Upon entering Wednesday night’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Rays desperately needed a solid victory. A big 10-4 win was precisely what the doctor ordered. Matt Moore got his sixth win of the season, as the Rays chinked away at the Blue Jays all night, scoring 10 runs on 13 hits and five walks. I’ll delve into the game below.
- The Rays were able to apply pressure on the Blue Jays with constancy, something that escaped them in the previous two outings. As I mentioned above, Tampa Bay scored 10 runs on 13 hits and five walks — and they did so over the balance of the game, not just in an inning. The Rays were able to score in four different innings after starting the game down by two runs. Tampa Bay quickly charged out the gate against Ricky Romero, ultimately knocking him out of the game with the bases loaded, after he gave three runs on 29 pitches. They would continue to find success against the Blue Jays pitching staff, scoring a run off Edgar Gonzalez in the second inning, a pair of runs on an Evan Longoria blast in the fourth, and four more runs in the sixth. This is precisely how you keep the momentum on your side, consistently keeping your foot on the throat of the opposing pitching staff. I’m much more content with scoring 10 runs spread over the course of nine innings, as opposed to blowing your proverbial load in one inning, only to go dormant for eight.
- Tampa Bay was 5-for-13 wRISP (38%), scoring a pair of two-out runs on Longoria’s two run blast.
- The front five hitters — Desmond Jennings, Kelly Johnson, Ben Zobrist, Evan Longoria, and James Loney — were incredibly productive, going a combined 10-for-19 with 10 runs, eight runs batted in, three doubles, and two homers. Hell, even Luke Scott and Yunel Escobar were able to have some fun. Both combined for a pair of singles, while Scott knocked in a pair of runs.
- Cesar Ramos lowered his ERA from 6.14 to 4.35. Sure, 4.35 still seems like an ugly number. But it should be noted that four of his five total earned runs came within the first week and a half of baseball. Including his outing tonight, Ramos has relented one run in 6.2 innings of work, extending back to April 10th. I’ll reiterate a point that I made earlier: Ramos should have come in the seventh inning of Tuesday night’s game, not McGee.
- Hey, the bullpen actually held the lead!
- Matt Moore may have gotten his sixth win of the year, but it certainly wasn’t pretty. Posting a 5.0 IP/6 H/2 R/2 ER/4 BB/2 K/1 HR slash line, Moore threw 104 pitches (56 for strikes, 54% K/BB) while missing the strike zone aplenty all night. As DRaysBay pointed out, “His velocity was down overall, only averaging 93 MPH with his fastballs, and he only generated six whiffs over the entire night (three on fastballs, three on off-speed).” He was thankfully able to lean on the Rays infielders, inducing seven weakly hit balls that never left the infield. Every pitcher has a bad outing every now and then. I certainly wouldn’t chalk this up to a regression of sorts just yet.
- Joe Maddon got tossed for the second consecutive game. We here at X-Rays Spex headquarters were wondering if that set some kind of personal record for Maddon? In fact, it is; this is the first time in Maddon’s coaching career that he was tossed in back-t0-back games, and the 30th time overall. Any-who, Maddon came out to argue a call after the first-base umpire/crew chief Tim Welke ruled that what would have been an easy groundout, was instead a foul ball because it hit Maicer Izturis. Rather, Izturis did a good job of selling it, making it look like it hit his foot, when in reality it hadn’t. In his post game presser, Maddon was quoted as saying,
“You can only take so much,” Maddon said. “And I think we’ve been very cooperative and understanding. We’ve been good boys. We’ve been playing really well in the sandbox. … I think we’ve been the poster child for instant replay for the first month or so of the season. … At some point, when your team, when your group, who works very hard and you’re trying to get to the World Series, constantly gets dinged, I’m the guy that has to say something. … So you get to that moment, that point, where you just can’t permit it anymore.”
Adding when asked if the arguing would garner him a reputation,
“Only if it wasn’t warranted, then we would get the reputation,” he said. “I think if it’s warranted, you have to. I would rather get a bad reputation arguing warranted moments as opposed to getting a horrible reputation among my players. That is much more important to me.”
The New What Next
The Rays will take on the Blue Jays Thursday night in the last game of this set. The Rays will try to even up the series before the San Diego Padres come into town Friday for a three-game weekend set. The struggling Cy Young Award winner David Price will take on another struggling Cy Young Award winner, RA Dickey. You can read more on the match-up here.
Rays 5/9/13 Starting Lineup
- Per Marc Topkin, MLB has overturned the Colorado scoring decision, so Zobrist gets an error, and David Price gets five earned runs removed. His ERA is now down to 5.25.
- An interesting article appeared in the Miami Herald the other day where it was noted, “To offset their low attendance, the Marlins will close the upper bowl at Marlins Park for at least some weeknight games.” So uh… A new facility cures attendance issues, eh? I would love to see the Rays get a new facility, either here or across the bay — whatever pans out to be best for the organization and area. However, I’d imagine that the Marlins owner and the organization in general have ruined any hope for a new Rays facility, at least for the foreseeable future.