It's been an extremely disappointing week for the Tampa Bay Rays. After losing seven of their last eight in the midst of the AL playoff race, they now find themselves with their backs firmly against the wall and on the verge of elimination.
So, as the 2012 season continues to near a upsetting end, who's to blame for this late season collapse?
The Rays' September failures have been a team effort, but there are five players who have just been flat-out awful this month.
Matt Moore appeared to have hit his stride this season after struggling during the early part of the year, but unfortunately those struggles have come back to haunt him here in September when the Rays least need it.
Moore has has made three starts this month and none of them have been good ones. He suffered the loss in all three, and compiled a 7.43 ERA.
His fastball velocity has been down lately, which is likely a big reason for the poor outings.
Jeff Keppinger has probably been the Rays' most consistent hitter all season long.
The .317/.361/.419 hitter has hit just .246 with a .220 wOBA and 0 extra-base hits in September. He's also seen his strikeout out percentage rise to 8.5.
The Rays depend on Matt Joyce to be one of the top bats in the middle of their lineup, and he has not lived up to that expectation recently.
In the last 30 days, Joyce has hit just .182/.289/.288 with just a single home run and eight RBI while posting a low wRC+ of 60. In those 76 plate appearances he's hit just five extra-base hits—a huge reason why the Rays' offense has been anemic recently.
It's been a disappointing season for DH Luke Scott. Lately he's been especially bad, though. He's had his worst month since his franchise record 0-41 skid back in July.
Scott has hit .182/.200/.341 with just one HR and four RBI in his last 45 PA. Any team with a DH who's putting up those kind of numbers probably isn't going to have such a great offense, and that's been the case for the Rays this year.
The wheels have seemingly fell off Joel Peralta here late in the season.
The Rays' set-up man is 0-2 in with a 5.79 ERA in the last 30 days, putting a big dent in a Tampa Bay bullpen that has been strong all year long.