, he’s struck out nine times in 35 at-bats dating back to Aug 31. Slapped with a huge, multi-year deal this past offseason, it’s safe to say that the Rays expected better from their third baseman — especially considering his recent September success (Game 162 of the 2011 season, anyone?).
Granted, he wasn’t the only culprit. Manager Joe Maddon chose to start Luke Scott over rookie sensation Wil Myers because Scott possessed better numbers against Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz. Makes sense, right? Wrong. Myers doesn’t have many, if any, at-bats against Boston’s ace, yet has fared quite well against the AL East leaders since being promoted from Triple-A Durham nearly three months ago.
Can the Rays offense rediscover its midseason form? Like it or not, that’s what their playoff hopes hinge on.