Saturday afternoon in New York the Rays lost another late lead but even more frustrating for Rays fans was watching 6 of the 7 Yankees runs cross home plate with 2-outs in the inning. Two out runs are deflating for the players on the field that surrender them but are demoralizing to the fans at home tuning into the game. Thus far in 2013 the Rays have watched many a late inning lead turn to a deficit and the usual culprit is the 2-out run.
One of the disturbing trends for the Rays pitching staff this season is the inability to close out innings. Entering Sunday’s game in New York the Rays pitching staff trialed was 2nd in the American League in allowing 2-out runs to score with 158 and have allowed the 5th highest batting average against of .251 against. In comparison, in 2012 the Rays allowed the third fewest runs to score with two out (238) and held the opposition to the second lowest batting average against at .226.
If the Rays are going to get back into the AL East race or contend for a wild card they are going to need mroe than getting David Price and Alex Cobb back in the center of the diamond – they are going to have to close out innings. Improving this one area can have a tremendous impact on reversing the Rays fortune.
The table below represents the Rays pitchers struggles with 2-outs in an inning.