For starters, Rays at A's, with a historical note
The Rays keep talking about still being in the playoff race, but they need so start showing it as they have failed to take advantage of the supposed soft stretch of their schedule, 1-3 thus far against the Royals and A's.
And as a result, they begin today 7 1/2 games behind the wild-card leading Yankees and 9 1/2 from first-place Boston.
LHP David Price will be on the mound tonight, and when he throws his first pitch the Rays will tie the mark set by the 1913-17 Washington Senators with their 704th consecutive game started by a pitch under 30. The stretch dates to May 24, 2007 when RHP Jae Seo started - on his 30th birthday.
The Rays have used only 14 starters in that stretch, lowest in MLB over that span.
Here are a few other notes on it from the Rays:
Tonight is the 704th straight game in which the Rays have started a pitcher under the age of 30, tying the major league record set by the 1913-17 Washington Senators, led by Hall of Famer Walter Johnson. The Rays are on track to pass this record Wednesday.
The last start by a Rays pitcher 30 or older was RH Jae Seo, who started on his 30th birthday on May 24, 2007 vs. SEA.
Prior to that, the Rays hadn’t started a pitcher 30 or over since 32-year-old LH Mark Hendrickson on June 25, 2006 vs. ATL.
This means the Rays have not started a pitcher beyond his 30th birthday in 835 consecutive games (836 including today)—more than 5 years ago.
In the 703 games (since May 25, 2007) the Rays have used only 14 starters, fewest in MLB.
All 14 were either drafted and developed by the Rays (8) or acquired by trade (6).
Rays are 377-326 (.536) during this time, 5th best in MLB.
All 7 starters used by the Rays this season (Price, Shields, Hellickson, Davis, Niemann, Sonnanstine, Cobb) were drafted and developed by the Rays.
Of the six pitchers listed below who are no longer in the organization, the Rays traded five, netting five players on the active roster: OF Matt Joyce, INF Sean Rodriguez, OF Sam Fuld, C Robinson Chirinos and C Kelly Shoppach.
Starting Pitchers Used During Streak of 703 Games
Pitcher Starts How Acquired
James Shields 142 2000 June Draft (Rd. 10)
+Matt Garza 94 Trade with MIN, 11/28/07
Andy Sonnanstine 80 2004 June Draft (Rd. 13)
David Price 76 2007 June Draft (Rd. 1)
Jeff Niemann 73 2004 June Draft (Rd. 1)
+Scott Kazmir 71 Trade with NYM, 7/30/04
+Edwin Jackson 54 Trade with LAD, 1/14/06
Wade Davis 53 2004 June Draft (Rd. 3)
Jeremy Hellickson 22 2005 June Draft (Rd. 4)
+Jason Hammel 19 2002 June Draft (Rd. 10)
J.P. Howell 10 Trade with KC, 6/20/06
Alex Cobb 7 2006 June Draft (Rd. 4)
Casey Fossum 1 Trade with ARI, 2/6/05
+Mitch Talbot 1 Trade with HOU, 7/20/06
+ Traded away from Rays