Sure, they’re not in the American League pennant race for the first time in four years, and they struggled throughout the regular season, especially on offense. However, finishing third in the AL East with 90 wins, and just a few games behind the New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles is not too shabby.
Coming into the season, the Rays looked promising, especially with their great pitching staff. They got off to a 15-8 start in the first month despite missing the services of Rays’ star, Evan Longoria, who was nursing a torn left hamstring. But their offense dug the team a hole through May, June and July until Longoria returned. Despite a strong August (17-11), the Rays’ offense again faltered in September, and the outlook for potential postseason play faded despite a strong end of the season finish.
Thanks for the Memories, Rays!
Looking toward the 2013 season, the Rays pitching staff is loaded with the likes of David Price, James Shields, Jeremy Hellickson, Matt Moore, Alex Cobb, Jeff Nieman, Chris Archer and possibly Wade Davis – arguably the best pitching staff in all of major league baseball.
But the Rays need to stay healthy in 2013. At various times during the 2012 season, the Rays were without B.J. Upton, Kyle Farnsworth, Longoria, Luke Scott, Niemann, Desmond Jennings and Jeff Keppinger, which, paired with a shortage of hitting, resulted in a serious lack of offense.
Already, the team, led by Rays’ Manager, Joe Maddon, is looking ahead and moving forward. Winning 90 games three seasons in a row puts them in the ranks of the Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies. Not a bad neighborhood. But still they’d like to be moving on up.
Thanks Rays for another great season. See you in the spring 2013.