Tampa Bay Rays Built For The Long Haul
The Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox appear to be much different clubs than they were after Boston's sweep of their three-game series last month.
The Rays aim for their sixth straight victory Tuesday night when they host the reeling Red Sox.
Boston's sweep from April 13-15 saw the Red Sox improve to 8-4 while the Rays fell to 4-8. Tampa Bay (19-18) is 15-10 since with Sunday's 4-2 win over the Padres putting them over .500 for the first time since April 6.
A big part of the Rays' early struggles involved a fragile bullpen, which blew six of its first 10 save opportunities and had an AL-worst 5.19 ERA through last Tuesday. But the relievers have posted a 1.15 ERA with 18 strikeouts over 15 2/3 innings during the current winning streak, including three shutout innings against San Diego on Sunday.
Their 2.88 ERA last year led the AL.
"You can never lose that confidence in your bullpen," utilityman Sean Rodriguez said. "They've earned that respect from us."
The offensive production has also been strong of late, with the Rays averaging 6.4 runs in their last 14 games. They've done a good job behind Tuesday's starter Matt Moore (6-0, 2.14 ERA), providing him with 7.07 runs of support per nine innings -- among the majors' best marks.
Earlier today on The Charlie Bernstein Show, Steve Kinsella, Sports Talk 1040 Rays Insider,?talked to Charlie about the Tampa Bay Rays. Steve talked about the Rays slow start and how it appears everything is coming together for the Rays.
The Charlie Bernstein Show comes to you live Monday through Friday 3pm - 7pm ?from the Culpepper | Kurland Sports Talk 1040 Studios in Tampa.
[audio:1040/SK51313.mp3|titles=Steve Kinsella on The Charlie Bernstein Show]