The Rays Tank: All Hail King Archer

Chris Archer reacts as Desmond Jennings catches the final out of the ninth inning. - J. Meric

The Rays head into the All Star Break after winning nine of their last ten games, including yesterday's 5-0 victory over the Astros in which Chris Archer threw his first career shutout.

In yesterday’s 5-0 victory over the Houston Astros, Chris Archer was lights out. He threw the first shutout of his career while allowing only five hits and striking out eight. Archer talked with Todd Kalas after the game to discuss his start and also mentions how much of a role model David Price is to him. Archer’s reaction to Jennings’ final catch of the game was absolutely priceless. Congratulations on the phenomenal outing, Chris! To read more about Archer’s day, you can read Steve’s recap here!

Price had some thoughts of his own about Archer's outing:

Per the Rays post-game notes, Archer had this to say about what yesterday’s game meant to him:

"It meant a lot because my past couple games I felt strong, strong enough to continue to pitch deep in the ballgame. But really, I’ve never pitched into the eighth inning before in my career—major league, minor league, Little League, whatever…It was cool. They had faith in me to go deep. We scored enough runs so that there was no question. We played tremendous defense which saved me pitches and I was able to execute. This is the best game I’ve ever pitched in my life so it means everything."

Astros’ manager, Bo Porter, said this of Archer,

"I think good can be an understatement. He was excellent today. It was more about him than it was about anything else. …Anytime you have a guy take the mound and have the kind of performance Archer had today, it would make any team look like they don’t have a lot of energy."

The first pitch yesterday was thrown by Carly Rae Jepsen and it went like this...

Kind of makes you wonder about that wish she threw in the well.

Wrapping up the first half:

The Rays head into the All-Star break with a half-game lead of the Wildcard over the Texas Rangers. We are only two and a half games behind the Red Sox, who have gone 5-5 in their last ten games, in the AL East.

Here’s a look at the AL East standings, courtesy of MLB.com,

Screen_shot_2013-07-14_at_11

The Rays will return to action next Friday in Toronto for a three-game series as part of a ten-game road trip, which includes series in both Boston and New York, also. Evan Peaslee of MLB.com takes a look at the upcoming series in Toronto where we will see David Price return to the mound and try to pick up where he’s left off in his last two starts.

Alex Cobb talked to Sam Strong of MLB.com about returning to the mound for the first time to face live batters since June 15th.

Links:

-Matt Garza was informed by the Cubs that he will likely be traded. It appears that the Rangers and Indians are the two top contenders to land the former Rays’ pitcher, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

-The Homerun Derby takes place tonight at Citi Field. Let’s see if the AL Captain, Robinson Cano of the Yankees, can at least hit one over the fence this year!

-This Cleveland Indians fan caught FOUR foul balls during the course of a single game yesterday. I’m jealous.

-Chris Davis hit another homerun again yesterday and David Schoenfield of ESPN’s "The Sweet Spot" takes a look at his chase for history.

-Jose Molina is really good at framing, obviously. He once again makes Baseball Prospectus’ list of "The Best" in "This Week in Catcher Framing".

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