The New York Yankees routed the Tampa Bay Rays Friday night, handing them their second consecutive loss, while leaving them just one game over .500. Simply put, Roberto Hernandez was horrible — Cesar Ramos wasn’t much better — while David Phelps choked the Rays offense, leaving a 9-4 loss in the wake. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for another edition of The Good, The Bad, and The Argyle: A Game Summary.
- Kelly Johnson continues to be productive. Though Tampa Bay was rendered hitless into the fifth inning, Kelly Johnson continued to show his worth at the plate, going 2-for-4 (a triple and a single) with a run. Johnson’s triple came on a one out, 2-2 Phelps pitch, mashing it to deep center. KelJo was subsequently driven home on a Sam Fuld sac-fly to right in the next at-bat.
- James Loney hit his 13th double of the season.
- Credit where it’s due — Kyle Farnsworth lowered his ERA to 7.71 after putting together an impressive 11 pitch (7 for strikes) 1-2-3 ninth inning.
- Roberto Hernandez was horrible. Hernandez couldn’t make it past the fourth inning for the second straight start. This time he posted a 4.0 IP/6 H/5 R/5 ER/3 BB/3 K/1 HR slash line on 84 pitches (46 for strikes). The same culprit bit Hernandez in the butt Friday night: poorly located pitches left in highly hittable locations (see the outcome pitch f/x chart below). Per Marc Topkin, “(Hernandez’s) 5.73 ERA that is seventh-worst among American League starters. He has allowed at least five runs in five of his starts and multi-run innings in six. And he has given up 10 home runs in his 482/3 innings, more than twice his career rate.” Furthermore, Roberto has accrued 12 innings of work over his last three starts, relenting — on average — one run per inning. Thankfully, he had run enough run support in each of his last two starts, so the poor pitching hardly effected the ultimate outcome. However, Tampa Bay seems to be coming back down to Earth — offensively speaking — and poor pitching isn’t going to cut it. Personally, I feel that the Rays should pull the plug on the Hernandez experiment. Frankly, he’s better suited for the pen (editors note: the cut and run method is preferable). I realize that Chris Archer needs more time in Triple-A, as the Rays attempt to build up his arm strength. That said, I can’t help but feel that Jake Odorizzi’s start Monday should be viewed as a tryout of sorts. If anything, Odorizzi seems to be a reasonable fill-in, at least until Archer is ready to be recalled. Alex Torres also showed that he is up to the task after posting 4-1/3 innings of no hit, two walk, baseball in relief of Hernandez last week. We’re now just past the quarter mark of the season, and Hernandez represents the weakest link in the starting rotation. Cut and run, Joe… cut and run.
- Cesar Ramos really wasn’t much better than Hernandez. Ramos posted an ugly 1.0 IP/3 H/3 R/3 ER/1 BB/1 K/2 HBP slash line on 31 pitches (20 for strikes), effectively making any Rays rally out of reach. Ramos most notably sent Curtis Granderson back to the DL after hitting him with a pitch, subsequently fracturing a knuckle in his left pinkie.
- After destroying the ball throughout the month of May — posting a combined .281 BA/.353 OBP/.455 SLG/.808 OPS/.351 wOBA with 121 runs and 116 RBI — the Rays seem to be coming back down to Earth offensively. Tampa Bay has posted a combined .240 BA/.299 OBP/.431 SLG/.720 OPS/.314 wOBA over the last seven days. Suffice to say, the cool down was expected. It’s now absolutely incumbant on the pitching staff to become dominant once more. It goes without saying: scoring four runs while relinquishing nine won’t win games.
The New What Next
Expect a fun pitching match-up Saturday, as Matt Moore takes on Vidal Nuño and the Yankees, in a 4:10 game at the Trop. You can read more on the pitching match-up here.
Rays 5/25/13 Starting Lineup