Most assumed that last night’s highly anticipated pitching match-up between Chris Archer and Madison Bumgarner would be a good one. At the end of the day though, only one pitcher would end his outing as the victor, while the other would walk away with a tally mark in the loss column. It just so happened that Bumgarner ultimately bested Archer and walked away knowing that he shut down one of the best teams in baseball.
And let’s be honest, Archer was good for the majority of his 7 IP/7 H/4 R/4 ER/3 BB/4 K/2 HR outing… Just not good enough. He was victimized by a handful of mistakes; one, two, or three too many walks, an elevated — ill fated — change-up in the fifth inning, and a thigh-high fastball on the inner third of the plate in the seventh.
Archer threw 72 fastballs (43 for strikes, seven swinging), and 36 sliders (24 for strikes, two swinging), and largely pitched to contact on this fateful evening. Though he was able to induce weak contact for the most part, Archer also giving up some hard hit balls. To his credit, the young righty battled with his fastball and put together a decent outing outing that we’d (arguably) be praising if the Rays could have generated some offense.
On the offensive side of things, Bumgarner was able to limit the Rays to one run on seven hits and three walks. And though they had plenty of opportunities to score, they went 2-10 wRISP while stranding nine on the bags. In short, Bumgarner was excellent. The Giants lefty threw a filthy mid-80’s slider 47% (35 for strikes, 10 swinging) of the time, wringing up 11 Rays along the way, while making big-pitch-after-big-pitch to get out of any and all threatening situations. Tampa Bay just couldn’t put anything together against the Giants lefty.
And while we’re on the subject of Madison Bumgarner, Ian Malinowski of DRaysBay pointed out his approach against righties and lefties,
Note the pitches up and away to right handed batters, coming down diagonally into the strike zone (along the same plane as the movement of his slider), and continuing down and in onto the back foot, where he picks up his swinging strikes. It’s an uncommon location chart from an uncommon pitcher.
It goes without saying, the old adage, “You can’t win games if you don’t score runs,” applied to last night’s game.
The New What Next
David Price will toe the rubber against The Freak tonight at the Trop. On paper, this looks like another pitching duel of the ages. However, Lincecum sitting on a 5-11 record and a 4.61 ERA, and I’d have to say advantage Price. You can read about the pitching match-up here, and we’ll post the starting lineup when it becomes available.
Rays 8/3/13 Starting Lineup
- Just Yunel being Yunel... While retreating back to first base, Yunel Escobar reached over and grabbed Joe West’s stomach with both hands. I’m not certain if he is extending his very involved handshake to the umpires now as well.
- The Rays didn’t lose any ground to the Red Sox last night, after Boston’s 7-6 los to the Diamondbacks.