It was the return of the complete game jump-n-bump!

The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.

RAYS 1, Astros (boxscore)

THE GOOD: It starts and ends with Chris Archer, literally. Chris Archer tossed a 1-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts and 1 walk and he needed just 98 pitches to finish the game. It was his third career shutout and first career 1-hitter. It was also not only the best start of his season, it was also the best start of his career, and arguably the most dominating pitching performance in Rays’ history. Archer’s start earned a Game Score (GSc) of 95, a stat that measures the overall performance of a pitcher. It rewards pitchers for more innings and strikeouts and penalizes them for more baserunners and runs. Archer’s 95 broke the previous franchise record of 94 set by James Shields in 2012. In that game, Shields gave up a run to the Orioles, but allowed just 2 hits and no walks and struck out 15. Matt Garza’s no-hitter in 2010 had a Game Score of 92 as he had just 6 strikeouts. David Price never had a start with a Game Score higher than 87. Here are all of the starts in franchise history with a Game Score of 90 or higher via Baseball-Reference. Archer now sits at the top.


THE BAD: The shift is here to stay and is generally a positive thing. But if there is a negative it is that despite using the shift more than most, the Rays don’t use it as effectively as many teams. And when you go back and look at the only hit Chris Archer allowed in his 1-hitter, you realize just how close he came to his first career no-hitter. If the Rays weren’t shifted on this play, it is not a basehit.

THE TELLING: The Rays are now 60-61, 7.5 games back in the AL East and 3.0 games back in the Wild Card.


  • Marc Topkin wrote about Jake McGee’s surgery and what it means for the bullpen. []
  • DOWN ON THE FARM [boxscores] Durham took down Toledo 9-1 with Bradin Hagens allowing just 1 run in 5 innings. He struck out 6 and walked 3. JP Arencibia hit his 21st home run of the season and drove in 4. Richie Shaffer was 2-4. Mikie Mahtook went 4-5 with a double and his 10th stolen base…Montgomery was all over Tennessee 17-4 with Taylor Guerrieri giving up 1 run in 5 innings. Dayron Varona was 2-5 with his 7th double-A home run…Charlotte lost 3-1 to Jupiter despite Brent Honeywell giving up just 1 run in 6 innings on 4 hits and a walk…Bowling Green beat Fort Wayne 7-4 with RF Gabe Gotta hitting a 3-run home run in the 8th inning, his second home run of the night.




  1. Charles says:

    Ah, Ryan Rupe, Mr. Jekyll & Hyde. Some days you could watch him and he would look like he could beat the world. Some days he'd go out and you'd think "Wow, batting practice sure is running long today". It was maddening, because he was still reasonably young when he came up and it looked like he could be a solid rotation guy for a good long while if he could find any kind of consistency. The fact that he still has one of the top 3 Rays game scores and yet was out of the majors before he hit 30 is the perfect snapshot of his career.

  2. Gus says:

    Don't forget Joe Kennedy, our first minor league super-prospect to make the bigs. He was an exciting lefty, whose career and life came to an end way too early.

    Congrats to Chris Archer. He was awesome and when your bullpen is a mess and your offense can't score much, that was what great players do -- they command the game. The season may have been lost in Texas this week, but good to see Archer is still bringing it.

    • Michael says:

      I'm just glad Archer didn't give Cash and Boxburger a chance to blow that game too, although I'm sure Cash was very tempted.

      • Starmand says:

        Yes, congrats to Cash too.

        I'm certain it took a lot of self-control not to pull Archer in the 6th inning. It must have been hellish to sit there and watch him start the 7th.

  3. Steve says:

    It's awesome seeing Rupe and Kennedy on this list!

  4. Geoff Peterson says:

    Why was Niemann never given a chance to resume his career after rehab? Was there a career ending injury never disclosed? I find it hard to believe no team would at least invite him to spring training.

    • Gus says:

      Neiman never officially retired, but this spring he still hadn't recovered from his shoulder injury. I suspect he's fishing and hoping he can throw again one day.

      It is not on this list, but given the opponent (Boston as defending MLB champions), the time in the season (end of April), the importance to the Rays (beginning of the 2008 miracle run), the 2-hitter by Shields to sweep the Red Sox in 2008 was to me the greatest regular season performance.

  5. Ken says:

    Archer's performance, and Smyly's last night, left me with an optimistic attitude for next year and beyond. Our pitching looks solid and controllable. Karns, Erasmo, Moore, Cobb and Colome should help next year. We have a couple kids at AAA who could move up as well. A vet relief arm would help.
    Offensively we're closer than we have been in a while. I fully expect Dez, Loney, and Rivera to be somewhere else next year. All are tradable commodities. Off season we need to pick up a LH hitting catcher to partner with Casali, a young LH 1B dude and a LH outfielder to platoon with Guyer Schafer and Souza. Jaso OK as a lead off type DH.
    Signing Asdubal for a year + would allow Robertson some needed AAA time.
    Don't think we have the horses to snag a WC berth this year.Too many injuries, too many "O" slumps. But we'll be back, sooner than later.
    Go Rays.

  6. Gus says:

    Not giving up hope on 2015 yet.

    What about Matt Moore reprising the role of Price in 2008 and leaving AAA to close out a few games down the stretch? He's not better than the 5 starters right now, but he's probably better than Boxy right now.

  7. Ken says:

    Is there a War measurement for MLB managers? If so Cash must be a -10 or more.


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