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The Rays go for their first series sweep since early August

Kevin Cash, a model [manager]
Kevin Cash, a model [manager]
Brian Blanco/Getty Images

Welp, the Rays won again, despite my protestations. It's as if the difference between the 10th and 15th draft pick didn't even matter all that much to the franchise... The Rays are currently tied for 12th with the Orioles and Diamondbacks at 77 losses, the Mariners have 75 and the White Sox 74. It's unlikely the Rays drop down into protected-draft-pick range.

Although it should be noted tonight is a really fun pitching matchup! Jake Odorizzi takes on the entertaining and excellent Jose Fernandez. It's likely Odorizzi's final start of the season, and it would be excellent for him to end on a good note, because if we're being honest, it hasn't been a great go of things when compared to his first half.

The big highlight from last night, other than another encouraging performance from Drew Smyly, was this stellar Kiermaier catch that earned Statcast analysis:

But Smyly's performance cannot be overlooked. Not to be outdone by Moore's seven innings of one-run ball last night, Smyly held the Marlins to the same and struck out eight!

If you're looking for an interesting read to pass the time before the game this afternoon, turns out that offense is UP in the second half this season, breaking an eight-year decline. ESPN has the write up, with quotes from Commissioner Manfred. - DR


Jake Odorizzi 8 9 3.49 3.69 .232 18 21.3% 6.5% 27/27 162.1
Jose Fernandez 6 0 2.91 2.24 .226 3 29.5% 5.9% 10/10 58.2

Odorizzi's second half struggled continued his last time out as he allowed four runs in just five innings against the Blue Jays. He gave up seven hits, including two homers, while he walked three and struck out four. In the 14 starts he has made since July 17th, Odorizzi has an ERA close to five.

Before that point, Odorizzi had a 2.66 ERA and has since seen it jump almost a full point to 3.49. One of the main culprits is he's almost doubled the rate of homers he has allowed. He only allowed five during his first 68 innings, and has given up 13 over his past 80.

Jose Fernandez Scouting Report:

Fernandez took the baseball world by storm when hynd e made the jump from A-Ball to the majors and proceeded to dismantle opposing lineups with ease. After a stellar rookie campaign in 2013, Fernandez looked poised to contend for the Cy Young award in 2014, unfortunately he went down with an injury and he'd undergo Tommy John Surgery.

He returned to early July and impressed with his high velocity, hitting speeds in the high 90's. Fernandez has been excellent since, but was sideline in August with a biceps strain. He returned in early September and delivered five shutout innings. His last time out however, was his worst start of the season as he went five innings, and allowed six runs on nine hits, while he walked one and struck out two, but was still able to come away with his sixth victory of the season.

His arsenal:

Fastball High 90's

44% vs LHB


57% vs RHB

Paints the outside corner Elevates it in the zone
Sinker Mid 90's

10% vs LHB


01% vs RHB

Paints the outside corner Sporadic
Change High 80's

22% vs LHB


04% vs RHB

Low and away from the zone Anywhere below the zone
Curve Mid 80's

24% vs LHB


38% vs RHB

Anywhere low in the zone Low and away from the zone
Slow-Curve Mid 70's

00% vs LHB


00% vs RHB

Threw it once Hasn't thrown it

His splits:

vs LHB
vs RHB

Lineups will be posted when available

October 1st in Rays History:

  • One former Rays player was born on this date, as Chad Orvella celebrates his 35th birthday. Orvella spent three years in the majors (2005-2007) all with Tampa Bay.
  • They are 4-5 all-time on this date
  • 2000 - The Devil Rays and Red Sox required extra innings to finish the final regular season game of the season as they took a 2-2 tie into the tenth. In the bottom half of the inning, Tampa Bay loaded the bases with only one out against Rich Croushore. Fred McGriff was called upon to pinch hit for Ozzie Guillen, and on the first pitch he hit a ground ball to Mike Lansing who flipped it to Donnie Sadler, who was unable to turn the double play so the Devil Rays walked off with a 3-2 victory.
  • 2004 - Rob Bell delivers the last great start of his career as he tosses a complete game against Detroit, allowing a lone unearned run in the contest. Bell gave up only four hits, while struck out one and walked none earning his eighth win of the year.
  • 2005 - One year following Bel's complete game, Mark Hendrickson delivers one of his own, however this time it resulted in a loss. Hendrickson went nine innings, allowed four runs (three earned) on eight hits and ended up with his eighth loss of the season.
  • 2010 - Bruce Chen of the Royals dominates the Rays, tossing a complete game, 2-hit shutout for his 12th win of the year. Meanwhile, James Shields continued to have the worst season of his career, collecting his 15th loss after allowing seven runs in just over five innings of work.

  • 2011 - A day after Matt Moore's excellent performance, the Rays jumped out 3-0 early in game 2 of the ALDS against Texas. Unfortunately, James Shields would allowed seven unanswered runs in the 4th to 6th innings. The Rangers would take game 2, 8-6.