After taking the first two games, each by a single run, Erasmo Ramirez laid an egg during Wednesday's game.
After only four innings, the Rays were trailing nine runs to nothing, but the team showed some fight as they scored seven runs - including Mikie Mahtook's first career homer and a robbery of a run when Kevin Pillar (possibly making the catch of the year) scaled the left field wall and took a home run away from Tim Beckham (which prevented history from occurring):
Then last night the Rays sent out their available ace Chris Archer to the mound to face Aaron Sanchez, who made his second career start. Sanchez has been one of the Blue Jays top prospects the past few years, and last season he served as an effective reliever in the Blue Jays pen.
Sanchez's first career start didn't go that well though. He allowed three runs in 3+ innings on seven hits and two walks. He threw a career high 61 pitches, and although he had to pace himself due to being in a starters role rather than in relief, but his velocity was noticeably lower.
This time around he averaged 94, more up to speed, and reached 90 pitches. This kid in game shape might be a formidable opponent for the Rays.
Sanchez's game plan is to stay away from lefties and try to paint the outside edge, while doing the same except coming inside to righties with his hard stuff. His breaking pitches are used pretty much exclusively low in the zone. Sanchez does posses a change up but he rarely throws it, only using it a handful of times last year. Hill killer curve was on point, though used only 11 times, and could lead to a possibly better showing. The Rays tagged him for three runs and a loss.
Meanwhile, Chris Archer was the best version of himself last night, topping 100 pitches and flashing a powerful Fastball-Slider combo two times through the line up, then breaking out the change the third time through. He was simply dominant through six, and a bit wild in the seventh.
Kevin Jepsen should get a hero's welcome when he reaches the mound in the coming series for his work in the eighth. After Geltz loaded the bases, Jepsen shut down Bautista and Encarnacion, with just a sec-fly between the pair. Boxberger was able to reel in the save in the ninth.
The game would also feature Cash's first ejection as a manager, arguing with the umps over a replay of Josh Donaldson's hit by pitch. After lengthy review, and without the benefit of very good angles from the Rays broadcast, Donaldson seemed to have taken the fastball off his extended left index finger.
- Here's the injury update on Evan Longoria after the quite-intentional hit by pitch that sent him to the locker room last night.
- The Rays signed J.P. Arencibia as catcher depth yesterday afternoon. He'll report to Triple-A. Once billed as the catcher of the future for the Blue Jays, he never lived up the hype and his production has slipped with each passing year. Over the course of five seasons in the majors, he has slashed .207/.255/.403 with 74 HR in 443 games played.
#Rays sign C J.P. Arencibia to a minor league deal. He is expected to join Triple-A Durham soon.— Josh Vitale (@JoshVitale) April 16, 2015
- Worth noting, Steven Souza hasn't hit a cheap HR.
Steven Souza Jr. has hit 4 major league home runs. Estimates by @ESPNStatsInfo: 445 ft. 439 ft. 463 ft. 413 ft.— Dave Haller (@HallerDave) April 16, 2015
- On the rehab front, Alex Colome pitched 60+ pitches without a sterling pitching line for Montgomery in his fight back to full weight from pneumonia. The Rays were reportedly "pleased" according to the broadcast last night. Additionally, McGee is inching closer:
In #Rays rehab news, LHP Jake McGee threw a 14-pitch inning in an extended spring training game this afternoon.— Josh Vitale (@JoshVitale) April 16, 2015
- After a hairline wrist fracture to Mike Olt, the Cubs are calling up Kris Bryant. Our friends at Beyond the Box Score have five articles on the topic! The injury is different, but the timing is not much unlike how Longoria was promoted in 2008, when Willy Aybar went down with a hammy.
- Kiley McDaniel's Part 2 on the International Signing Market
- Craig Edwards investigates the Yasmany Tomas quick demotion-promotion.
- Neil Weinberg on what to do with sabermetric skeptics.
- Know Thy Enemy: Nicolas Stellini on the Yankees offense vs. expectations.
- And Finally, the Rays hosted a visitorin the front office this week: Gumby