After dropping the second game of a four-game set against Cleveland on Friday, 3-1, the Tampa Bay Rays look to bounce back Saturday afternoon. The Rays have not won or lost three games in a row in the month of May.
Blake Snell and Jose Alvarado combined to walk six batters last night. If you’re keeping track, that makes three of the last five games where Tampa Bay has walked five batters or more. Per Neil Solondz (Rays Radio), prior to this stretch, the Rays had the lowest walk percentage in the American League (now third).
The free passes did not come back to haunt Snell, however, the same cannot be said for Alvarado, who walked three in the same frame and was tagged for a pair of earned runs.
Meanwhile, Tampa Bay had more than a few opportunities to break the game open, yet they left a lot of chicken on the bone. The Rays went 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position (.077 wRISP) and stranded 10 men on the base paths. They are now 11th in the American League in OPS in those situations (.741). Solondz also wrote, “the five Rays players that are above average in those spots are Austin Meadows, Kevin Kiermaier, Avisail Garcia, Tommy Pham, and Daniel Robertson.”
This afternoon’s lineup has Garcia, who drove in the lone run on Friday, getting a designated hitter day.
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Charlie Morton (4-0, 2.65 ERA) will get the start, pitching opposite of Carlos Carrasco (4-4, 4.30 ERA).
Charlie Morton gave up five uncharacteristic runs (three earned) on four hits and four walks while striking out six over four innings of work on Sunday. Morton was ineffective and inefficient, throwing 88 pitches (56 strikes, 64% strike rate) in his turn. Walks continue to be a problem: Over the last month, he has an impressive 10.5 K/9, yet a 3.7 BB/9 (2.84 K/BB).
Carlos Carrasco allowed three runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out four across five innings on Monday. Carrasco worked in and out of trouble constantly, allowing nine base runners. Beware the long ball: Home runs continue to plague the right-hander, as he carries a 1.7 HR/9 this season and gave up two solo shots in his last start. He has a 4-4 record with a 4.30 ERA in 10 starts this season. Key Matchups: Willy Adames (2-3), Erik Kratz (2-4), Brandon Lowe (2-6, 3B, HR, RBI), Tommy Pham (3-6, HR, RBI, BB), Andrew Velasquez (1-3)
You can read about the series in our preview, while the starting lineup is below.
Rays 5/25/19 Starting Lineup
- Meadows RF
- Pham LF
- Choi 1B
- Garcia DH
- B. Lowe 2B
- Adames SS
- Kiermaier CF
- d’Arnaud C
- Robertson 3B
- Morton RHP