A home-stand that started off so well with a thrilling come from behind victory on Friday quickly turned to mush as the Rays offense were only able to muster three runs combined on Saturday and Sunday. Since the team has returned from the all-star beak (9 games), they're barely averaging over two runs a game. They are 3-6 during that time.
Tonight, the Rays will welcome Anibal Sanchez and the Detroit Tigers into town for a three game set, before an off-day on Thursday. The Rays somewhat catch a break as they won't have to face one of the toughest hitters in the league, Miguel Cabrera, as he is on the DL and is expected back in a few weeks. Both teams enter tonight's game with similar record as the Rays have dropped two straight putting them at 49-51, seven and half games back of the division leading Yankees. Meanwhile the Tigers are 48-50, 11.5 games back of the Central leading Royals.
The Rays will send Nathan Karns to the mound who is actually turning in a solid rookie campaign, he'll be opposed by Anibal Sanchez. Heading into play tonight, Karns is 5-5 with a 3.47 ERA and a 3.70 FIP to go along with a 22.5 K% and a 8.7 BB%, meanwhile batters are hitting .232 off him over the course of 19 games and 109 innings pitched. Karns has lacked offensive support most of the season, fittingly the only run scored in his last start came off his own bat as he hit a solo-HR that turned out to be the lone run of the game. He also went five shutout innings in that game, allowing three hits, two walks, and stuck out four.
Anibal Sanchez Scouting Report:
Heading into play today, Sanchez is 10-7 with a 4.59 ERA and a 4.35 FIP to go along with a 21.1 K% and a 7.5 BB% over the course of 20 starts and 131.1 innings pitched. He started the season with a rough patch, but has since rebounded pitching at least into the seventh inning in nine of his last ten starts. His last out, he went 6.2 innings against the Mariners and allowed four runs on nine hits (two homers), walked two, and struck out six.
Brooks Baseball was down, so unfortunately no pitch arsenal today. My apologies
Mostly a ground ball pitcher throughout his career, his number this year are generally even between grounders and fly balls. Opponents have hit the ball on the ground against him 39.7% of the time this year, meanwhile they've hit flies 38.9%, with the remainder (21.3%) being line drives.
There's not a glaring difference between Sanchez's number at home than on the road, however there is one between facing righties/lefties. Right handed batters have actually hit him much better than lefties THIS SEASON.
|DETROIT TIGERS||TAMPA BAY RAYS|
|Ian Kinsler - 2B||John Jaso - DH|
|Yoenis Cespedes - LF||David DeJesus - LF|
|Victor Martinez - DH||Evan Longoria - 3B|
|J.D. Martinez - RF||James Loney - 1B|
|Nick Castellanos - 3B||Logan Forsythe - 2B|
|Alex Avila - C||Steven Souza - RF|
|Jose Iglesias - SS||Kevin Kiermaier - CF|
|Andrew Romine - 1B||Tim Beckham - SS|
|Anthony Gose - CF||Curt Casali - C|
|Anibal Sanchez - RHP||Nate Karns - RHP|
Other Rays Notes:
- Asdrubal Cabrera may be back by Wednesday, which could mark the end for Jake Elmore or even Joey Butler, but most likely will be Tim Beckham
- Back in May, I mentioned Dewayne Staats was working on a book, it has since been released and here's the link to Amazon if you'd like to purchase it.
- July 27th in team history, of which they are 5-10 all-time (multiple ugly losses)
- 2001 - The Devil Rays deal the player who had been the most consistent offensive player in the team's so far short history (Fred McGriff) to the Chicago Cubs for Manny Aybar and a PTBNL (Jayson Smith)
- 2013 - Chris Archer delivers one of the best games in his career as he shutsout the New York Yankees on only two hits, walking zero, and striking out six in a 1-0 victory.