After the Cobb County…erm, Atlanta Braves handed Blake Snell a 1-0 hard luck loss on Tuesday, the Tampa Bay Rays look to split the two-game series, and conclude their five-game home stand on a high note, on Wednesday.
Tampa Bay has dropped the last two games, each by a run, and have now played 17 one-run games out of the first 33 of the season, dropping 12 of them. The Rays now have become the first American League team to lose 12 (or more) of their first 33 games by one run since the 1953 St. Louis Browns, and the first overall team to do so since the 1994 Phillies. There is a bright side, however, they are the first team to play 17 one-run games over the first 33 of the season since the 2014 Pirates and the 2005 White Sox — both of whom made the postseason.
Ryan Yarbrough (2–1, 3.33 ERA) will get the start tonight for Tampa Bay, pitching opposite of Julio Teheran (2–1, 3.65 ERA).
Ryan Yarbrough kicked off his last outing by allowing a hit to his first batter, Pompey, but retired his next 15 hitters in order — moving the ball around the zone along the way. Yarbrough fanned four, threw 40 of 58 pitches for strikes (69% strike ratio) and needed just under 12 pitches per inning to get the job done. If this was an audition to replace Yonny Chirinos in the fourth starter role on a regular basis, Yarbrough did exceedingly well.
I know after I got done, a couple of guys were like, ‘Man, you were working really fast out there,’ said Yarbrough, who tossed 40 of his 58 pitches for strikes.
I was really just trying to get the ball and get back after it, stay aggressive, and just keep ’em off balance by throwing some cutters in. And when they started looking for it, mixing some stuff away.
Julio Teheran tossed seven scoreless innings against the Mets on Thursday, allowing two hits and two walks while striking out six — carrying a no hitter into the seventh, which former Ray Asdrubal Cabrera broke up. Teheran exited his previous start with upper-back tightness, although his strong showing in his last start should ease any injury concerns. The 27 year-old has now thrown four quality starts over his past five outings, with his injury-shortened start against the Phillies marking the only time he didn’t toss six innings in that stretch. This season he has relied primarily on a whiffy 90 mph four-seam fastball with natural sinking movement, an 89 mph sinker (using a two-seam fastball grip) with arm side run, and a whiffy 80 mph slider, while also mixing in an 82 mph changeup wit arm side fade. Key Matchups: Matt Duffy (1-2, 2B, BB), Carlos Gomez (4-16, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB), Wilson Ramos (4-11, 2 2B, HR, 2 RBI, BB), Denard Span (13-35, 2 2B, 2 3B, HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB)
You can read about the series in our preview, and I’ll post the starting lineup upon availability.
Rays 5/9/18 Starting Lineup
— Daniel Robertson will get the start at shortstop for Adeiny Hechavarria, who left last night’s game with a left eye contusion after he was hit by a ball that deflected off a speaker on the catwalk and the turf.
— From the inimitable Neil Solondz (Rays Radio):
Wilson Ramos extended his hit streak to 15 yesterday with a single in the ninth. It’s the longest since James Loney (16 in 2013) and four shy of the franchise record, set by Jason Barlett (19) in 2009.