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SATURDAY GAME NOTES

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Two more to go

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Last night's loss ensured that the Rays would not finish at .500 or better for the second season in a row. The first time they've had consecutive losing seasons since 'Devil' was dropped from the name. It was a decent game for Tampa up to the fifth inning as they had tacked on four runs to take a 4-1 lead over Toronto. Then, the Blue Jays offense woke up and poured on eight runs in the final four frames to take an 8-4 lead, which turned into the final score.

Currently, the Rays are engaged in a very tight battle for last place in the American League East as they are currently tied with Boston for fifth in the division, with Baltimore sitting just a half game up over them. Baltimore will take on the wild card winning Yankees tonight, meanwhile the Red Sox will engage the Indians in Cleveland.

TODAY'S STARTING PITCHERS:

PITCHER W L ERA FIP AVG HR K% BB% GS/G IP
Chris Archer 12 13 3.26 2.91 .218 19 29.4% 7.4% 33/33 207
Marco Estrada 13 8 3.15 4.40 .204 22 17.4% 7.9% 27/33 174.1

The duel of the season as Chris Archer was set to go against former mentor, David Price. Fans around the Tampa Bay area were furious as blackout restrictions made it so the game couldn't be seen locally. However, the duel turned into a slug fest rather quickly as 13 runs had scored in the first four innings.

Archer was once a leading candidate for the Cy Young award this season, but since the all-star break he has struggled with control resulting in shorter and sub-par outings.

Marco Estrada Scouting Report:

Estrada is closing out the end of a breakout year, as he has put up career bests in innings pitched, ERA, opponent average, and wins. Earlier this year, he came very close to no-hitting the Rays with some help from Josh Donaldson who nearly crushed a kid making an incredible catch. Estrada has been essential to Toronto's turnaround as he has been exceptional since June 19th as he made 19 starts and has an ERA of 2.62 with opponents just hitting .168 off him over that time.

Estrada last pitched on Monday against the Orioles, he pitched an out into the eighth inning and gave up three runs on four hits, while he walked one and struck out two resulting in a no-decision.

His arsenal:

PITCH VELOCITY FREQUENCY vs LHB vs RHB
Fastball High 80's

53% vs LHB

***

53% vs RHB

Paints the outside corner Paints the outside corner
Cutter High 80's

07% vs LHB

***

09% vs RHB

Runs it under the hands Low and away from the zone
Curve High 70's

10% vs LHB

***

13% vs RHB

Anywhere below the zone Low and away from the zone
Change High 70's

31% vs LHB

***

25% vs RHB

Low and away from the zone Low and away from the zone

His splits:

TBF AVG OBP SLG HR K% BB%
vs LHB 395 .203 .268 .367 13 16.7% 7.3%
vs RHB 306 .205 .278 .359 9 18.3% 8.5%
HOME
338 .194 .261 .349 10 16.6% 7.4%
AWAY
363 .214 .283 .377 12 18.2% 8.3%

Today's Lineups

TORONTO BLUE JAYS TAMPA BAY RAYS
Ben Revere - LF John Jaso - LF
Josh Donaldson - 3B Grady Sizemore - DH
Jose Bautista - RF Evan Longoria - 3B
Edwin Encarnacion - DH Asdrubal Cabrera - SS
Justin Smoak - 1B Steven Souza - RF
Dioner Navarro - C James Loney - 1B
Kevin Pillar - CF Tim Beckham - 2B
Ryan Goins - SS Kevin Kiermaier - CF
Cliff Pennington - 2B Rene Rivera - C
Marco Estrada - RHP Chris Archer - RHP

October 3rd in Rays History:

  • Three former Rays players celebrate their birthdays today as Eric Munson (1977), Kerry Robinson (1973), and Steven Kent (1979) were all born on this date
  • They are 5-2 all-time on this date.
  • 1996 - The Thunderdome is officially renamed Tropicana Field after the city of St. Petersburg agreed to a deal worth a little more than $13 million with Tropicana Dole Beverages of North America. Tropicana Field has remained the stadium's name throughout the team's existence.
  • 2008 - Playing in their second over playoff game, the Rays take a decisive victory, 6-2 over Chicago and make themselves only one win away from the ALCS. Akinori Iwamura homered, and Scott Kazmir was awarded the victory.

  • 2010 - Entering the final day of the season, tied with New York for the division lead, the Rays needed a victory to ensure they'd remain on top as they had beaten the Yankees in the season series so they'd be awarded the tie-breaker. Regardless, New York lost to Boston 8-4, so that automatically gave the Rays the AL East crown. However, the Rays were trailing when they found out and entered the top of the ninth, trailing 2-0. Carl Crawford and Matt Joyce both singled, sandwiching a Dan Johnson strikeout between them (if the Rays hadn't already clinched, he would have homered). Then Carlos Pena stepped up and launched a two run double that tied the game at two. The game would last 12 innings, with the Rays coming out on top after Rocco Baldelli scored thanks to an error, with the final score being, 3-2.

  • 2011 - The Rays were in position to take a 2-1 series lead over Texas as David Price entered the seventh with a 1- lead, however the lead would quickly vanish as Texas rallied for four runs and they'd take their second game in a row, 4-3.

  • 2012 - With a 4-1 victory over Baltimore, the Rays finish the regular season at 90-72, which was good for third in the AL East. In a season that seen Evan Longoria miss more than half the season, it was what could've been as a full season from him could have meant the difference. An interesting anecdote about the game, Evan Longoria homered three times, as did Dan Johnson who did it for the White Sox. Both players accomplishing the feat on the final day of the season on year after the 2011 dramatics. Also, Fernando Rodney also made some history of his own as he recorded his 48th save of the season and lowered his record breaking ERA to 0.60 on the season, for the best all-time by a reliever. Meanwhile, an emotional Melvin Upton is taken out of the game for a pinch runner and leaves to a standing ovation as he had played his final game with the Rays after spending part of the last nine seasons with the team.