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Analysis

Rays Have Success With Hot Bats In Cold Weather

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Most people believed when Tuesday’s game started, it would be another low-scoring affair for the Tampa Bay Rays and Kansas City Royals because of the cold weather.  That is, until the first hit was allowed.

Tampa Bay would go on to score 14 runs and knock out 17 hits, both season-high marks in taking the middle game of the series 14-7 from the Royals in what was one of the biggest offensive cold weather outputs in franchise history.

“This isn’t the ideal weather to hit in, that’s for sure,” manager Kevin Cash said after the game.  “I think our guys coming in after last night’s game we would have bet that we were going to come out and do that, some people would be scratching their heads.”

According to Stathead data (formerly Baseball-Reference), the 14 runs scored and 17 hits are the second-most in franchise history in a game that started with a game time temperature of 45 degrees or colder, behind a 2011 contest at Target Field in Minneapolis, the first game of a doubleheader that saw the Rays use a 19-hit barrage to beat up the Twins 15-3.  That contest started with temperatures at 41 degrees, but gradually warmed up as the afternoon progressed (the game was a 12:10 pm local start, the second game temperature at 7:10 that evening was a relatively balmy 57 degrees).  That game would be famous for the franchise as Ben Zobrist set the team record for RBI in a single game, driving in eight in the victory.

The Rays are now 17-19 all-time in games started with a temperature of 45 degrees or colder, but have won their last six cold weather contests in a row, including the last two games at Kauffman Stadium.  They have averaged 4.61 runs scored per game in those contests, and have scored at least seven runs in 11 of the 36 contests.

Written By

Steve Carney is the founder and publisher of St. Pete Nine. One of the people most associated with baseball coverage in Tampa Bay, he spent 13 seasons covering the Rays for flagship radio station WDAE, first as producer of Rays Radio broadcasts, then as beat reporter beginning in 2011. He likes new analytics and aged bourbon, and is the owner of one of the ugliest knuckleballs ever witnessed by baseball scouts.

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