Orioles 3, RAYS 2 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Chris Archer. In many ways he created his own messes. But the game should have never lasted that long. And in some ways, Archer’s appearance was a very gutsy battle. Starting pitchers are used to routines. And while Archer doesn’t yet have one with the Rays, he wasn’t expecting to pitch yesterday. And he certainly wasn’t expecting to pitch 3.2 innings and throw 79 pitches. We also saw why Archer is still a work in progress. Of his 79 pitches, only 44 were strikes and 35 were balls. And yet, his stuff is so good that he was able to battle around his control problems. He led the IL in strikeouts this season. But he was also in the top ten in walks. If he can ever learn how to consistently throw strikes, he will be great…Tough Schedule. Everybody keeps mentioning how hard the Rays schedule is. So why is it in the good? Because wins against the Royals or the Mariners or Blue Jays right now are only knock 1 off the Rays’ magic number. But every win against the Yankees this weekend knocks 2 off the magic number. So while a weak schedule is good for teams on top of the standings. It is better to have a tough schedule when trying to play catch-up. And that is one reason the Rays still have a 26.9% chance of making the playoffs despite being 4 games back. For comparison, the Phillies are 4 games back in the NL Wild Card, but they have just a 2.7% chance of making the playoffs.
THE BAD: Offense. Yes, yes, this is a broken record. But that doesn’t make this any less painful. The Rays went 1-2-3 in 8 of the 14 innings, including 4 times in extra innings. In fact, the last 18 Rays batters went 2-18 with 8 strikeouts and no walks…The Fat Lady Is Warming Up. The Rays aren’t dead yet. But they are now 4 games behind the Yankees and O’s in both the division and the Wild Card with just 19 games remaining. Even if one of those teams goes 9-10, the Rays have to go 13-6 just to tie.
THE TELLING: The Low-A Hudson Valley Renegades won the NY-Penn League Championship last night with an 8-3 win over Tri-City (see below)… X-Rays were negative on Ryan Roberts leg after fouling a ball off his shin and having to leave the game.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Chris Archer talks about how he battled through a tough situation in extra innings. [TampaBay.com]
- The Rays are offering a “#162Strong” ticket package for the remaining games. Get ’em while they’re hot! [TampaBay.com]
- “[The Bucs] do not throw the ball well.” [JoeBucsFan]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
DURHAM. season completed
MONTGOMERY. season completed
CHARLOTTE. season completed
BOWLING GREEN. season completed
HUDSON VALLEY 8, Tri-City 3. (Hudson Valley wins series 2-1) The Renegades scored 4 in the first inning with 3 singles, 2 walk and an error, and never looked back.
PRINCETON. season completed