Don’t call the EMT’s just yet. Tampa Bay showed signs of life Tuesday night in the 7-1 win, and return to the mound of Matt Moore. The Rays All-Star lefty spent the better part of 36 days on the DL with a sore elbow, prior to his 5-1/3 inning start. And granted this may not have been his sharpest start (with Moore posting a 57% K%) of the season, Moore helped ignite the spark that allowed the Rays offense to explode — ultimately tagging Jason Vargas and Anaheim for seven runs on 15 hits and seven walks. Roberto Hernandez came on in relief in the sixth and put together 3-2/3 innings of perfect baseball, striking out seven along the way.
The stats spoke for themselves; going into Wednesday night’s game, the Rays were 9-1 when Chris Archer pitched six or more innings. And after being in the throes of a three-game losing streak, what better pitcher to throw on the mound than King Archer? Suffice to say, the presumed rookie of the year put together another outstanding outing, going seven strong innings and leading the Rays 4-1 win against the Angels.
The Tampa Bay Rays finished off the Blue Jays in grandiose fashion Sunday afternoon, with Jose Lobaton mashing his second career walk-off hit — a one run blast to right-field in the bottom of the tenth. Both career walk-offs came in this series. And what a series it was for Jose Lobaton. In the two games he started, Lobi went 4-8 with a triple, homer, run, and three runs batted in. The Rays overall production dropped between the Mariners and Blue Jays’ series, however we saw what could be construed as a return to form for Jeremy Hellickson (who’ll be pitching Wednesday night) and Chris Archer. Tampa Bay closed out its six game home stand with a 4-2 record ahead of their upcoming three-game road trip against the third place Orioles.
The Rays have had an interesting first half of the season. Filled with exceeded expectations and dashed hopes, Tampa Bay has played the role of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde well. They’ve been both dominant and anemic offensively, have had good starting pitching no starting pitching whatsoever, and the same can be said about the bullpen. In this edition of This Week in Rays Baseball, we’ll take a brief look at the first 81 games of the season, and see how the 2013 Rays compare to the Rays of the previous two seasons.
It’s time for another edition of This Week in Rays Baseball, recapping the news and moves from the past week. It’s been a tough week for the Rays, at least on the field. Tampa Bay dropped six of their last seven games, with only six games left until opening day. However the majority of those …