The Tampa Bay Rays look to win a series on Sunday in New York after a 3-0 win over the Mets, behind Blake Snell, on Saturday. Tampa Bay has the opportunity to square up its current road trip, and can move back over .500 with a win.
Snell was outstanding once again, pitching 7-1/3 shutout innings on 112 pitches (70 strikes, 63% strike rate). He scattered six hits and walked three, but struck out nine and coaxed 10 ground balls — including a pair of double plays — to help him dodge a slew of early base runners. The southpaw lowered his overall ERA to a league leading 2.09 (3.36 FIP), yet more impressively he has allowed just two runs or fewer in nine of his last 10 turns on the mound and is 4-0 with an 0.63 ERA over his last four outings.
If the eye popping numbers don’t scream All-Star, I’m not sure what does.
🗣️ A L L – S T A R pic.twitter.com/C0c8wLhzpx
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) July 8, 2018
Snell spoke about the potential to pitch in the Mid Summer Classic, saying,
I’d be pumped, I’d be stoked.
After being held scoreless in 34 of their previous 36 innings, the Rays finally broke through with a crooked number yesterday. Even so, they still have gone 2-25 wRISP, while stranding a total of 18 base runners, over the first two games of the series against the Mets. What’s more, the 16-inning game against Miami is the only one where Tampa Bay has scored more than three runs. The Rays have not scored more than four runs in a nine inning road contest since May 30th (at Oakland, a 6-0 win). They hope to defy that trend this afternoon.
The New What Next
Nathan Eovaldi (2-3, 3.92 ERA) will get the start, pitching opposite of Chris Flexen (0-1, 10.80 ERA).
Eovaldi threw six innings of two-run ball on Monday against the Marlins. Eovaldi allowed eight hits and walked one, while punching out five along the way. Eovaldi endured his share of baserunners in this outing, although he allowed just two extra-base hits and induced 11 groundball outs to limit the damage. The righty allowed a run on three hits in the second inning and another on a solo home run in the fifth. Things are looking up for Eovaldo, who’s thrown two consecutive quality starts, posting a 4.67 K/BB while allowing just two earned runs across 12 total innings of work.
Flexen will make his first start for New York this season, and 10th of his big league career. The right-hander allowed eight runs (four earned) over 3-1/3 relief innings for the Mets this season and is 4-6 with a mediocre 4.84 ERA in 67 innings for Triple-A Las Vegas. For the most part, he has relied on his 94 mph four-seam fastball, a hard 89 mph slider with short glove-side cut but little depth, and a 93 mph sinker, while also mixing in an 83 mph changeup, and a hard 82 mph curveball with little depth.
You can read about the series in our preview.
Rays 7/8/18 Starting Lineup
— Jake Faria made his first rehab start for the Charlotte Stone Crabs on Saturday, throwing 17 of 26 pitches for strikes in two innings of work, and allowing a run on two hits and a walk. The right-hander isn’t eligible to come off the DL until July 22nd.
— Christian Arroyo could play for the Stone Crabs on Monday although the team is not fully committed to that plan, according to Rays manager Kevin Cash.
— Click bait!