For the Tampa Bay Rays, the formula works.
Even when there are days the performance seems to argue against it.
For Rays’ manager Kevin Cash, the formula is simple. Try to get six innings out of your starter, then turn things over to your bullpen, provided it has had enough rest. Take Saturday afternoon’s game, for instance.
Matt Andriese could not have pitched much better than he did against the Red Sox. He retired 18 of 19 batters. He threw six innings of one-hit, shutout baseball. He threw only 70 pitches. In other words, his performance could not have argued louder to go into the seventh inning.
Ah, but Cash loves the formula. So he sent Jake McGee out in the seventh, and Kevin Jepson out in the eighth, and Brad Boxberger – who got his 20th save – out in the ninth. And it worked, as the Rays won 4-1 over the Boston Red Sox.
Another pitcher – Chris Archer, perhaps – has earned more innings. But not Andriese. Not yet.
This was a step toward it, however.
Tampa Bay got a two-run homer from Jake Elmore and one-run shots from Rene Rivera and Evan Longoria in the win.
Archer goes for his 10th win of the season today, facing Boston’s Justin Masterson.