After a first inning that featured the first five batters reaching base safely, it seemed as if the Tampa Bay Rays were doomed for yet another loss against the New York Yankees on Tuesday night. Chris Archer allowed two earned runs on four hits and a walk, but retired the next three batters to escape a 32-pitch first inning jam.
Archer allowed singles to Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner in the second inning, but both players were thrown out at second by Rene Rivera in an attempt to steal a base. Rivera's defense helped prevent an additional jam, and from that point forward Archer was locked in. Over the next five innings, Archer only allowed one more hit and struck out six batters.
David DeJesus, Evan Longoria and Steven Souza generated some late inning offense and the Rays beat the Yankees for only the second time this season.
In tonight's game, the Rays hope to fill more seats as they go for back to back wins against the Yankees. A victory tonight would put the Rays within two games of the division lead.
The Book on Adam Warren
For the third time this season, Yankee right-hander Adam Warren will get the start against the Rays. In his first appearance on April 17 in St. Petersburg, Warren pitched only four innings, allowing four earned runs on six hits (two home runs) and two walks. He found better success his second time around on April 27 in the Bronx, allowing only one earned run in 5.2 innings of work.
Prior to this season, Warren pitched two seasons in the Yankee bullpen before he was awarded the fifth spot in the starting rotation out of Spring Training. In his first season as a full-time starter, Warren's arsenal has consisted of a 93 mph four-seam fastball (thrown 44.8% of the time), a 86.5 mph slider (22.6%), a 84 mph changeup (15.3), a 92 mph sinker (10.9%) and a 79 mph curveball (6.4%).
As to be expected from a pitcher transitioning from the bullpen to the starting rotation, the average velocity of Warren's pitches has fallen in his first six starts. Compared to his previous two seasons in the bullpen, Warren has lost 1.74 mph on his fourseam fastball, 1.35 mph on his sinker, 1.25 mph on his changeup, and 2.19 mph on his curveball.
Warren is the prototypical pitch-to-contact pitcher, having not the speed nor movement to miss a lot of bats. He has generated whiffs on less than 7% of his four-seam fastballs and sinkers and only 2.9% of his curveballs. He pitches to the lower third of the zone, helping him induce quite a bit of ground balls.
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