Tuesday night saw the Rays return home to the Trop after getting thoroughly shellacked by the Seattle Mariners on the West Coast over the weekend. Tampa Bay hoped the off day on Monday would be a chance to rest up and get back on the winning track.
Unfortunately, the South Side Sox had other plans.
Archer Does His Job
Chris Archer is the Rays’ ace, and boy did he pitch like it on Tuesday night.
Archer fanned 11 ChiSox batters over seven innings while scattering five hits and allowing zero(!) walks. All of that swinging and missing and he still only needed 103 pitches to get through seven.
Archer continued to do what has made this season a resurgence for him after last season’s struggles: work long into games and give the team a chance to win. After a stretch recently that saw the bullpen get used extensively, Archer did his best to get them off on the right foot after the off day on Monday, chewing up seven innings and only allowing two runs to score, both on solo home runs.
Now, Archer will be the first to tell you that those two mistakes are his to bear, coming by way of the home run, but when you turn the ball over after only allowing two runs at all, you should be able to reasonably expect your teammates to pick you up.
It’s a recurring theme this season in Tampa Bay.
The starting pitching gets the ball to the relievers who promptly choke the game away, either squandering a lead or killing any chance at a rally.
Tommy Hunter took over the hill for Archer Tuesday and in a single inning gave up two walks and a base hit, as well as a third Chicago run.
Ryan Garton pitched the top of the ninth inning for the Rays and didn’t fare any better, yielding two hits and another run via a solo homer to Todd Frazier.
Is this the biggest bullpen blow up so far this season? No.
Is this a highly concerning sign for the remainder of the season and a worrisome trend? Absolutely.
When Jesus Sucre drives in a run in the bottom of the eighth to make it a one-run game, you absolutely need your ninth inning man to throw up a zero and give your lineup the chance it needs in the bottom half. Unfortunately this season, that part of the bullpen’s identity has been stolen.
This ‘pen needs to find itself, and soon.
- Corey Dickerson continues to rake. Is it safe to say the Rays won that trade yet?
- It hurts to see the Rays leave 11 men on base facing Jose Quintana with an ERA over 5.00 and averages nearly a 1.5 WHIP.
- Tonight’s performance by Archer is another perfect example as to why the pitcher’s W/L records are an irrelevant stat.
- Pretty cool to have two strike ‘em out/throw ‘em out double plays by Sucre and Beckham tonight.
Of course Scooter Gennett hits four home runs the one night I don’t pick him in Fan Duel…