Rays' Matt Moore wants the chance to pitch more
Matt Moore acknowledges that he hasn't pitched as consistently well as he had hoped.
But he also makes it clear he hasn't been given the opportunity to pitch as much as he would like.
Thursday, Moore was lifted after allowing four runs and eight hits, and giving up two leads, in five innings while throwing 96 pitches.
He said afterward, as he has following several other starts, that he had more in him and thus wasn't pleased about being removed from the game by manager Kevin Cash.
"I'm not going to sit there and question what he's doing, but at the same time I definitely felt like I had more to give," Moore said. "That's his job is to manage the game, manage this team. At the same time I still felt like I had work to go."
Plus, Moore said, the other core starters — Chris Archer, Jake Odorizzi and Drew Smyly — feel the same.
"I'm not questioning the moves they're making, I'm just saying we do have more in the tank," Moore said. "That if he does allow us to go out there for the sixth or the seventh or whatever inning it is, that we are going to be okay, that we are going to be able to compete in those moments.
"And to us starters it doesn't matter how many times the lineups turn over. It doesn't matter who we're playing. The mentality within our group is we're going to go out there until he takes the ball from us."
Moore said he thinks the Rays keep their starters on a shorter leash than other teams.
"If you probably look at the average number of pitches that our starters are getting versus the league average — I don't know what it is because I'm not a big numbers guy and I don't go on the Internet looking for stuff like that — but I know routinely I'm watching guys pitch in the sixth inning with 100 pitches and the seventh with 110," Moore said.
"None of us are rookies or haven't been in that moment, and in that situation. We can handle that. We train for those moments. But then again, on the other hand, there is that part where I gave up four runs no matter which way you look at it. … It's the style of baseball we play."
Actually, the numbers show the Rays give their starters plenty of leeway. Through Wednesday's games, Tampa Bay starters averaged 97.5 pitches per game, fifth most in the American League and seventh in MLB.
Having worked more than five innings only once in his last six starts. Moore - in his first full season following Tommy John surgery — said knowing he is likely to be pulled early can impact how he pitches.
"It's not something that you want to be thinking about, but you are a little bit more in touch with your pitch count than you want to be," Moore said. "It's baseball. This is not Little League with pitch counts or high school where they are trying to keep you healthy and things like that. This is the major leagues — it's time to go. This is something that we prepare for."
After going 1-0 with a 2.95 ERA through his first three starts, Moore is 1-3, 6.50 over his last eight.