In spite of the loss of another hurler to the injury bug, the Tampa Bay Rays earned their second series win of the season, defeating the New York Yankees for the second consecutive day, 4-0. They will go for the series sweep tomorrow afternoon.
Veteran right-hander Chris Archer got the start and looked very good across the first 2-1/3 frames, allowing two hits and striking out four on 42 pitches (26 strikes, 62% strike rate). Yet, something was amiss, as his fastball sat in the 90-92 mph range — below his career norms. All that came to a head one out in the third inning after he allowed a double to D.J. LeMahieu. Following the play, Archer motioned both to the dugout and catcher Francisco Mejía for a mound visit, and after a few moments of discussion, he exited the ballgame with what later had been called right lateral forearm tightness. The Rays placed Archer on the 10-day Injured List following the contest, yet he said the injury doesn’t appear to be anything too serious.
I finally felt like I was competing. I really felt like I was in my element here at home. I had a lot of friends and family, so I wanted to be out there as long as I could. But fortunate that we got ahead of something serious happening. If I need to miss a few days or miss a start, then it is what it is. We’ll be happy in the long run.— Chris Archer
The team is expected to receive more information on the right-hander’s status after he receives an MRI on Sunday, and the club is optimistic based on the location of the injury — the lateral side of his forearm, not the “pinky” side associated with significant elbow injuries.
It doesn’t seem like it’ll be too, too long. I probably do need to rest for a couple of days and then reassess and kind of see where we’re at.— Chris Archer
In recent days, the Rays also have suffered injuries to Nick Anderson, Pete Fairbanks, and Chaz Roe, while Ryan Sherriff was placed on the restricted list.
The team announced that Brent Honeywell will be promoted, replacing Archer on the Rays’ roster. And while this may just be his first cup of coffee, Honeywell has the ability to create a niche for himself on the staff. More on him below.
Andrew Kittredge entered in relief of Archer and finished that inning by striking out Giancarlo Stanton (swinging) with two on, maintaining the three-run advantage earned in the previous two frames.
Jeffrey Springs followed Kittredge and posted two scoreless innings, fanning three and working around a hard-hit single by Aaron Judge.
In the seventh, lanky right-hander Ryan Thompson sat the Yankees down in order on an efficient nine pitches (six strikes, 67% strike rate), while Cody Reed worked around a leadoff walk in the eighth inning, punctuated by a strikeout and a double.
Chris Mazza closed things out in a perfect eight-pitch (six strikes, 75% strike rate) ninth.
Offensively, the good guys took the initial lead against domestic abuser Domingo Germán in the first inning. With one out, Austin Meadows got ahead of the count 2-1 before he lashed a changeup off the right-field fair pole for his third home run of the season, and a one-run lead.
Then in the second inning, Joey Wendle singled off the glove of Germán before Willy Adames hit a single to center.
Both runners moved into scoring position on Brett Phillips’ groundout. It’s just a hunch, but the fact that Phillips walks up to Vanessa Carlton might have been the impetus for the outfielder’s productive day.
Finally, the Rays backstop, Mejía, bounced a comebacker off Germán’s glove which bounded into shallow right field for a two-run single. I don’t recall ever seeing a two-RBI infield single before, but alas, you see something new in every baseball game.
Finally, in the third inning, Randy Arozarena capped the scoring when he launched a 420-foot homer, presumably at a 69° launch angle, to dead centerfield. Arozarena had himself a day in the matinee contest, going 3-for-5, and he now has hit safely in each of his first seven games to start the season.
Following the contest, the Yankees optioned right-handed domestic abuser Germán to their alternate site.
The New What Next
The Rays will go for the sweep on Sunday behind the tandem of Brent Honeywell and Michael Wacha (). They’ll be opposed by Jordan Montgomery (1-0, 0.00 ERA).
Brent Honeywell touched 95 mph with his fastball and mixed in offspeed and breaking pitches during his lone Spring Training outing against the Red Sox. The right-hander threw one inning and allowed one earned run on one hit and a walk in his first appearance in a live game since September 19, 2017. He reportedly hit 95 mph with his fastball while also mixing in a slider, changeup, and a screwball. More importantly, though, he left the outing healthy. He will open the contest ahead of bulk-guy Michael Wacha.
Michael Wacha gave up five runs (four earned) on eight hits and two walks over five innings against the Red Sox. He struck out six. He was fairly whiffy, which was nice, although it was a rough debut for Wacha, who tossed 65 of 90 pitches for strikes (72% strike rate). Wacha is 0-1 with a 5.63 ERA in three career starts against the Yankees.
Jordan Montgomery scattered four hits across six scoreless frames in Monday’s win over Baltimore. He struck out seven. Montgomery was terrific from the jump, retiring the first six batters he faced while allowing just one baserunner through the front four innings. The only time he was in danger was in a first-and-third situation during the fifth inning, although he managed to escape the threat with a timely groundout. The southpaw is 1-2 with a 5.14 ERA in six starts against the Rays. Last season, Montgomery relied primarily on a 93 mph sinker, an 83 mph changeup, an 81 mph curveball, and a 93 mph four-seam fastball, while also mixing in an 89 mph cutter. Key Matchups: Willy Adames (1-2, 2B), Randy Arozrena (1-1, HR, 2 RBI), Mike Brosseau (1-1, HR, 2 RBI), Yandy Diaz (1-2, 2 RBI), Manuel Margot (1-1, 2B), Austin Meadows (2-2)
You can read about the series in our preview, while the starting lineup is below.
Rays 4/11/21 Starting Lineup
- Díaz 1B
- Arozarena RF
- Meadows DH
- Margot CF
- Brosseau 2B
- Lowe LF
- Adames SS
- Zunino C
- Padlo 3B
- Honeywell Jr. RHP