Looking Backward While Moving Forward: Rays Win 6-1 Amidst Flared Tempers

The Rays not only gifted Derek Jeter with a customized kayak, they also handed the captain -- and his classy organization -- a 6-1 loss. (Photo courtesy of Schmitty/X-Rays Spex)

The Rays not only gifted Derek Jeter with a customized kayak, they also handed the captain — and his classy organization — a 6-1 loss. (Photo courtesy of Schmitty/X-Rays Spex)

If Monday night’s three hour and 28 minute 1-0 walk-off victory was odd, Tuesday night’s contest must have been drafted by David Lynch. On a night when the Rays organization celebrated the career of Derek Jeter, Tampa Bay handed the Yankees a 6-1 loss, complete with a bench clearing almost brawl, and a pair of big hits by Nick Franklin who made his debut with the Rays. Jake Odorizzi was spotty, yet he held the Yankees to one run in six innings of work, while Franklin went 2-4 with a double, a stolen base that almost wasn’t, a run and an RBI. The game had everything anyone could ever want: the first time in Rays history two runs were scored on a sac-fly, three Yankee ejections, and a customized kayak.

The game started typically enough, with an eight pitch top half by Odorizzi, and a two-out RISP jam in the bottom — bringing Nick Franklin to the plate in his first at-bat as a Ray. However Franklin grounded to first to end the inning.

Things got interesting with two outs in the second. Chris Young, who’s been a thorn in the Rays side of late, doubled to left. Ichiro Suzuki followed, plating Young on a single to right.

While the Yankees went on to mount major scoring threats against Odorizzi in the third and fifth innings, Jake made some big pitches to get out of those jams unscathed. While he wasn’t perfect and he missed the zone with a lot of his pitches, and while he ran some high counts in the second, third, and fifth innings, Odorizzi was good enough to hold the Yankees to one run over six innings — good for a quality start. Odorizzi’s line and breakout: 6 IP/5 H/1 ER/1 BB/3 K 101 pitches (65 strikes, 64% K%); fastball (65 thrown, 45 for strikes, 9 whiffs), slider (2 thrown, 1 strike), curveball (5 thrown, 2 strikes), cutter (13 thrown, 6 strikes, 6 whiffs), splitter (16 thrown, 11 strikes, 1 whiff). In the end, Odorizzi got better as the game progressed — ultimately posting his 12th start with one run or fewer.

Jake Odorizzi strike zone plot by pitch type. (Courtesy of Brooks Baseball)

Jake Odorizzi strike zone plot by pitch type. (Courtesy of Brooks Baseball)

The game got weirder and wilder from the fifth inning on. After Michael Pineda plowed through the Rays batting order a few times, Kevin Kiermaier reached first safely on throwing error by second baseman Brendan Ryan. Pineda followed by giving Hanigan a rare free pass, moving Kiermaier to second. Ben Zobrist finally put the Rays on the board when he reached on a fielding error by Pineda.

Then with one out in the sixth, Nick Franklin notched his first hit as a Ray — an opposite field double to get into scoring position. Matt Joyce was next, reaching on another Pineda walk; a ball that skipped away from catcher Francisco Cervelli. Seeing an opportunity to move up, Franklin hustled to third and slid in just ahead of the tag. While he was initially called out by the third base umpire, the play was challenged by Joe Maddon, and the call was overturned.

Given prior notice that the Rays like to execute the suicide squeeze, with runners on the corners and only one out, Franklin was keenly aware of what would come next. Yunel Excobar laid down an ugly — yet effective — 0-1 bunt. As Cervelli attempted to flag down the ball that Escobar popped up in front and to the right of the plate, Franklin charged down the line, sliding well before the Yankees catcher could get back to the plate.

Up 2-1 in the seventh, the Rays opened the floodgates to the tune of five runs. Ben Zobrist got the ball rolling with a one out walk. David DeJesus put together a productive at-bat and moved the Rays utility-man to third on a single to right. Evan Longoria continued to be productive in the second half, plating his 88th RBI on a single to left, which allowed DeJesus to move up a base. Not to be left out of the fun, James Loney loaded the bases on a single to center which brought BenZo Jr. (Franklin) to the plate. Franklin would not disappoint. With a sharply his single to left, Franklin drove in his first RBI and gave the Rays a two run advantage. His RBI single also set up another weird play.

Wil Myers was called into the game to pinch hit against David Phelps. Myers hit a sac-ball to deep center, and though Jacoby Ellsbury made an excellent diving grab, both Longoria and Loney tagged up (from second and third, respectively) to pad the Rays’ lead. Joe Girardi was fuming, and as Marc Topkin wrote, he was,

Adamant that Loney left second early and making three rounds of appeals to the umpires to revisit or review their call, convinced they weren’t in position to see. The umps did huddle, and stuck with their call; the tag-up play is not subject to instant replay review.

Still quite upset after the game, Girardi had this to say:

They said he tagged up. He didn’t tag up. I mean, he did, but he left early, and I don’t know how you can watch both, so that’s a play that I’ll ask Major League Baseball why it’s not reviewable, because it’s hard to watch both. But (the umpire) he said he clearly saw it. I don’t know how he can clearly see both. It’s almost impossible for him.

Whatever the case, it was the first two-RBI sac fly in Rays history (the first in the majors since 2012), and the fourth time a Rays runner scored from second on a sac fly. Tampa Bay ended the inning with a commanding five run lead.

All hell broke loose in the bottom of the eighth, when David Phelps, in retaliation for a Derek Jeter HBP, threw way inside to Kiermaier. Both benches emptied, and the hot headed Sean Rodriguez was in the middle of it all.

c4s_benches091714_13880273_8colTopkin wrote an account of the fireworks:

Though no punches were thrown, the extracurricular activity on the field — plus accusations by Yankees manager Joe Girardi that the Rays didn’t know how to pitch inside, and the Rays adamantly denying any intent — tarnished what had been a positive night.

“It did for me,” Rays manager Joe Maddon. “I was upset. I did not want anything to detract from the evening. I thought our ceremony before the game was outstanding, I thought the gift was great, we played well, we have a chance to win the game, the last thing you want to do is detract from the evening. And from my perspective in the dugout, I thought it did put a little bit of a nick into it.”

The Rays hit four batters, including Jeter on the left elbow pad, during a three-game series last week in New York then Jeter again Tuesday on the left hand.

“I don’t know what they expect,” Girardi said. “They hit five of our guys in four games, we’re going to be (ticked). … We’re not pincushions. … I’m tired of my guys getting hit, and where they’re getting hit.”

But Maddon said there was nothing to it, certainly not intent.

“I understand their frustration and why they were upset, I get it,” he said. “But it’s part of the game. Truthfully, truly, it was not intentional.”

Girardi was ejected after getting irate after Geltz hit Jeter and the umpires issues warnings. Geltz was surprised by Girardi’s reaction: “He should know that’s not intentional. It’s an 0-2 count. I’m trying to get him out. I’m not trying to hit him. That’s Derek Jeter. I’m not trying to hit Jeter.”

Phelps and bench coach Tony Pena were tossed after the pitch to Kiermaier, which sparked the scrum, although Rays reserve Sean Rodriguez seemed to be the only one really worked up.

“Joe Girardi has a conveniently short memory,” writes Topkin.

He went on, “In the aftermath of Tuesday’s benches-and-bullpen clearing standoff, the Yankees manager, upset and frustrated as his team’s slim playoff hopes are all but extinguished, accused the Rays of not knowing how to pitch inside properly and suggesting they learn.”

Girardi pointed to how the Rays hit five of his batters during the last five games between the two teams.

However, he conveniently didn’t acknowledge that in the first 12 games the teams played this season, Yankees pitchers hit eight Rays batters (while Rays pitchers hit only two Yankees). And for the season series — which concludes tonight — Yankees pitchers have hit more batters than the Rays, 8-7.

The Yankees tried to put together a rally in the ninth, but Kirby Yates dampened the fire. Rays win, 6-1.

The New What Next

The Rays will go for their fourth consecutive win and a sweep tonight with Alex Cobb on the mound. Cobb will be opposed by Brandon McCarthy. The Yankees have taken losses in four of McCarthy’s (9-14, 3.98 ERA) last six starts, including a 5-0 loss to the Rays back on August 15. Ironically or not, Alex Cobb was on the hill for the Rays in that game, and he was spectacular over 7-1/3 innings. To be fair, the Rays are 6-6 in Cobb’s last 12 starts even though he’s been outstanding. If this is a comparison of Wednesday’s starters, the biggest difference is the number of runs McCarthy and Cobb have given up. Cobb has held opponents to two runs or fewer in 12 consecutive games — for a total of 15 runs — while McCarthy has given up 13 runs in half as many starts. Unfortunately for the Rays, that’s more of an implication of the Yankees inept offense than it is to McCarthy’s pitching. You can read about the pitching matchup in our series preview.

Rays 9/17/14 Starting Lineup

Zobrist SS
DeJesus DH
Longoria 3B
Loney 1B
Myers RF
Franklin 2B
Joyce LF
Hanigan C
Kiermaier CF
Cobb RHP

Noteworthiness

  • Tampa Bay needs seven more wins to find them with a plus .500 record for the seventh consecutive season.
  • Cobb tonight having gone 68-1/3,innings without allowing a home run; the most by a Rays starter, and the second longest in team history behind McGee’s 76.
  • Hey idiots, urm…Yankees, why in God’s name would the Rays intentionally hit Derek Jeter ON THE DAY THEY CELEBRATED HIS CAREER AT THE TROP? Man, Girardi is dumb. Then again, so are Phelps and SeanRod.
  • Nick Franklin was not only productive at the plate, but also in the field. The Rays newest fielder was involved in two double plays. I cannot wait to see how he progresses with Tampa Bay.
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Looking Backward While Moving Forward: Rays Walk-Off For the Second Consecutive Day

Though not as dominant at Nate Karns three days prior, Alex Colome blanked the Yankees over 6-2/3 innings of work. (Photo courtesy of the Tampa Bay Rays)

Though not as dominant at Nate Karns three days prior, Alex Colome blanked the Yankees over 6-2/3 innings of work. (Photo courtesy of the Tampa Bay Rays)

What a goddamn weird game.

Alex Colome got himself into seven full counts, although he only walked one Yankee. Meanwhile the Rays only had two hits from the first through eighth innings, yet they ended the night by slapping three singles and taking a walk in the ninth — good for their sixth walk-off win of the season. And as if things weren’t odd enough, the double shutout, which lasted two outs into the ninth, took three hours and 28 minutes.

Ben Zobrist came to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded, and subsequently ended the game by dropping a belt high, center-center fastball in front of Ichiro, plating Logan Forsythe from third.

In any case, a win is a win, and the Rays are going to need eight more of those to end the season with a plus .500 record. They are now 6-4 in their last 10 games, and they are capable of ending the year on a high note. The question is, will they?

Below are a few game peripherals and observations.

– Colome was good, not great. A little more than a year ago Ian Malinowski wrote of Alex Colome in his Pitch F/X scouting report,

In total, it’s easy to see why Colome has the reputation as an inconsistent pitcher. He doesn’t replicate his pitches all that well, but each one of his pitches is beautiful. He’s an athletic pitcher, and his control has improved over his early minors work. He has the repertoire (pending adding in the curve) of a frontline starter, and the only question is whether he’ll be able to improve his command and control enough to fulfill that heady potential.

I’d say the assessment above held true for Colome, Monday night. While he was able to coax his fair share of weak pop-outs, and work through any self incurred jams, Colome lacked fastball command throughout the course of his 6-2/3 inning outing (as evidenced by seven full counts). He had an especially hard time against left handed hitters, leaving a good number of fastballs high and well outside of the zone.

Alex Colome strike zone plot against righties and lefties. (Courtesy of Brooks Baseball)

Alex Colome strike zone plot against righties and lefties. (Courtesy of Brooks Baseball)

BA made mention of Colome’s mechanics on the broadcast, noting two things effected his command throughout the course of the game: how he landed on his plant foot — landing on his heel with a torquing motion, rather than landing on the ball of his foot – and his release. Colome, in effect, whipped his arm upon release which caused him to yank his pitches. Still, you can’t argue with the results. And to his credit he was rarely rattled while exhibiting great confidence and poise on the mound. Colome’s final line: 6.2 IP/6 H/0 ER/1 BB/4 K 113 pitches (68 strikes, 60% K%)

– With the exception of a leadoff walk in the ninth inning by Joel Peralta, the Rays bullpen was dominant and exceptional. Steve Geltz, Jeff Beliveau, Kirby Yates, and Peralta combined retire seven out of the eight batters they faced. The bullpen locked it down, something we haven’t been able to say in some time.

– Your guess is as good as mine, as to how the Rays could tag Chris Capuano for eight earned runs in his previous seven innings of work, only to be held to zero runs on two hits in six innings of work, last night.

– You make the judgement call; Was Capuano stellar, or did the Rays make the Yankees starter look really good?

The New What Next

Whoopdee-freaking-doo, the Rays are going to celebrate Derek Jeter Tuesday night, before the game. I’d hate to miss out by arriving late. Jake Odorizzi will get the start against Michael Pineda and the New York Yankees. If we learned anything about Micahel Pineda (3-4, 2.20 ERA) in his previous start against the Rays, it’s that he pounds the zone. But despite the 5-4 loss, the Rays were able to tag him for four runs on 10 hits, including a pair of homers off the bat of Yunel Escobar. Still, they went 2-10 wRISP while stranding six on the bags. You can read about the pitching matchup in our series preview.

Rays 9/15/14 Starting Lineup

Zobrist LF
DeJesus DH
Longoria 3B
Loney 1B
Franklin 2B
Joyce RF
Escobar SS
Kiermaier CF
Hanigan C
Odorizzi RHP

Noteworthiness

  • Jake Odorizzi goes into tonight’s start seven strikeouts short of the team rookie record of 175, held by Matt Moore.
  • Before tonight’s walk-off, Ben Zobrist was 0-for-11 with bases loaded this season, and 1-for-his-last-20.
  • The Rays MLB leading 21 shutouts are the most by an AL team in the DH era (since 1973). The lsat AL team with more was the 1972 Athletics at 23.
  • Chase Headley was ejected by home plate umpire Marty Foster in the middle of his at-bat. The reason? Arguing balls and strikes on a perfectly located pitch on the outside corner, at the bottom of the zone.
  • Andrew Astleford writes, “The rest of this Tampa Bay Rays season has become about polishing talent for the future. Attention has shifted from the American League East standings and the ”games behind” column in the race for the AL’s second wild-card spot. It has turned to finding gems within the transactions list, to studying the names promoted and considering where they can go.”
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Rays 9/14/14 Lineup, Etc

Rays 9/14/14 Lineup:

Zobrist CF
Guyer LF
Longoria DH
Myers RF
Escobar SS
Forsythe 2B
Loney 1B
Rodriguez 3B
Casali C
Colome RHP

Noteworthiness

  • Don’t forget to check out our series preview. If you already have, make it a two’fer.
  • Derek Jeter enters the Trop in the throes of an 0-24 streak at the plate — the second longest 0′fer streak of his career. Watching him strikeout this week will be that much more satisfying!
  • Part of the discussion I’ve had of late, be it via this medium or others, is that while the Rays as a team may show up to the ballpark to play with their pride on the line (among other things), younger players like Kevin Kiermaier, Nate Karns, Alex Colome, and Nick Franklin are playing for a spot on the 2015 roster — a pre-Spring Training audition of sorts. A few weeks back I wrote about the future of the Rays outfield, based on the premise that a trade of Matt Joyce (or Desmond Jennings) may be a good move. And while I’m still in the midst of writing about the future of the infield — a subject that may best be tackled after the 162 game — the folks at DRaysBay put together a piece about how the September call-ups (Nate Karns and Alex Colome) may use the next couple of weeks to battle for the first place on the Rays depth chart. It’s an interesting read to say the least.
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  • The New What Next: Rays vs. Yankees — Part Six

    Post-game high fives in Toronto. (Photo courtesy of the Tampa Bay Rays)

    Post-game high fives in Toronto. (Photo courtesy of the Tampa Bay Rays)

    First, before I get started, something piqued my interest:

    Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 4.34.05 PM

    (Screenshot courtesy of Fangraphs)

    Per Iron Maiden and the Bronx Bummer’s OPS over the 30 days, the Yankees indeed are the devil. Now that that’s out of the way, back to the Rays/Yankees series preview.

    The Tampa Bay Rays made their way home on the heels of series win against the Toronto Blue Jays. They are set to welcome the New York Yankees into Tropicana Field, for the final series of the 2014 season. The Rays dropped two of three against the Yankees in the three-game set that directly preceded their excursion north of the border. Tampa Bay held a 4-0 lead into the eighth inning in the finale of that series, when the bullpen collapsed — the relievers allowed five runs in 1-2/3 innings for a 5-4 loss.

    For the Rays, as I’ve alluded to on multiple occasions, their raison D’être in the upcoming series — and really, the final 12 games of the season — is two-fold:

    1. Play the role of spoilers. Mind you, they’ll be tasked with facing two potential playoff contenders (New York and Cleveland) in the next four series’.
    2. Finish the year strongly. While they’d have to go 9-3, 10-2, 11-1, or 12-0 over the next 12 games in order to end the season with a .500 (or greater) record, a strong finish — especially by those potentially fighting for a spot on the 2015 roster — would go a long way.

    Then there’s the Yankees; a team who, in theory, still has a chance of making the playoffs (per Fangraphs, they have a 0.8% chance of a wildcard berth). Then again, they really haven’t put together a hair-on-fire run in the homestretch of the season like they would need in order to give “Derek Jeter a fit and proper send off” in this, his final season. (Editor’s note, we here at X-Rays Spex really couldn’t care less whether the Yankees gave “Derek Jeter a fit and proper send off”) Rather, they’ve played somewhere in the range of .500 to .600 ball since August 26, dropping four series’ to playoff contending teams all the while.

    A presupposition of course, though I’d imagine that Alex Colome (Monday’s starter), CJ Riefenhauser, and Nick Franklin will all see action in the next three days. Not to belittle the promotion of Colome, I’m rather excited to see what Nick “Lil BenZo” Franklin has to offer. If there’s the expectation for Franklin to be Zobrist’s understudy (of sorts), what better time than now for a promotion? Franklin batted .277 with five doubles and four homers (good for a .426 SLG), 12 runs, and 11 runs batted in since August 4 — including postseason play with the Bulls.

    Rays and Yankees series starters (over the last 30 days).

    Rays and Yankees series starters (over the last 30 days).

    Rays and Yankees offensive production (at home, away, and over the last 30 days).

    Rays and Yankees offensive production (at home, away, and over the last 30 days).

    Chris Capuano: The Rays took a 4-0 lead against Capuano (2-3, 4.90 ERA) before the Yankees even came to bat in the first inning, last week. Capuano was able to get only one out before he was quickly pulled in favor of the Yankees September bolstered bullpen. If you’re keeping track, four earned runs in 1/3 of an inning is good for an 108.00 ERA. The Yankees were able to overcome a four run deficit for the first time this season, to beat the Rays by a three run margin. I digress. Key matchups: Yunel Escobar (4-6, 4 RBI), James Loney (5-7, 4 RBI, BB), Evan Longoria (1-4, 2B, BB), Wil Myers (3-3, 2B, RBI, BB), Sean Rodriguez (1-4), Ben Zobrist (2-5, RBI).

    Michael Pineda: If we learned anything about Micahel Pineda (3-4, 2.20 ERA) in his previous start against the Rays, it’s that he pounds the zone. But despite the 5-4 loss, the Rays were able to tag him for four runs on 10 hits, including a pair of homers off the bat of Yunel Escobar. Still, they went 2-10 wRISP while stranding six on the bags. Key matchups: David DeJesus (4-12, 2B), Yunel Escobar (6-12, 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 BB), Matt Joyce (3-7, RBI, BB), James Loney (1-3), Wil Myers (2-3).

    Brandon McCarthy: The Yankees have taken losses in four of McCarthy’s (9-14, 3.98 ERA) last six starts, including a 5-0 loss to the Rays back on August 15. Ironically or not, Alex Cobb was on the hill for the Rays in that game, and he was spectacular over 7-1/3 innings. To be fair, the Rays are 6-6 in Cobb’s last 12 starts even though he’s been outstanding. If this is a comparison of Wednesday’s starters, the biggest difference is the number of runs McCarthy and Cobb have given up. Cobb has held opponents to two runs or fewer in 12 consecutive games — for a total of 15 runs — while McCarthy has given up 13 runs in half as many starts. Unfortunately for the Rays, that’s more of an implication of the Yankees inept offense than it is to McCarthy’s pitching. Key matchups: Curt Casali (1-3), Yunel Escobar (2-6), Kevin Kiermaier (1-3), Jose Molina (3-1, 2B), Sean Rodriguez (2-8).

    Noteworthiness

    • Per Marc Topkin, “After taking two of three from the Rays last week, the Yankees lost two of their first three at Baltimore, scoring only four runs. SS Derek Jeter’s farewell tour isn’t going well of late, as he went into play Sunday hitless in his past 20 at-bats. 3B Chase Headley has not played since being struck in the jaw by a Jake McGee pitch Thursday. OF Chris Young continues his sizzling stretch that started against the Rays, hitting .417 in six games with eight RBIs. The bullpen, led by David Robertson and Dellin Betances, has been dominant. Key stat: The Yankees have used a team record-tying 56 players this season, including eight who made their major-league debuts.”
    • The Rays lead the season series 9-7; Yankees lead the overall series 172-119, though Rays are 40-39 since 2010 and 79-66 at Tropicana Field.
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    Looking Backward While Moving Forward: Rays Fall to Blue Jays 6-3, Expected Roster Moves, Etc

    Jeremy Hellickson walks to the dugout at the end of the third inning after his throwing error led to a couple of runs scoring. (Photo courtesy of Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

    Jeremy Hellickson walks to the dugout at the end of the third inning after his throwing error led to a couple of runs scoring. (Photo courtesy of Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

    After facing RA Dickey 10 times over the last three seasons, while averaging just 2.4 runs per game in each of those starts, one thing has become certain: if you’re lucky enough to take a lead against the knuckleballer, then you’d better try your damnedest to hold it. The Rays did both Saturday. They were able to take a lead against Dickey, yet they gave it up in one fateful — error filled — inning.  Despite a game tying sixth inning solo shot to left off the bat of Evan Longoria (his 21st homer of the year), the typically dependable Brad Boxberger gave up three runs an inning later, giving Toronto a 6-3 lead they wouldn’t relinquish. We in the blogosphere have deemed this the stereotypical (and clichéd) Rays loss.

    A couple of thoughts/peripherals:

    •  A comedy of errors… Or, at least fielding gaffes. The Rays’ un-doing began in the bottom of the third, when Ryan Goins struck out but reached first on a wild pitch by Jeremy Hellickson. Anthony Gose followed with a single to center, before Reyes put down a bunt single that Hellickson threw wild to first. Goins scored on the play, and then Bautista drove home Gose with an infield single off Hellickson’s glove. Lind grounded into a fielder’s choice to drive home Reyes, giving the Blue Jays a 3-2 lead. “An error by me, and me not being able to field my position, period,” said Hellickson. “That was pretty embarrassing. Those plays have to be made.”
    • Is Brad Boxberger running out of gas? It’s a fair question, since he’s now given up homers in back-to-back outings for the first time since June 24th and 27th. Moreover, he yielded three runs in those two outings after giving up only two runs in his previous 15-2/3 innings of work. Boxberger pitched in 79-1/3 innings last between the Padres and their AAA farm club — his high water mark. He’s accrued 72-1/3 between Durham and Tampa Bay this season — a number that doesn’t include the handful of unofficial appearances that do not toward his inning totals. He’s quickly approaching his innings threshold, and one wonders how much of an effect that may be having on Boxy? In a land where assumptions rule, we may be looking at the effect of depending too heavily on the plus arms in the pen, in lieu of those who couldn’t get the job done. Moving forward, the Rays front office should make some moves to bolster the 2015 bullpen.
    • To that end, the Trib’s Roger Mooney writes that Boxberger’s workload isn’t a concern at the moment.

    The New What Next

    The Blue Jays chose to go with Mark Buehrle instead of the previously scheduled Marcus Stroman this afternoon. I’d imagine that speaks volumes for how they see today’s game. Buehrle will be opposed by Chris Archer, who’s coming off an improved 6-1/3 inning outing against the Yankees. I hate to even bring it up, though someone has to: while the Rays have touched up Buehrle the last three times they’ve faced him, they fell to the Blue Jays in extra innings in each of those games. You can read about Archer in our series preview.

    Rays 9/14/14 Starting Lineup

    Zobrist DH
    Guyer LF
    Longoria 3B
    Myers RF
    Forsythe 2B
    Escobar SS
    Rodriguez 1B
    Hanigan C
    Kiermaier CF
    Archer RHP

    Noteworthiness

    • It looks like Ben Zobrist’s understudy will be promoted to the Rays:

    • They also announced the additions of Alex Colome (Monday’s starter vs the Yankees) and CJ Riefenhauser.
    • In a piece about how the Rays may go about cutting the payroll in 2015, Marc Topkin expects the Rays to pick up Ben Zobrist’s $7.5 MM option, while also noting, “Of the five previously eligible for arbitration who combined to make about $10 million this season, a few are potential trade candidates, such as OF Matt Joyce and RHP Jeremy Hellickson, which could save around $10 million, while others will get paid, such as LHP Jake McGee, who was a $1.45 million bargain this year.”
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