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August 14, 2017

One of several teams to hold that second wild-card spot in the past two weeks, the Rays quickly relinquished that perch thanks to a brutal 0-for-31 stretch with runners in scoring position. Given that level of failure in big spots, it’s no surprise that the Rays’ first half-to-second half runs-per-game chart looks like the life and times of Pets.com’s stock.

The good is that neither the Rays nor any team lacks magic clutch pixie dust; their numbers in high-leverage spots will bounce back on their own. Even if you ignore context, though, Tampa Bay’s still been worse than any other team offensively since the All-Star break. It would help if they could get something—anything—out of the catcher position.

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Wilson Ramos looked like a savvy signing last winter, a player coming off a monster .307/.354/.496 campaign in 2016 who was acquired on a dirt-cheap two-year deal because he blew out his knee just before the end of the season. Ramos made his Tampa Bay debut on June 24 and has been horrendous from day one. His numbers since the break? .134/.147/.149, a great way to hamstring the upstart Rays’ playoff chances.

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