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Game Notes: Archer vs Fister

Scouting Report and Lineups

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Last night, the Rays shut out the Washington Nationals a day after the Nats had scored 16 runs, thanks to the combination of Steve GeltzMatt AndrieseKevin JepsenBrandon Gomes (not really), and Ronald Belisario. After the victory, the Rays have taken two of the three games against Washington thus far in a series that has been decided by a total of 22 runs. Their past series against Chicago, was decided by a total of 4 runs.

Tonight, the Rays will send Chris Archer to the mound where he made his major league debut, back on June 20th, 2012. Heading into spring training this year, Archer was considered the number-three starter in the rotation, but he has quickly climbed into discussion as one of the top arms in the league. Heading into play today, Archer ranks first in FIP and WAR, while he's second in ERA and strikeout percentage, and third in opponent average. So far this season, Archer is 7-4 with a 2.00 ERA and a 2.08 FIP, to go along with his 32.4 K% and a 6.0 BB% over the course of 14 starts and 90 innings pitched.

Archer pitched a great game last time out, but like many times before this season, he received a somewhat early hook after walking the first batter he faced in the eighth inning. The batter scored thanks to a homerun given up by Brad Boxberger. Archer's final line on the day was seven innings pitched with three runs allowed on five hitsand one walk. He struck out five batters.

Doug Fister Scouting Report:

His opponent on the mound, Doug Fister,  hasn't pitched in a major league game since May 14th, when he was hit hard by San Diego. He only lasted two innings, and by that point he had allowed seven runs on eight hits, including two homeruns. Following the game, he was placed on the DL due to a strained flexor. Fister made two rehab starts in the minors for Washington and is ready to return to the Nat's rotation.

His arsenal:

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

7% vs LHB

*

6% vs RHB

Sporadically Sporadically
Sinker High 80's

61% vs LHB

*

73% vs RHB

Will use it high or low in the zone, keeps it on the outside corner Will throw it all over the strikezone, occasionally burying it down and in
Cutter Mid 80's

2% vs LHB

*

5% vs RHB

Sporadically Sporadically
Slider Low 80's

3% vs LHB

*

5% vs RHB

Low and in Low and away
Change High 70's

4% vs LHB

*

1% vs RHB

Anywhere but inside Sporadically
Splitter Low 80's

14% vs LHB

*

6% vs RHB

Down in the zone, usually away Sporadically
Curve Low 70's

9% vs LHB

*

2% vs RHB

Anywhere down in the zone Sporadially

Before going down with the injury, Fister was 2-2 with a 4.31 ERA and a 4.67 FIP to go along with a 10.3 K% and a 5.7 BB% in seven starts and 39.2 innings pitched. When batters do make contact, Fister generates ground balls 40.9% of the time, while line drives are 25.5% and fly balls are 33.6%.

In 50 fewer chances, righties have actually fared better off of Fister this year. In 64 trips to the plate, righties have slashed .323/.349/.500 with a HR, to go along with a 14.1 K% and a 3.1 BB%. Meanwhile, lefties have slashed .255/.321/.421 with 4 HR, to go along with a 8.1 K% and 7.2 BB% in 111 trips to the plate.

Today's Lineups

TAMPA BAY RAYS WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Kevin Kiermaier - CF Denard Span - CF
Joey Butler - LF Anthony Rendon - 2B
Evan Longoria - 3B Yunel Escobar - 3B
Logan Forsythe - 2B Bryce Harper - RF
Steven Souza - RF Wilson Ramos - C
Asdrubal Cabrera - SS Danny Espinosa - 1B
Jake Elmore - 1B Ian Desmond - SS
Rene Rivera - C Michael Taylor - LF
Chris Archer - RHP Doug Fister - RHP

Other Rays Notes:

- Rays are 18-11 as the visiting team this season, winning six of their past seven games on the road and currently have a one game lead over the Yankees for fist place in the division.

- Rays second bullpen day if the series was much better then their first.

- June 18th in team history, of which they are 6-8 all-time

  • 1989 Matt Moore, one of the most exciting pitching prospects in team history, is born. He hasn't pitched in the major since April of 2014 due to Tommy John surgery but should be ready by the beginning of July. So far in his young career, he is 29-17 with a 3.53 ERA and a 3.92 FIP in 63 games over four seasons (2011-2014)
  • 1998 - The Devil Rays suffer an extra-inning loss to the Boston Red Sox after two walks in the top of the 10th inning were followed by a triple from Troy O'Leary.
  • 2003 - In a pitching duel between Roger Clemens and Victor Zambrano, each starter went eight shutout innings and allowed a combined three hits, struck out 15 batters and walked seven. The first hit of the game didn't come until the bottom of the 5th. Meanwhile Clemens carried a no-hitter into the eight, but it was broken up by Marlon Anderson. The game would last 12 innings and end after Alfonso Soriano hit a walkoff single into center, scoring Enrique Wilson.
  • 2010 - A Marlins phenom begins his assault on the MLB and starts with the Rays, as Giancarlo 'Mike' Stanton lifts his first career HR, a grand slam off of Matt Garza. It would turn out to be Garza's worst start in a Rays uniform, as he couldn't get out of the second inning, and had allowed seven runs.
  • 2013 - The prize of the James Shields deal, Wil Myers, finally makes his MLB debut during a double header vs Boston (which the Red Sox swept) and goes 0-4 in the first game, but he does collect his first career hit during his first at bat of the second game. He'd go 1-7 on the day, and the Rays would actually lose the second game after Johnny Gomes clubbed a walkoff HR