ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Leave it to right-hander Chris Archer, a cerebral and deep voice, to place the Tampa Bay Rays' six-game losing streak into unexpected perspective.
"The oldest, most wise things in nature need a little weather to continue to grow -- and that's a tree," he said after the Rays' 5-4 loss to the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night at Tropicana Field. "So as long as a team, we can weather the storm and get through this rough patch of games, we're going to be all right. We're still in the hunt. We're not too far behind Boston. We're on top the wild card. Everything in nature has to go through a little bit of weathering in order to grow."
Continuing the metaphor, this slump is too brief to call it a storm. But there are darker clouds present that were absent over the past month.
The Rays, baseball's hottest team before the All-Star break, a squad that went 8-2 on a road trip against American League East opponents to start the season's second half, suddenly find them...