Maybe it’s an aberration, but the Tampa Bay Rays were the victims of being on the wrong end of a no-hitter—again.

Dating back to July 23, 2009, The Rays have been no-hit three times; two of those being perfect games.

Let’s take a look at them.

On July 23rd of last year, Mark Buehrle pitched a perfect game against the Rays at US Cellular Field in Chicago. He struck out six batters on 116 pitches (76 for strikes).

There’s no shame in that. Buehrle is a four-time All-Star with eight career shutouts and over 1,200 Ks. He ranks fifth all-time in strikeouts, sixth in starts, and eighth in wins in White Sox history.

On May 9th of this year, Dallas Braden of the A’s threw a perfecto in Oakland on Mother’s Day. He also fanned six Rays. He threw 77 of his 109 pitches for strikes.

Prior to that game, the only thing Braden was known for was getting into a spat with Alex Rodriguez when A-Rod crossed over the mound in the middle of an inning.

Braden has gone 0-5 since then and the Rays are winless in all eight of his starts dating back to Mother’s Day.

Most recently, Tampa was no-hit by former Ray Edwin Jackson. This time it was at Tropicana Field.

Jackson threw only 79 strikes in 149 pitches and walked eight batters through nine innings. He also had six strikeouts.

The Rays had two stolen bases and left nine men on base (BJ Upton was hit by a pitch). They were 0-7 in scoring opportunities.

There’s something wrong when a pitcher struggles that much with his command and you still can’t manage a run—let alone a hit.

Is it just a crazy coincidence or a cruel twist of fate? I don’t think so—at least not entirely.

Many people are left scratching their heads because, on paper, Tampa is too good of a team to be the victims of two perfect games and a no-hitter in one calendar year.

Sure, they’re not the Yankees or the Red Sox, but they’re not the Mariners or Orioles.

They’re in the middle of the pack in the AL in batting average, hits, and home runs.

They lead the AL in stolen bases and are fourth in both runs and RBI, but they’ve also struck out 286 more times than they’ve walked.

It’s not otherworldly offensive production, but it’s not that bad either.

So what’s the problem?

This is my opinion, and it’s a little subjective. However, I think there is some merit to it.

The Rays have a fairly young team of very talented players. However, when they find themselves struggling in a game, they push too hard and try to do too much.

Instead of staying within themselves and being disciplined at the plate, they start swinging for the fences on every pitch.

Whatever the cause, they allow themselves to go on tilt too easily, and there really isn’t that guy to bring them back down to earth.

Until they learn to weather the storm and avoid these highs and lows, they’ll be vulnerable to being no-hit again.

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