The Rays Tank: Godzilla Is Back

May 1, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays designator hitter Hideki Matsui addresses the media after he was signed to a minor league contract at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

It was published late last night that Hideki Matsui is on his way to Tampa Bay for the game tonight as the team has deemed him ready to join the big leagues. It does not appear to be in reaction to the Rays striking out 69 times yesterday against the White Sox, but rather an extension of the rumors he was going to join the team in Boston this past weekend. The likely roster move seems to be demoting Stephen Vogt which is somewhat unfortunate as he is still searching for his first major league hit after 17 hitless plate appearances to start the season.

The outcome of the game was unfortunate, but watching Chris Sale and Matt Moore duel yesterday was both an enjoyable and frustrating baseball experience. Two talented young left-handed pitchers that both struck out at least 10. According to Elias, the last time opposing starters age 23 or younger combined for at least 25 strikeouts in a game was on July 31, 1901 when Tom Hughes of the Cubs and Noodles Hahn of the Red did so in a 14 inning game. The last time two pitchers of the same age had at least 10 strikeouts in a game was July 21st, 1971 when Cleveland's Steve Dunning and Oakland's Vida Blue had 10 and 11 respectively. The last time two lefties of any age had double digit strikeout totals in the same game was 9/16/92 when Randy Johnson struck out 15 in nine innings and Mark Langston struck out 12 in 10 innings. If you knock the requirement down to nine innings, then that takes us back to 7/23/85 when Frank Tanana and Britt Burns both struck out 11.

Joe Maddon on Matt Moore yesterday:

I thought he had great tempo the entire game. He never really was in a hurry or in a rush. He had great command of all his pitches. His breaking ball was really good and his change-up was good. He really settled in after he hit that first hitter. The fastball was pretty much right where he wanted it to be all night and I thought [Jose Molina] did a nice job calling the game for him all night. He just looked a lot more comfortable and it was a great game to build off of, emotionally more than anything else.

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