In what is unquestionably their strangest game of the season the Rays fell to the Diamondbacks 9-8 on Wednesday night/Thursday morning. Why was it strange? Let's see...
Chris Archer, the AL pitcher of the month for July, was removed from the game as a precautionary measure with two outs in the second inning. The team is saying it's just right forearm tightness and that Archer should make his next scheduled start, but for a few moments Rays fans collectively held their breath.
He was replaced by the amazing Alex Torres, who had allowed only one earned run all season in 34 innings of work. What does he do? Allows three runs in 2.1 innings, including his first home run. Coming into a game in the second inning is an unusual spot for any pitcher, but Torres had been so locked in all season that it was a huge surprise to see Martin Prado's home run flying over the fence.
Lastly, Sam Fuld pinch hit for Wil Myers with the Rays down one run in the seventh inning. Like Archer, this was a case of Rays fans momentarily freaking out. Thankfully it doesn't look like anything serious. Myers left the game due to asthma issues, which he said he's dealt with since the Arizona Fall League. It didn't end up hurting the Rays as Fuld singled in two runs to give the Rays a momentary lead.
But, the Rays lost, though the bigger takeaway is that Archer and Myers look to be healthy. The usually steady bullpen got hit around last night -- all five relievers allowed at least one run to score. Rodney blew his sixth save of the season, but he came into a tough situation with two on and one out in a one run game. He'd walk the bases loaded then allow a go ahead single to Prado. The Rays had a chance to tie it in the ninth after a single by Ben Zobrist and walk from Matt Joyce, but Evan Longoria grounded into a game ending double play. The Rays grounded into five double plays on the night.