The Rays are now 30-30 since the All-Star Break, and need to go 8-6 over the remaining 14 games to finish with a winning mark since the unofficial midway point of the season.
The New What Next
Jake Odorizzi (9-6, 3.81 ERA) will get the start for the Rays this afternoon, opposite of Wade Miley (8-13, 5.80 ERA).
Odorizzi hurled seven strong innings on Monday, allowing two runs on four hits and a walk while fanning four in a no-decision against Toronto. Jake bounced back from his worst start of the season by collecting the eighth quality start of his 11 second-half turns. Not counting his forgettable start against Baltimore on September 6th, Odorizzi hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in a game since the All-Star Break. He’s 6-1 with a 2.78 ERA since the break.
Miley was pounded early by the Red Sox on Monday, lasting just 1-1/3 innings while allowing six runs on eight hits and a walk. 10 of the first 12 Red Sox hitters reached base against lefty, and Showalter removed him after just 41 pitches — his shortest outing of the season. It marked Miley’s third consecutive loss, while each outing has been progressively worse than its predecessor. Since the start of August, Miley has an incredibly gaudy 8.41 ERA despite surrendering just six homers over eight starts. Be that as it may, Miley is 3-2 with a 2.38 ERA in seven starts against Tampa Bay (extending back to 2013). This season, while pitching for Seattle, Miley allowed four runs in six innings and dished up homers to Steven Souza Jr. and (now Oriole) Steve Pearce.
Rays 9/18/16 Starting Lineup
Souza Jr. RF
— Logan Forsythe has this afternoon off, with Alexei Ramirez slotting in at second and hitting eighth, and Brad Miller handling the shortstop duties, hitting fourth.
— After hitting his single-season career high 34th homer on Friday, Evan Longoria reached another milestone last night, hitting a triple and his third homer in as many days. Longoria currently has 310 total bases — the most he’s had in a single season. Per Neil Solondz (Rays Radio) his total of 35 homers is the third most by a Rays player in a single year, with Carlos Pena holding the top two numbers (46 in 2007 and 39 in 2009). Longoria now is six RBI shy of reaching 100 for the third time in his career, and first since 2010.
— Marc Topkin (Tampa Bay Times) reported that Steven Souza Jr. is heading to Nashville on Monday to see a specialist, who will look into what may be ailing his left hip. There are a wide range of outcomes, including potential season-ending surgery.
— In other surgery related news, the season is over for Orioles’ deadline acquisition Steve Pearce, who is in need of elbow surgery. Pearce, 33, started the season with Tampa Bay, and experienced right forearm/elbow discomfort throughout his time with the Rays. A free-agent at the end of the season, both Pearce and the Rays have expressed an interest in a reunion of sorts next season. Like Logan Morrison before him, one could only imagine that there will be an effect in Pearce’s stock due to the surgery.