MIAMI — Tampa Bay Rays starter Alex Cobb bounced back from a tough first inning Monday and shut down a pretty good Miami Marlins offense for the next five innings and ...
“I’m over taking positives away from games,” Cobb said. “That, obviously, isn’t getting us anywhere. Maybe we need to dwell on the negatives a little bit more and stop looking at the positives.”
The Rays lost their seventh straight game when the Marlins scored all the runs they needed in the first inning for a 3-1 victory at Marlins Park. The Rays are 12 games under .500 and five games in back of the fourth-place Red Sox.
A loss tonight and the Rays will go 0-8 on this three-city, two-country road trip.
The offense has gone missing after those first two games in Toronto, and the defense let Cobb down when Evan Longoria couldn’t handle a ground ball in the first inning on a play he normally makes that put runners on first and third with no outs.
Cobb took the blame for the inning because he walked a pair of batters, including the leadoff hitter. But the big hit was a two-run single by Casey McGehee that scooted past a diving Yunel Escobar.
“It’s beyond frustrating,” Cobb said of the team’s longest losing streak since they dropped 11 straight in 2009. “I really don’t know what to say to it. There’s no words. This has gone on too long. We got to figure something out. This is not the way we play baseball around here. We’re going to have to figure it out quick.”
When asked how, Cobb said, “I don’t know. We can control what we can control, everybody at their own position. Get better. I think the biggest thing right now is quit accepting losing. I can’t stand losing, and I hope nobody in this locker room will accept this. It’s up to us to turn it around. Nobody is going to come in here and make some magic formula for us to fix it. We all got to look at ourselves and figure it out.”
Cobb became the first player to publically vent his frustration. It was understandable, since he certainly pitched well enough to win. He retired 13 in a row at one point.
Manager Joe Maddon continued to put a positive spin on things. Part of that stems from his nature. The other stems from his knowing whatever answers the Rays need to find will come from the current roster.
“The group that constantly wants to bring guys back and forth, believe me, these are our best guys, these are the best guys in the organization and I believe in them,” he said. “The worm is going to turn, man. The worm is going to turn. In the meantime you don’t alienate, you don’t point fingers. You don’t do any of that.”
Cobb came close to pointing fingers.
When asked if he noticed any of this teammates accepting defeat, he said, “I definitely don’t think anybody in this locker room is accepting defeat, but when we start doing this, I think that kind of comes with it. People show up to the park and sometimes expect to lose. I’ve seen ballclubs that play like that. It better not happen around here.”
Ben Zobrist shared a view that’s opposite of Cobb’s. He said the Rays must continue to remain positive and keep the focus on the things they do right.
When asked if he thought anyone has accepted losing, Zobrist said. “No, I don’t believe that anyone in here is going to accept losing. There’s a reason why there’s major league players in this room, because everybody is a competitor, everybody has fought through times like this and come out the other end getting better.
“I have no doubt every guy is going to get to that point. Even if right now it seems hard, it seems like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, there is. There absolutely is, and we got to keep pushing toward it.”