After allowing a pair of leads to slip away last night, consequently resulting in a 6-4 loss, the Rays will look to bounce back this afternoon in St. Louis. Tampa Bay starts the day three games back of the final Wildcard spot, with 31 games left to play.
The loss last night makes Friday night’s win all the more important. How important? They are 13-3 in series wins when they take the first game of series — an 81.3 win percentage.
They, however, cannot afford to make the same misplays and gaffes that allowed leads of two and three runs to slip away. That is, Corey Dickerson’s triplet of outfield blunders, paired with poor performances by Tommy Hunter and Brad Boxberger, were the root cause of the tally in the loss column, and they cannot afford to play sloppy baseball against the Cardinals’ ace.
The New What Next
Chris Archer (9-7, 3.76 ERA, 3.17 FIP) will get the start for the Rays, and he will pitch opposite of Lance Lynn (10-6, 3.17 ERA, 4.72 FIP).
Archer dominated Toronto on Tuesday, limiting the Jays to one earned run on four hits and a walk, while fanning 10 in six innings of work. Archer has struck out 61 and walked just eight in his last seven starts, and has whiffed 10 in two consecutive starts (both against Toronto) — accumulating double-digit strikeouts nine times this season.
Archer has gone at least six innings in all but one of his last 18 starts, however, in only two of his last 14 turns has he completed seven innings.
Lynn saw his string of eight consecutive quality starts come to an end in his last turn, although he has been the Cardinals’ most consistent starter this season. Since the beginning of July, Lynn he has averaged six innings a start and posted a 2.08 ERA. The 30 year-old right-hander is 0-1 with a 4.91 ERA in two-games (one start) against the Rays. This season Lynn has relied primarily upon a four-pitch mix: a whiffy 93mph four-seam fastball and a 92 mph sinker, while also mixing in an 88 mph fly ball inducing cutter, and a 79mph curveball with little depth and 12-6 movement. Key Matchups: Corey Dickerson (2-5, BB), Adeiny Hechavarria (4-8, 2 RBI), Evan Longoria (1-4, 2B, RBI)
Lynn, much like Archer, has pitched six innings or more in nine consecutive starts, but has completed seven innings in only one of those appearances.
Rays 8/27/17 Starting Lineup
Souza Jr. RF
— Left-hander Danny Duffy of the Royals, who the Rays will face starting Monday, has been placed on the 10-day DL with a sore elbow.
— Reading this article makes me wistful, jealous and sad, all at the same time. Wistful, because I remember a packed Trop not so long ago. Jealous because other teams Have what we used to — a rabid fan base that supports its team. Sad because of the ensuing rumors surrounding the Rays.
We at do our part…not in a self congratulatory sense. We regularly attend games, write about the team, and fanatically defend our small market ball club. The question begs: Do you?
If you’re reading this and live in the market, but have scarcely made the trek to the Trop, get out to the ballpark! Your team needs you. #BaseballForever