The Rays were handed their second drubbing in as many days, this one at the hands of the Baltimore Orioles.
Getting beat yesterday in the manner in which they did didn't come as too much of surprise with reliever Cesar Ramos getting the start in place of the injured Matt Moore. Today was different. Chris Archer had been stellar in his first two outings of the season, allowing just two runs over 13 innings pitched. Tonight ended a bit differently for the young right-hander.
The fact that he managed to last five innings and save the bullpen a bit is the only plus of his night. In those five innings he allowed a career high 12 hits and seven runs. He only walked one batter, so his control wasn't an issue. Instead, too many balls were left over the plate, his slider was especially inconsistent, and hitters like Nelson Cruz, Chris Davis, and Matt Wieters took advantage.
Archer's changeup useage is going to be the most interesting aspect of his game to watch this season. In his last start, the best of the three so far, he mixed in seven changeups. Tonight the number was just three. If hitters are never afraid of the changeup then it's of little use, which makes Archer a two-pitch pitcher, something that is hard to maintain as a starter.
Reliever Brad Boxberger, called up today from Triple-A Durham, made his debut in the sixth inning and looked impressive, flashing 95mph heat and an 81mph changeup.
There's not much to report on the offensive side of things as the team continued its recent struggles. Evan Longoria provided the only RBI of the game in the sixth inning when he singled home Ben Zobrist. They didn't pick up their first hit against Wei-Yin Chen until the fifth inning. On the bright side they were 2-5 with runners in scoring position. Unfortunately only one run was able to score.