After a successful 5-2 homestand in the opening week of play, the Tampa Bay Rays will start a nine-game road trip on Friday. The first stop is San Francisco for a three-game Interleague set against the Giants.
The Rays won both Opening Week series at home, taking three of four from Houston, and two of three from Colorado. The common thread has been outstanding pitching from the starters,
Tampa Bay’s rotation has posted a 2.19 ERA/3.09 FIP across the first seven games while holding opponents to a .190 batting average. They have recorded 43 strikeouts in 37 innings before giving way to the ‘pen which has conceded only two runs in 28 innings of work.
The Rays were denied a sweep of the Colorado Rockies after a 1-0, 11-inning loss Wednesday, in which they stranded 13 runners and went 0-for-10 wRISP. In spite of the 5-2 start, Tampa Bay is hitting only .182 in such situations.
The Giants began Bruce Bochy’s final season inauspiciously, dropping three-of-four in San Diego and two of three to the Dodgers after a 5-3 loss Wednesday night.
San Francisco’s rotation has posted a 2.68 ERA/4.36 FIP across the first seven games while holding opponents to a .221 batting average. They have recorded 35 strikeouts in 37 innings before giving way to the ‘pen which has conceded six earned runs in 21 innings of work.
The last time the Rays faced the Giants, in 2015, they dropped all three ballgames, having been outscored 16-6.
Kevin Cash is expected to lean on starter Tyler Glasnow (1-0, 1.80 ERA), and bulk inning guys Yonny Chirinos (1-0, 1.29 ERA), and Ryan Yarbrough (1-0, 2.08 ERA). Bruce Bochy is expected to respond with Dereck Rodriguez (1-0, 3.60 ERA), Jeff Samardzija (0-0, 0.00 ERA), and Drew Pomeranz (0-0, 3.60 ERA).
Yet something was missing Saturday night. After working on a new delivery during Spring Training, one which included a pause, Glasnow decided to go back to his normal delivery, which served him well.
I was kind of thinking about it throughout the week, and it was kind of one of those things, game day, just go out and compete. Today it just felt better to not do it.
— Tyler Glasnow
Dereck Rodriguez allowed two runs on four hits over five innings in his season debut against San Diego on Saturday. The 26-
Yonny Chirinos gave up one run on two hits with no walks across seven innings of a win over the Astros on Sunday. He struck out six and walked none. The lone run he relinquished came on a third-inning Jake Marisnick homer with two outs. Otherwise, the tall right-hander coaxed a ton of weak contact to pair with his strike-throwing (88 pitches, 60 strikes, 68% strike rate) which kept the Astros’ bats at bay.
Jeff Samardzija came away with a no-decision in his season debut against the Padres after allowing an unearned run over five innings on Sunday. He is 1-0 with a 2.35 ERA in three career appearances against the Rays. Samardzija relies primarily on a 92 mph sinker with arm-side run, while also mixing in a 92 mph fly-ball coaxing four-seam fastball, an 89 mph cutter with “rising action” and slight cutting action, a whiffy 77 mph curveball with 12-6 movement, an 84 mph slider with little depth, and an 84 mph splitter with cut action and backspin. Key Matchup: Kevin Kiermaier (3-6, 2 3B)
Ryan Yarbrough allowed just one run across 4-1/3 innings of his 2019 debut. The southpaw gave up just three hits and a hit batsman while striking out three.
Drew Pomeranz yielded two solo homers across five innings in his season debut against the Dodgers on Monday. The 30-year-old southpaw is 4-3 with a 3.98 ERA in 11 career appearances against the Rays. Last season Pomeranz went 0-1 with a 5.79 ERA across 9-1/3 innings against the Rays, having allowed four homers. He relies primarily on a firm 81 mph knuckle curveball with 12-6 movement and a whiffy 92 mph four-seam fastball with little natural movement, while also mixing in a whiffy 92 mph sinker with some arm-side run. Key Matchups: Willy Adames (1-2, HR, 2 RBI), Avisail Garcia (3-5, 2B), Guillermo Heredia (2-4, HR, 3 RBI, BB), Daniel Robertson (1-4, HR, RBI)