Prior to Tuesday night, Wil Myers has put together a fairly lackluster spring. He struck out six times while only accruing four hits. All that changed on this fateful eve however. Bumped up to the lead off spot, Myers led the Rays 20-hit offensive charge against the Twins, going 3-for-4 with three doubles, two runs and an RBI. The Rays walked away from Hammond Stadium with the Knutson Cup for the second consecutive year following the 11-3 shellacking of Gardy’s crew.
There was a lot to like about Tuesday night’s game, and an así así like outing by Matt Moore. Read all about the game below, in a segment I like to call the Good, the Bad and the Argyle.
- 20 hits, six walks, 11 runs, 11 RBI — eight of which with two-outs, and six extra base hits (all doubles). Whoa! The Rays royally handed it to Minnesota starter Vance Worley, tagging him for seven runs on seven hits in 2-2/3 innings.
- Wil Myers, Logan Forsythe, James Loney, Desmond Jennings and Jose Molina all put together multi-hit showings at the plate, while Myers, Loney and Jennings accounted for all six of the Rays extra base hits.
- The Rays hit the ball hard all night, with nary a blooper in their 20-hit attack. They even hit the ball hard when they flew or grounded out. Case in point, Desmond Jennings mashed a hard hit fly-ball to Jason Bartlett in deep center in the top of the sixth. Credit where it’s due, Bartlett made a hell of a running catch on Jennings’ fly-ball out.
- Two relievers battling it out for a spot in the pen — Brad Boxberger and Brandon Gomes — were sharp, combining for 3-1/3 innings of two hit, four strikeout ball. Better yet, neither pitcher allowed a run, and worked around a walk apiece. Boxberger was particularly good, inducing three ground-outs and striking out a pair of batters.
- The así así outing by Moore… When looking at the totality of Matt Moore’s outing, a few things stand out. Moore gave up only one run on four hits, and hit the mid to upper 90’s on Hammond Stadium’s radar gun regularly in his 4-1/3 innings of work. That is a far cry from his outing against the Pirates, two starts ago. Rays skipper Joe Maddon liked what he saw out of Moore, saying, “That was best stuff Moore has had since 2011 playoffs start,” in his post-game presser. Marc Topkin went on to tweet,
However, on the flip side of the coin, Moore lacked control — posting a 52% K/BB ratio, walking six, getting into a good number of deep counts, throwing a wild pitch (his second of the spring) and throwing 98 pitches in just over four innings of work.
“Everything did feel good — minus the six walks, a solid day,” said Moore. “But those are definitely a black mark on today and something we’re going to continue to address. I think only one clean inning there, so definitely something to build on.”
His handful of outings this spring leave many with certain amount of trepidation — after all, Moore threw 17 wild pitches in 2013 and lasted, on average, close to six innings per game. Moore has made mention, on a few different occasions, that he’d like to go deeper into games; a goal which is dependent on better control and pitch efficiency.
The New What Next
Mark Lowe will start for the Rays on Wednesday afternoon when they travel to Sarasota to meet the Orioles. The veteran right-hander is in contention for a bullpen spot. Also scheduled to see action are right-handers Josh Lueke, Steve Geltz and Juan Sandoval, along with left-hander Jake McGee.
Rays 3/19/14 Starting Lineup
- More roster moves… The Rays reassigned C Eddy Rodriguez and OF Jeremy Moore to minor league camp. 44 players now sit on the roster.
- Tuesday night’s game was the Rays 12th game this spring that has gone over three hours.
- The Rays will pick their number five starter after watching Cesar Ramos, Jake Odorizzi and Erik Bedard pitch once more each this week. Of those three, LHP Bedard said if he doesn’t make the Rays rotation he’ll likely exercise a March 31 opt-out clause in the minor-league contract he signed February 14th rather than go to Triple-A, noting the recent bout of injuries to starters around baseball.
“Every day it seems like a starter goes down,” Bedard said. “So there’s a lot of opportunities out there if I’m not on the team.”
- More on Bedard… Marc Topkin writes, “”Every day it seems like a starter goes down,” Bedard said. “So there’s a lot of opportunities out there if I’m not on the team.'”
- Chris Archer is scheduled to throw in a minor-league game Wednesday, along with Grant Balfour.