For starters: Drew Smyly looks to end one streak and continue another, lineups vs Yankees
Monday’s 4 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline inches closer and the Rays are very much included in the rumors surrounding any team needing a pitcher.
Manager Kevin Cash talked this afternoon about how well some of those players are handling the possible distraction. In fact, some of them – Chris Archer, Matt Moore and Jake Odorizzi – are pitching better than they have all season.
Has to be a coincidence, right?
The Rays take a streak of nine-straight quality starts into tonight’s game against the visiting Yankees. That’s the longest such streak for the team since the 2014 rotation did it over 10 consecutive games.
Drew Smyly has a chance to match that tonight. While Smyly hasn’t won in 11 starts, he did pitch well enough to win during his last outing when he allowed a run in six innings at Oakland. He was denied his first victory since May 16 when Alex Colome blew his first save of the season.
Smyly is 0-7 over his last 11 starts. He’s the first Rays pitcher with a seven-game losing streak in the same season since James Shields in 2010. Shields did it in seven starts.
Tim Beckham, he of the five-game hitting streak, is in the lineup tonight at shortstop. Brad Miller will serve as the DH, and Corey Dickerson will play left field.
Beckham is hitting .526 with a double, triple, home run and four RBI during his streak.
Alex Cobb (Tommy John surgery) returned to the team today after throwing two innings Friday night for Class A Charlotte. That was the first time in his three rehab starts that he pitched more than an inning. Cobb said the break in his rehab allowed him to work on his mechanics. They are not where he would like them to be yet, but they are much better than they were during his first two outings.
Here are tonight’s lineups:
Eovaldi RHP (9-6, 4.80)
Smyly LHP (2-11, 5.42)