After dropping the first game of a three-game series with the Yankees, 6-1 — while also officially falling out of playoff contention — the Tampa Bay Rays now focus their sights on ending the season with a .500 record. In order for them to do so, the Rays will have to win their remaining five games of the season, starting tonight in New York.
The New What Next
Matt Andriese (5-4, 4.62 ERA, 4.89 FIP) will start for the Rays, pitching opposite of Luis Severino (13-6, 3.03 ERA, 3.08 FIP).
Andriese is looking to avoid his fourth loss in five starts. After performing to a 3.45 ERA in his first 11 turns, Andriese has posted an unsightly 8.47 ERA, and has allowed five homers in four starts since returning from the DL. He, however, turned in a solid six-inning, three-run start on Thursday, blanking the Orioles from the second inning on after allowing three first inning runs.
Severino was chased after he allowed three runs on five hits over three-innings of work. Be that as it may, he has a chance to climb up the Yankees’ single-season strikeout leaderboard against the Rays on Wednesday. He enters play with 221 strikeouts (fifth most) with a chance to catch David Cone (222) and CC Sabathia (230). Severino has allowed three-runs on 10 hits and four walks over 12 innings of work this season. Key Matchups: Peter Bourjos (1-2, HR, RBI), Corey Dickerson (4-8, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB), Evan Longoria (5-17, 2 2B, HR, 2 RBI), Logan Morrison (1-4, 2B, RBI, BB), Mallex Smith (1-1), Steven Souza Jr. (3-10, 2B, RBI, 3 BB), Jesus Sucre (1-2, RBI)
Rays 9/27/17 Starting Lineup
— Thank you for everything, Alex! Rays skipper Kevin Cash confirmed that Alex Cobb indeed will skip his final turn of the season on Thursday. The right-hander made a career best 179-1/3 innings and 29 starts this season, and is slated to be a free agent. We will have a proper goodbye following the season.
— Remember last week when we wrote that Tampa just isn’t that in love with the Rays?
As it turns out, a certain other “local” blog has gone out of its way to project its own (contrary) narrative. Don’t get me wrong, this site is great and informative, however, what should be acknowledged is that taxpayer’s opinions are their own regardless whether a survey is scientific or not. Contrary to popular belief, and I know this may be shocking, but maybe — just maybe — the taxpayers of Tampa find things like infrastructure and mass transit to be more important, than something like a new baseball stadium … especially when those citizens are still paying off Raymond James Stadium, as well as other facilities.