The ups and downs of a major league baseball season are truly amazing. On any given day, a fan's favorite team can easily ruin or make their day depending on how that day's game or games went. Last Monday and Tuesday, the Rays managed to win two games in a row for the first time since returning from the all-star break. Those two wins began to restore confidence in a team that had been struggling.
Then Wednesday happened, followed by two very sloppy, disheartening losses against one of the worst teams in baseball. Finally, yesterday the Rays were able to secure a come-from-behind victory, as they scored twice in the eighth and Brad Boxberger gad possibly his most dominant outing of the season, striking out the side in the ninth. A few hours following the game, a surprising announcement was made that the Rays would be promoting resurgent prospect, Richie Shaffer, further inspiring the confidence after the victory yesterday.
Also, here's some trivia. Another Rays top prospect made his major league debut during the month of August while the team was playing in Chicago. That player went 2-3 and belted a home run during the game. The answer will be revelealed in the 'Other Rays Notes', I know everybody is tantalized with excitement.
Tonight, the Rays will head to the Windy City to begin a three game set with the Chicago White Sox. Heading into play tonight, the White Sox are 50-53, good for 4th place in the AL Central, meanwhile the Rays are 52-54, also in 4th place in their respective division. Going to the mound for the Rays will be Nathan Karns and he'll be opposed by Chicago's southpaw, Jose Quintana.
So far this year, Karns is 6-5 with a 3.37 ERA and a 3.74 FIP to go along with a 22.1 K% and a 8.4 BB%. Meanwhile opponents have hit .228 off him this season, with 12 homers over the course of 20 starts and 115 innings pitched. Karns has quietly put together a great season, but other teams clearly noticed as his name was a hot topic heading up to the trade deadline. In seven of his last eight starts, he has allowed two runs or less. His last time out was on July 27th against the Tigers where he pitched into the seventh inning. His shutout bid was spoiled when Yeonis Cespedis demolished a homer off him. In the end he gave up a run, on three hits, struck out three, and didn't walk a batter.
Jose Quintana Scouting Report:
Quintana has been fairly solid this season, with a couple of poor starts skewing his numbers slightly. He's only allowed more than three runs since May 30th (12 starts) averaging about seven innings a start during that time. His last time out was on July 30th against Boston, where he allowed two runs on six hits in a little over six innings pitched. He also struck out three and walked one.
His line this year:
|PITCH||VELOCITY||FREQUENCY||vs LHB||vs RHB|
36% vs LHB
40% vs RHB
|Keeps it middle-away, usually low in the zone||All around the zone|
27% vs LHB
15% vs RHB
|Inner half of the plate, change the hitter's eye level||Exclusively on the outside corner, will use it high or low in the zone|
02% vs LHB
07% vs RHB
|Sporadic||Inside corner, runs low and in most of the time|
02% vs LHB
13% vs RHB
|Sporadic||Bottom of the zone, usually low and away|
33% vs LHB
25% vs RHB
|Sweeps it low and away, usually out of the zone||Sweeps it low and in, usually out of the zone|
- Against lefties, his Fastball and curveball usage has been trending downwards, meanwhile his sinker usage has increased
- Against righties, his fastball usage has been trending downwards all season, while he's been using his sinker more frequently
|TAMPA BAY RAYS||CHICAGO WHITE SOX|
|Brandon Guyer - LF||Adam Eaton - CF|
|Joey Butler - DH||Tyler Saladino - 3B|
|Evan Longoria - 3B||Jose Abreu - DH|
|Logan Forsythe - 2B||Melky Cabrera - LF|
|Asdrubal Cabrera - SS||Alexei Ramirez - SS|
|Richie Shaffer - 1B||Adam LaRoche - 1B|
|Mikie Mahtook - RF||Avisail Garcia - RF|
|Kevin Kiermaier - CF||Carlos Sanchez - 2B|
|Curt Casali - C||Tyler Flowers - C|
|Nate Karns - RHP||Jose Quintana - LHP|
Other Rays Notes:
- Richie Shaffer will become the 17th rookie used by the Rays this season, which sets a new team record. Also, the answer to trivia question earlier was........Delmon Young. You can see his, and several other former/current Rays first career homers, here.
- A possible Rays target, was claimed by Oakland
#Athletics do indeed claim Danny Valencia from Toronto— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) August 3, 2015
- August 3rd in team history, of which they are 8-8 all-time
- 1984 - Matt Joyce is born. After being acquired leading up to the 2009 season for Edwin Jackson, Joyce would spend six seasons with the Rays before being dealt himself to the Angels for Kevin Jepsen, who has now also been traded. Joyce had an all-star campaign with the Rays in 2011, and over the course of eight seasons in the majors, Joyce has slashed .234/.335/.427 with 93 homers over the course of 811 games.
- 2001 - In what has turned out to be second best start in his career against Tampa Bay, Mark Buehrle allows just one batter to reach base in a complete game shutout against the Devil Rays, striking out three. Buehrle retired the first 18 batters he faced before Damian Rolls singled to leadoff the seventh inning.
- 2003 - The late Geremi Gonzalez throws a shortened complete game for the Devil Rays, but receives a loss as Tampa Bay was shutout by Jimmy Gobble and the Royals bullpen.
- 2008 - If there was a game that encapsulated the magic that surrounded the team during the 2008 season, this was it. Trailing 3-1 entering the bottom of the eighth, Eric Hinske leadoff with a homerun to make it a one run game. A strikeout and single later, Melvin Upton Jr followed suit to give the Rays a lead. However, Troy Percival would immediately blow the lead in the ninth, allowing a solo homer to Curtis Granderson. The game went into extras and Percival was still in the game for some reason and gave up a homer to Miguel Cabrera (the only possible outcome in that situation). The Rays entered the bottom of the tenth, trailing 5-4 and Detroit went to Fernando Rodney to try and close out the game. A walk, a hits batman, bunt out, walk, single, strikeout, and a walk later...The Rays were winners via a bases loaded walkoff walk from Carlos Pena.
- 2012 - Matt Moore and an army of relievers combine to shutout the Orioles on eights during a Rays 2-0 victory. Fun fact about this game; Melvin Upton hit his 100th career homer in the sixth inning, about an hour before that, his brother, Justin Upton also hit his 100th career homer.
- 2013 - After an excellent pitching duel between Tim Lincecum and David Price, the Rays would walkoff in the bottom of the tenth after Wil Myers blasted a walkoff single winning the game 2-1.
- 2015 - Richie Shaffer is promoted!