In a world where only three Rays pitchers are starters, each of those starters must shoulder a heavy load of innings, and in two attempts neither Chris Archer or Blake Snell has been able to answer that call against the big dogs of the AL East.
This was a tough game, and like the Rays, our site is also adjusting to the regular season, so here’s a belated recap:
Blake Snell was fine
Pitching in a chilly Yankee Stadium, Snell’s off-speed stuff worked well, as he was flashing a gutsy change...
and a tasty slider.
But he didn’t keep enough of it in the zone.
Snell made it through ten outs on 90 pitches, with only 54 for strikes, but included five K’s against two longballs. It’s clear the Yankees are boom or bust, they would total double digit K’s in both games, but those home runs simply dominate the story line.
Stanton, Sanchez, and eventually Judge each homered in this game, with enough force to make you glad the Rays are rebuilding. Judge’s came after Snell departed in the fourth inning once Matt Andriese took the reins.
By the end of the game, the Rays were required to dip into the bullpen more than should have been necessary. Chaz Roe pitched the seventh - from the third base side of the mound(!) - and Jose Alvarado, who should only be seeing high leverage innings but was next in line with Alex Colome for action, pitched the eighth.
The Yankees had the same problem in the ninth inning, needlessly bringing in Chapman for some light work against the dregs of the Rays offense, but this will happen in the early go.
Denard Span is very good
The shining star of the first two series for the Rays has been Denard Span, just as everyone predicted.
Apparently fielding Uncle Drew in left field will have no consequences! This dude is convinced he can track down anything, and I love it. Here’s the video:
What. A. Catch! Is there anything Denard Span can't do? The outfielder makes an incredible diving catch in the bottom of the fourth inning against the Yankees. Watch the @RaysBaseball in action live now on FOX Sports Sun or FOX Sports Go! #RaysUp #MLB pic.twitter.com/V0dxlEVqSe— FOX Sports Florida (@FOXSportsFL) April 4, 2018
Oh, and let’s not forget he’s 2-for-2 with the bases loaded. Denard Span has 6 RBI in six games this season. All other Rays have two or fewer.
Also good: bored Yankees fans, and Severino
What's uh... goin on back there? pic.twitter.com/OpFycmJaza— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) April 4, 2018
Severino allowed KK to reach and Cron to double in the first, then in the third allowed Robertson as the lead-off man, but went on to silence the Rays until the eighth inning, keeping the Rays off balance with his three pitch mix (seven K’s, only 9 whiffs). By contrast, Snell got 12 whiffs overall in less than half the outs.
I think both pitching results tell you more about the offenses faced than the pitchers.
Boston’s home opener is next - April 5 at 2:05 PM EST.