2009 MLB season in review: Tampa Bay Rays

After reaching the 2008 World Series, the 2009 Rays were looking to back up their on the field success. By finishing third in the American League East, the 2009 Rays season can be summed up in one word, disappointment. First baseman Carlos Pena hit 39 home runs and shared the lead in the American league, Short Stop Jason Bartlett hit an amazing .320, and the team completed just their second winning season in franchise history. Had this year happened before the 2008 World Series year, then it would have been remembered as a success, but this is a team hungry for the playoffs and individual statistics cannot replace that.

Their final record was 84-78, and the finished third in the AL east 19 games behind the New York Yankees. With that being said the Rays spent, zero days in first place over the 2009 season. While they may have been in contention a late season 11 game losing streak took all the wind out of their sails. At their worst they were 20.5 games behind the Yankees and six games under .500. At their best they were 13 games over .500, but in a tough division they were not tough enough.

The Rays offense scored 803 runs, and their team batting average was .263 and that was good enough for 8th in the American League. They hit 199 home runs, 297 doubles, and 36 triples. They did strike out 1,229 times while drawing 642 walks. Their starting rotation did feature two pitchers that won 12 games each, and another who won 9. Their team ERA was 4.36 and they gave up 754 runs. They did manage to record 1,125 strike out compared to 515 walks.

In all 1,874,962 people traveled to Tropicana Field to see the Rays play. For their 81 homes games they averaged 23,147 fans, and that was good enough for 23rd among the 30 MLB teams. Even with the success of the 2008 season they were only able to sell 52.9% of their 2009 ticket inventory.