It seems like that debate over the 5th starter for the Rays might have gotten a bit more interesting. After the more than slightly depressing news about Logan Forysthe heading to the DL, this was just the start to brighten the mood of Rays fans.
Matt Andriese put on a dazzling display, and the offense (after a rough start) came through with some great at-bats and important hits to give more than enough run support behind the fantastic start.
A whole bunch of whoops early on offense
The Rays first golden offensive chance came in the bottom of the 2nd. After Corey Dickerson laced a triple off the RF wall, Souza and LoMo would both work nice walks to load the bases. Steve Pearce would smoke a hard liner right at 3rd for an unlucky first out. Kiermaier would be up next with a slap bloop to LF. Steven Souza would get lost in the woods on the weak contact from KK, and was almost to 3rd by the time the ball settled into Khris Davis’ glove. Davis was able to double him up easily at 2nd ending the inning.
The cliffnotes for that half inning: Bad luck from Pearce, bad hitting from KK, and bad baserunning from Souza. Frustrating is an understatement.
But then the offense got good
Brandon Guyer decided to start punishing baseballs for all the pain they have caused him, and hit a double to start the 3rd inning. Brad Miller brought him home in style, smacking a 2-run HR over the RF wall to give the Rays an early lead.
In the bottom of the 6th, the Rays loaded the bases again. This time it was a Longo single, Souza double just past the diving Valencia at 3rd, and an intentional walk to Logan Morrison (yes, after two balls out of the zone they called for the IBB). Steve Pearce would deliver something rarely seen around the Trop: a sac fly. The Rays scored a run with the bases loaded and less than 2-outs. It actually can happen!
But the Rays weren’t done yet! Kevin Kiermaier hit a sharp grounder up the middle driving home Souza. 4-0 Rays.
After a 2-out, 2 RBI single by Guyer in the 8th, the Rays pushed their lead to 6-0. Of course, that was 5 runs more than Andriese would need on this night.
Andriese nearly flawless
With Logan Forysthe’s DL trip making the GDT headline, it was another member of the trade that brought Frosty to Tampa that would step up and take the spotlight.
Matt Andriese put together an absolutely stellar performance. He threw a ton of strikes (78 strikes to 28 balls) and induced weak contact (7 grounders, 10 flyouts). If you can do both of those things, you are going to win a lot of games, and Andriese used that combo to absolutely dominate the A’s.
Andriese completed the 2 hit, complete game shutout, with his 5th strikeout of the game. Andriese's game score of 88 was the Rays 2nd highest of the season (#1 is Drew Smyly's 89 game score on April 19th against the Red Sox).
- Andriese isn’t considered one of the "4 horseman" of Rays pitching prospects, and hasn’t been all that hyped, yet he has consistently put together quality innings while a member of the Rays.
With 6 starts in Durham this year, Andriese has 11.53 K/9 to a 1.83 BB/9 and a 2.07 FIP. He certainly seems like a guy ready for a more permanent role on the Rays (whether that is in the rotation or the pen), and should very much be in the 5th starter conversation going forward.
- Despite a nasty hit by pitch the other night, Guyer showed no signs of trouble with his bat, coming through a double and a 2-out, 2-run base hit in the 8th.
- Longoria showed some KK level hustle on a base hit legged into a 2B in the 7th. Earlier in the game, Longo took an aggressive turn on a single as well. Overly aggressive after a hit Longo is much more fun to watch than overly aggressive at-bat Longo.
- Steve Pearce got the start at 2B today, and showcased some very nice glove work. His best play of the night came of a low linedrive, where Pearce laid out to make the catch and the quick throw to first for the inning ending doubleplay.
- After the game, we had some interesting news:
#Rays DFA'd Farquhar after the game for purpose of optioning him to Durham on Monday. He'll still be on 40-man— Roger Mooney (@RogerMooney50) May 15, 2016
Corresponding move to come for #Rays. Could be Motter who was not in Durham lineup tonight.— Roger Mooney (@RogerMooney50) May 15, 2016
Taylor Motter is going to The Show! Our reigning MVP gets his first call up to @RaysBaseball #HairFlow pic.twitter.com/LqG6j4E1g1— Durham Bulls (@DurhamBulls) May 15, 2016
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