Even when they get unusually good starting pitching, the day ends in the usual disappointment for the Tampa Bay Rays.
Despite getting one of Chris Archer’s finest starts – 5 2/3 of three-hit, shutout baseball – the Rays’ bullpen faltered again in a 5-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers. It concluded the first half of the season at 33-48. The Rays have won only two of their last 18 games.
Tampa Bay has given up at least five runs in all but two of those 18 games.
“I can’t help but feel really good about what Chris Archer did today,” said manager Kevin Cash. “He looked like he kicked it in gear and kind of showed up the Archer we know he’s very capable of being. That was an outstanding effort, an outstanding performance for him to even come remotely close to getting his pitch count back in order the way he did after the first, I believe he had 50 pitches the first two innings. You don’t foresee guys going that deep like he did. Just an outstanding effort by Arch
“We can’t help but to be excited about his individual outing. The loss is frustrating, as they all are, but the outing that Chris provided— and a lot of our starters recently have done a nice job—we’re just coming up short maybe at the end of ball games.”
The Rays led 1-0 going into the eighth inning, but the Tigers scored three times in the eighth and two more in the ninth. In the eighth, a groundout by Victor Martinez scored the tying run. Justin Upton’s double then gave the Tigers the lead.
A two-run homer by Ian Kinsler was the big blow.
“I really didn’t change anything,” Archer said. “It’s just 18 pitches in, I was a lot better than the first 18 pitches. It’s frustrating, but it’s definitely not something I dwell on. It does alter the course of the game and makes the bullpen come in earlier than need be, but I don’t beat myself up over it. It’s just, for some reason, the first 10 of 15 pitches just haven’t been ideal for me. But a day like today, it’s not something I beat myself up over because you have to move forward, and you have to give the team your best after all that stuff happens and I think I did a decent job of that today.”
Tampa Bay managed only six hits for the day.
Matt Moore starts for the Rays today against the Los Angeles Angels.