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.
As with the night previous, I live blogged the game over at our Tumblr site. You can read my witty repartee, musings on the game, and a (relatively) in depth blow-by-blow account of the game by clicking the screen shot below. You can consider it a game summary in greater depth; the product of three hours worth of baseball watching into the wee hours of the night.
The New What Next
Jeremy Hellickson will get the start Wednesday night following his stint in the minor leagues. Hellickson was optioned to Single-A last week as a means to clear the cobwebs from his mind. Try to say that five times without sounding new-agey. We’ll see how the effect of the paid sabbatical when he takes the hill against Jered Weaver and the Angels. You can read about the pitching match-up here.
Rays 9/4/13 Starting Lineup
- Home plate umpire Bill Miller certainly had a liberal strike zone against right handed hitting, especially when Vargas was on the mound:
- I’m hesitant to say that Hernandez has completely turned things around. However, he has posted some pretty good numbers in his last three appearances — 9.2 IP/8 H/3 ER/3 BB/13 K. He’s proving to be a pivotal piece in a bullpen that’s struggling. Roberto Hernandez is the third Rays pitcher to have a save and complete game in same season. The others? Matt Garza and Joe Kennedy.
- Big ups to the offense for tagging the Angels for seven runs on 15 hits and seven walks — it’s about time that they’ve been able to break through. However, going 3-20 wRISP while stranding 13 men on the bags is worrisome. Kudos for keeping the pressure on the Angels throughout, scoring in six of the nine innings. Then again, we easily could be talking about a 12 or 13 run affair had they performed better with men in scoring position. A weird juxtaposition if you ask me.
- How about the top six hitters (Jennings/Zobrist/Longoria/Young/Loney/Myers) in the order last night, combining to go 10-for-25 with four runs and three RBI. They all worked good at-bats — also combining for six of the seven walks, while Myers is showing signs of slipping out of his funk. I’d be remiss if I left out Yunel Escobar. He went 2-4 with a homer and a walk. I’ll give him a pass for winging his bat in disgust following a swinging strikeout.