There isn’t much to say about the Rays — as a whole — in their 8 – 5 loss to the Yankees. The swarm was in full effect in the first inning when Tampa Bay started the game in fevered fashion by scoring four runs and going 3-3 wRISP — quickly knocking the Yankees’ starter Chris Capuano out of the game after 1/3 of an inning, and 36 pitches. Capuano was charged with all four runs.
Yet, as predictable as a thunderstorm on a hot summer day in Florida, New York’s (September call-up bolstered) bullpen dampened the fire and held Tampa Bay to 0-8 with runners in scoring position thereafter. Concurrently, Jake Odorizzi only pitched one out into the fifth inning after he gave up six unanswered runs on five hits, including a pair of homers. In trouble from the get-go, Jake only tossed one clean frame. Joel Peralta, not so surprisingly, yielded a pair of runs in the eighth. He’s now been tagged with nine earned runs in his last nine outings; totaling 9-1/3 innings of work and good for an 8.71 ERA in that span.
It wouldn’t have been a stereotypical 2014 Rays loss without a broken milestone or two. Below are a handful of notable, uh…happenings from Wednesday night’s contest.
- With Ben Zobrist’s leadoff liner to center, Tampa Bay’s super utility man joined Carl Crawford as one of only two Rays to reach the 1,000 hit milestone.
- Thanks to Evan Longoria’s solo homer in the ninth, the Rays became the first visiting team to homers in 12 consecutive road games against the Yankees since Cleveland (1995-1998).
- Evan Longoria became the first AL third baseman to have 20 (or more) homers six times in the first seven seasons. Mathews, Rolen, and Chipper Jones did it in the NL.
- With a runner on first in the seventh inning, James Loney smacked a hard hit single into right field which advanced Wil Myers to third. Loney almost decapitated Myers in the process, when the head portion of his broken bat essentially made a b-line for the head of the reigning rookie of the year.
- Speaking of Myers, he allowed Mark Teixeira to reach third base with a triple when he couldn’t corral the ball off big Tex’s bat not once, not twice, but three times as it bounded along the right-field wall. Go ahead and try to figure that one out.
The New What Next
The Rays can clinch their fifth consecutive season series against the Yankees (since 2009) with Alex Cobb on the mound. Cobb will be opposed by Michael Pineda (3-4, 1.80 ERA). Pineda made his way to the Yankees from the Mariners a few years back. As Ian Malinowski wrote of Pineda back in 2012,
“First off, here is Pineda’s pitch mixture. His slider is his best pitch, and he throws it a lot. There are some concerns that heavy slider use makes a pitcher more injury prone. Don’t take my numbers as meaning that he throws it more than his fastball, though. If you combine my three types of fastball (and my classifications are painfully far from gospel), you get 61% fastball, 30% slider, and 8% changeup. His changeup is a work in progress, but I wouldn’t write it off (remember, he’s only 22). Despite Pineda’s flyable tendencies, the changeup actually got 51% ground balls when it was put in play last year (the slider 49%, the fastballs all under 30%).”
You can read more on Pineda via Fangraphs. You can read about the pitching matchup in our series preview.
Rays 9/11/14 Starting Lineup
- BA made mention of a Wall Street Journal article on the subject of defensive shifts, with the essential question being, “Do they work?” Overall, the answer is yes. Writer Steve Moyer found that, “Shifts have saved a net of 390 hits this season through Monday. If we were to add those 390 hits back into the grand total, the overall MLB batting average would rise to .254 from .252—a significant increase considering we’re talking about 146,785 at-bats.” However (and surprisingly), the team that pioneered the use of the shift — the Tampa Bay Rays — has only benefitted four times from the shift this season, out of 1,028 total applications. The article (linked) is a pretty interesting read.
- Your tweet of the day:
#Rays Odorizzi: “It sucks. I’m solely to blame for tonite. The loss is on me….We had a 4 run lead and I gave it up. That’s unacceptable.”
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) September 11, 2014
- The Rays will officially be eliminated from the AL East race tonight if they lose of if the Orioles win.
- Just a quick reminder, there are only one day left until our last Rays watch party of the year. This should be fun, filled with wonderful things like beer, raffle tickets, prizes, and more!