8/21/2014 1:15 P.M. ET
Maddon can't explain Rays' struggles on road
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays are the only team in the Majors with a winning record on the road and a losing record overall.
Entering Thursday's series finale at The Trop against the Tigers, the Rays had gone an AL-record 18 consecutive road games allowing three or fewer runs, the second-longest streak in Major League history behind in the 1908 Cubs (21).
Manager Joe Maddon continues to get peppered with questions about why the Rays are good on the road and not so good at home, and he can't pinpoint a reason.
"We pitch better on the road, and that makes no sense at all," said Maddon, when sorting through the statistics. "... I don't know [the answer], because this place [Tropicana Field] has been weird, uncomfortable for other teams to come into. A lot of it, I even go back to when I first got here. The sight lines. The depth perception. Roof lights. All those things. ... I wish I had something solid to say. It's just been really awkward. Because, normally we make our move here then try to play as well as we can on the road. I don't have it. I don't know."
Moore progressing, enjoying time with mates
ST. PETERSBURG -- Matt Moore is out for the season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, but the left-hander remains a familiar face around the Rays' clubhouse and he's making progress with his rehab.
"I have sock throws starting this coming Monday," said Moore, talking about the drill where a sock is placed over his left arm with a baseball inside of it. "I'll do those six times, two weeks worth, Monday, Wednesday, Friday times two. After that, I'll be at 20 weeks. That will be five months [since his surgery] and I'll start my throwing program."
Once Moore begins his throwing program, he'll continue to build up strength in his elbow as well as the rest of his body for his eventual return. When asked when that return will be, Moore noted that May is circled on the 2015 calendar.
"We're at the four-and-a-half months right now, so that would be a decent target to shoot for," Moore said. "That would be pretty much 13 months on the dot."
He added in almost afterthought: "If it was June, honestly, I think it would be best for all parties. Our squad in general and myself, just to make sure that we're not trying to get to May [and rushing things]."
Though Moore misses baseball and is eager to return, he has gained some perspective about baseball and life in general things since having the surgery in April.
"There are a couple of positive things, not necessarily in baseball," Moore said. "Like getting to see my grandma a few last times this summer was pretty big for me. She was 77, she was battling cancer for a year or two. Had I not been hurt, I wouldn't have seen her the last two times when she was alive as I did. So I look at those things.
"I look at my elbow, it's not my heart, it's not my brain. The rehabilitation process is very promising. So there's nothing to really be down on. Try to look at some of the better things that are going around us. The fact that [Drew] Smyly's here, the new guy. [Jake] Odorizzi's pitching his butt off. We have Helly [Jeremy Hellickson] back this year and have him pitch the way he has. Those are positive things. There are some things here to keep my mind off just my elbow."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.