This game was a struggle. A slog. It certainly it seemed like a long, hard days work for Chris Archer. Even before that inning we would all like to forget (we’ll get to that), Archer seemed to be struggling to just get strikes and command his pitches (often important elements to pitching well). He induced some weak contact early, but never seemed to really settle in and get into a groove.
He also left a fastball in the middle to Chris Davis which had predictable results. However, aside from that HR by Davis, Archer was able to work through the first 4 innings relatively unscathed.
And then he got really, really scathed.
Let's all forget about this inning, shall we?
Let's walk through the bottom of the 5th together. It starts off with Chris Archer hanging a slider to Jonathan Schoop who takes it over the wall to centerfield extending the Baltimore lead to 3-1.
Not so great, but Chris Archer would shake off and get two quick outs: 3 pitch strikeout to Flaherty and a one pitch groundout from Joey Rickard.
Then Archer left a fastball for Nolan Reimold to deposit for HR number 2 in the inning. And then it got worse.
Chris Archer would throw a slider that didn't slide to Manny Machado, and just like that it was HR #3 of the inning and a 5-1 lead for Baltimore.
A walk to Chris Davis, a single by Trumbo, and a Matt Wieters liner right back into Archer would cap the scoring for the Orioles, and a visual representation of how beat around Archie was on this night.
The Rays offense started so promising. After Logan Morrison eliminated a Logan Forsythe leadoff single (curse you LoMo!), Evan Longoria crushed a HR deep into the left field stands to give the Rays a 1-0 lead.
After that Corey Dickerson golfed a pitch off the dirt and off the right field wall. Since the Orioles put Mark Trumbo in RF, Trumbo immediately misplayed the ball, allowing Dickerson to scamper to 2nd for his first double of the year.
And that was it for the Rays offense. The rest of the game, the Rays would not mount any real threat to score. The rest of the game the Rays would manage to get a man on 2nd just twice more.
But I don’t want to dwell on the negatives. The good? Logan Morrison got a hit! Against a lefty! Going the opposite way! Because forget logic!
- That strikezone was a mess. This is not an excuse for Archer's poor night. Or a complaint that the Rays got hosed, either. This strikezone was just confusing for both teams. Check out this zone plot against right-handed hitters:
- I am really liking the Logan Forsythe: leadoff man experiment. Pitches seen by Frosty by at-bat: 3, 7, 6, 3. Got on base twice (1B and a BB) against a righty pitcher, and put up some of the Rays only competitive at-bats on the night.
- Enny Romero got two 1-2-3 innings, and showed off what pitch f/x called a cutter. His stuff was a bit wild, but effectively so and got batters off balance.
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