Tampa’s Tropicana Field was Atlanta’s House of Horrors this week, being out scored by 12 runs during the 2-game series in St. Petersburg. After falling 14-5 last night, the Braves kept the Rays in single digits on Tuesday night, losing 5-2.
Plain & simple, the Braves have to start hitting with men on base. Too many times already have there been multiple guys on the basepaths when the 3rd out occurs. Tonight alone, there were seven Braves left on base. And Atlanta was 2 for 7 with runners in scoring position.
Kyle Wright’s season debut at Tropicana left him with an 0-1 record & a 16.88 ERA. He cruised through the Rays’ order the first time through. That one time through seemed to be all the Rays needed to see to get a feel for Kyle, they made adjustments while it seemed as though he didn’t adjust to them.
Austin Jackson & Ozzie Albies are the only Braves that notched multiple hits tonight (tonight was also Jackson’s first career major league hit). Marcell Ozuna & Dansby Swanson added one hit apiece; that was the extent of Braves hits Tuesday night at the Trop. Not a winning recipe.
Dansby Swanson is the only Braves hitter with an average over .300 this season, posting a .368 with a 1.105 OPS.
The Rays are no slouches. They were predicted to be a unanimous lock for the AL wildcard pre-COVID, and are a definite playoff team now that the playoff field has expanded. They’re a top 5, maybe even a top 3 American League ball club. Relying on a stout starting rotation, a deep bullpen full of lively arms, solid hitting from guys acquired via trades, and even more powerful with the new addition of Hunter Renfroe from San Diego.