one-hundred eighty-two days...
four-thousand, three-hundred ninety hours...
That's approximately how long until the Rays opening day starter delivers the season's first pitch to Toronto's lead off hitter and the 2016 season officially begins. During the time between now and the, the playoffs will be completed, players will be dealt and signed, meanwhile rumors will swirl causing all sorts of excitement, then six highly anticipated and dreadfully long weeks of spring training before that first pitch is finally delivered.
The 2015 Rays were a disappointment, but they did defy expectations and usually kept things interesting day-in and day-out, evidenced by their major league lead in games decided by two runs or less. As the 2015 season draws to a close, take a moment to look back at some of things that have happened this season that you'll never forget, good or bad; Kevin Kiermaier's incredible catch in Baltimore and several of his other highlights, Erasmo Ramirez and Logan Forsythe excelling, Joey Butler's amazing start, the team's resilience through injuries, as well as Chris Archer blossoming into an ace.
Yes, this season could have been better, and with several players performing better or being healthy all season, who knows what might have been. Regardless, after the winter meetings are held and over and we're all sick of the frigidness of the winter months and aching to hear the first pops of mitt or cracks of bat, we'll actually look back and wish that we could still be watching this team, maybe with slightly less walkoff losses and possibly an extra inning win if it's not too much trouble.
I said this a week ago, but once again I'd just like to thank everyone who takes the time to read these every day. Hope to have these out next season and closeout this year with a victory.
TODAY'S STARTING PITCHERS:
After struggling in his initial return from Tommy John surgery, Matt Moore has done splendidly in his last three starts showing some strong, positive signs for next season. In his last three starts, he has pitched a total of 20.2 innings, while racking up 19 strikeouts. Perhaps the most positive statistic of those recent outings is he has only walked three batters (4% of the hitters he faced), compared to the 9% leading up to those outings. Also in the last three outings, he has only given up a total of three runs. Today, he'll have his work cut out for him though as he faces the best offense in the game.
Not going to do a descriptive report today as Toronto is going to send Mark Buerhle to the mound so he can achieve history by surpassing the 200 inning plateau for the 15th consecutive season. After he does so, the Blue Jays will go with Drew Hutchinson.
This will be Mark Buerhle's final appearance in the major leagues, which should be good news to most Rays fans as Buehrle has continuously shutdown the team numerous times over the length of his 16 year long career. Buerhle should only go a couple of innings, so he shouldn't receive a decision in this game. If that happens, Buehrle will finish his career with 214 victories, 15 straights seasons of making at least 30 starts a season along with at least 200 innings pitched a year.
He'll finish his career as a five-time all-star, four-time gold glove winner, and the 2005 AL Cy Young award winner the year he also led the White Sox to the World Series. Buehrle has also thrown a no-hitter, and a perfect game accomplishing the latter against Tampa Bay in 2009.
|TORONTO BLUE JAYS||TAMPA BAY RAYS|
|Ben Revere - LF||Brandon Guyer - LF|
|Josh Donaldson - 3B||Mikie Mahtook - CF|
|Jose Bautista - RF||Evan Longoria - 3B|
|Edwin Encarnacion - 1B||Asdrubal Cabrera - SS|
|Chris Colabello - DH||Steven Souza - RF|
|Russell Martin - C||James Loney - 1B|
|Troy Tulowitzki - SS||Tim Beckham - 2B|
|Kevin Pillar - CF||Joey Butler - DH|
|Ryan Goins - 2B||Luke Maile - C|
|Mark Buehrle - LHP||Matt Moore - LHP|
October 4th in Rays History:
- They are 1-3 all-time on this date
- 2011 - After an incredible comeback in the month of September, the Rays can't regain the magic as they are eliminated by the Rangers who took the ALDS, three games to one after defeating the Rays 4-3.
- 2013 - The Rays were up 2-0 in game one of the ALDS in Boston, with Matt Moore looking good. Then, he imploded and Boston scored eight runs in span of two innings. They'd take the first game easily by the score of 12-2.