If there's such a thing as an easy victory when your starter gives up six walks in five innings, this was it.
Matt Moore, coming off a poor start against Texas where he allowed five runs, didn't pitch well per-say against the Yankees but managed to not allow a run in five innings of work. He walked six batters and was constantly in high pressure situations, allowing just three hits. The Yankees had men in scoring position for all five innings, even loading the bases with one out in the third. Moore was able to use enough magic to get Mark Reynolds to fly out to short right and Eduardo Nunez to ground to third to end the frame.
Just 64 of the 107 pitches Moore threw went for strikes. Walks have always been an issue for Moore -- his 4.20 BB/9 over the past two seasons is the eighth highest in baseball.
See the green clusters in the lower-left and upper-right? That's not good.
His three wild pitches pushed his season total to 17, surpassing Victor Zambrano for most in a single season in Rays' history. Thankfully when he does find the plate he's usually pretty good. He's slated to pitch game 162. If the Rays need to win that game there's going to be a lot of collective breath holding going on in the Tampa Bay area.
Once again the Rays bullpen was fantastic. Jamey Wright worked a perfect sixth inning and Jake Odorizzi finished out the game with three scoreless innings, picking up a save because baseball is a silly game. He's been phenomenal out of the bullpen. In two appearances he's thrown 6.2 innings, allowing two hits, two walks and zero runs. He was my MVP of the 18-inning game. Tonight he saved the Rays from having to use a hoard of relievers once again. He's an extremely useful piece to have in your bullpen in a pennant race.
The offense got it started early, scoring three in the first inning on a Matt Joyce home run, David DeJesus double and Evan Longoria sac fly. They'd tack on two runs in the sixth as James Loney laced a double to right-center with the bases loaded. After being 0 for their previous 18 with the bases full the Rays are now 2 for 2. They'd score two more in the ninth on doubles from Delmon Young and DeJesus.
On a sour note, Yunel Escobar left the game in the fourth inning with an ankle injury and Jose Lobaton injuring his right elbow. Thankfully Joe Maddon didn't seem worried about either, saying Escobar's ankle doesn't look serious and Lobaton's elbow should be fine. Tim Beckham should see more playing time as a result.