As echoed in the comments, Ian provided a wonderful recap of last night's duel between Chris Archer and Yordano Ventura, praising both young pitchers for splendid performances that were followed by strong bullpen appearances from both teams (Wade Davis and Jake McGee, respectively).
The lone run was scored in the 9th, courtesy of Wil Myers and James Loney; and Grant Balfour closed out the game, giving the Rays their fifth win of the 2014 season and sole possession of first in the AL East...because that's extremely relevant right now. Myers' hit was his first in KC, which he hopes will "get him going" after recent struggles at the plate.
I highly recommend reading the full recap, including mention of a controversial call involving Yunel Escobar and Ben Zobrist that ensued in a challenge and had the potential for the Royals to break the game open had Eric Hosmer not grounded out. The aforementioned call:
Also of note, Archer credited Jose Molina for his success last night:
#Rays Archer gave major credit 2 Molina: "I was like his robot. He would punch in a combination, tell me what pitch to throw and I threw it"— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) April 9, 2014
Matt Moore will pay a visit to Dr. James Andrews this afternoon to find out whether his torn ligament will require surgery and longer than a 15-day DL stint. The MRI in Kansas City had a variety of "different interpretations," and despite Moore feeling great yesterday, the potential of surgery and missing the rest of the season and beginning of next was already causing Matty Mo some grief,
"I don't think necessarily the surgery part concerns me or the rehab part, it's the preparation that went into this season for the guys in the locker room and everyone that goes into this particular organization, a lot of high hopes, a lot of expectations and things that we prepared for this season that I very much want to be a part of, and I have not ruled out any part of that," he said.
The SweetSpot doesn't think Moore's fate, whether positive or negative, will affect the fate of the Rays success this season, as it's "far from a death sentence."
Photo of the day:
Matt Cain and #BatKid and oh my heart, this is the cutest photo ever. (Thanks, Michael Macor!) pic.twitter.com/emqfo0gWui— Katie Dowd (@KatieDowd) April 8, 2014
You can't not love Batkid throwing out the first pitch at the Giants home opener.
- Howard Bryant looked at how the Rays could benefit from some assistance from Bud Selig in a piece that'll appear in the April 14th issue of ESPN the Magazine, mentioning a swap of the Rays to the AL Central and the Tigers to the AL East a potential solution; but overall sending a "shame on you message" to Selig for "waiting for an unfair system to run a good team into the ground."
- Beyond the Box Score posed the question, "Is the infield shift ruining baseball?" Silly question, yes; some useful data, yes as well.
- Our opportunity is becoming limited as the season goes on, so enjoy a moment in "Past a Diving Jeter"...but more importantly, head to the comments for the more appetizing "Pasta diving Jeter."
- Fangraphs discussed the perils of pitchers and very long contract extensions, mentioning the extension of Clayton Kershaw and his current injury, along with Justin Verlander and Felix Hernandez.
- Joey Votto made quite the appearance on Intentional Talk:
- A gif to behold: Barolo Colon's belly jiggle.