Monday, June 25, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Archer at his best in Rays' win over Padres

ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Chris Archer wanted to talk about the early lead he was handed and the defense behind him. But his work on the mound was a big part of Wednesday's 2-0 win over the Padres.

Archer worked impressively into the eighth, allowing only four singles and a walk while striking out nine to push his AL-leading total to 186.

"Really like the way Arch pitched, he was outstanding," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Arch, he was on (Wednesday). A lot of swing-and-misses, the slider was good. He should feel pretty good about that outing. …

"He got to 3-2 counts on a couple guys and made some big pitches. … It's a lineup that comes in that has really only seen him on video, and there's not a ton of history there. So anytime that happens, it's generally advantage Arch."

Though still leading the majors with 16 losses, Archer, like rotation mates Jake Odorizzi and Drew Smyly, has been markedly better of late, going 3-4 with a 3.06 ERA in seven starts since the All-Star break. His overall ERA is down to 4.18, best since after his opening day start.

"I felt good (Wednesday), but it was also nice to have the guys making great plays," Archer said.

POWER BALL: INF Brad Miller continued his power show, hitting his 25th homer overall, eighth of August and 19th since June 17, matching Minnesota's Brian Dozier for most in the majors over that stretch.

"I think for the most part I'm picking the right pitches to swing at," Miller said, "and when you do, you can't miss them because you might only get one per at-bat."

MR. RAY: 3B Evan Longoria played in his 1,236th game, surpassing Carl Crawford as the all-time franchise leader. Longoria already was the Rays leader in home runs (232), RBIs (780), doubles (292), extra-base hits (540), total bases (2,292), slugging percentage (.492) and service time (8 years, 135 days).

NO THRILL: Former Rays OF Wil Myers' return to the Trop as a Padres All-Star did not go too well, as he was 1-for-12 in the series with eight strikeouts, including his final seven plate appearances. "I have been absolutely awful," Myers said. "I've been not just bad, but terrible these last two weeks, so it's something I've got to turn around."

WHITLEY A BISCUIT: RHP Chase Whitley (Tommy John surgery) completed a successful six-start rehab stint — 1-0, 0.86, nine hits, 24 Ks in 21 innings — but today is being activated off the DL and optioned to Double A.

Cash said the move was made to allow Whitley — who is from Alabama, thus Montgomery rather than Triple-A Durham — to log innings, with the potential for a September return. (And by calling him up in less than the 20 days they void, thus save, the option on his contract.)

"We just didn't have the innings right now," Cash said. "Could not have been more impressed how he threw the ball in his rehab. You just don't see many guys come back from surgery and go out and have the type of results he had. We've got to get his innings built up going into next year. He's part of the big picture and part of our plans moving forward, without a doubt."

REHAB REPORT: Cash said the reports on RHP Alex Cobb (Tommy John surgery) were "really good" from his Tuesday start, and he will return to the Trop to throw a bullpen then "most likely" make one more rehab appearance. … LHP Enny Romero (back strain) makes his first rehab appearance tonight for advanced Class A Charlotte. … OF/DH Oswaldo Arcia (right elbow strain) went 1-for-2 with a walk in his eighth game for the Stone Crabs.

MISCELLANY: RHP Alex Colome got the final four outs for his 28th save, first since Aug. 6. … The announced crowd of 10,251 was second smallest of the season. … The Rays finished interleague play 10-10, their first nonlosing season since 2010.

Comments
Rays season turning into good one

Rays season turning into good one

ST. PETERSBURG — The Tampa Bay Rays are not the best team in baseball. They are not going to win the World Series this year. Heck, they probably won't even make the playoffs.But I tell you what. This team is a heck of a lot of fun to watch.And ...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Rodney Page’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Yankees game

Rodney Page’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Yankees game

The catwalks at Tropicana Field are arguably the worst feature, but they  came in handy for the Rays on Sunday. Yankees pinch-hitter Clint Frazier hit what looked to be a ninth-inning home run that would've given them a one-run lead. Instea...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Rays beat Yankees in 12 innings on Jake Bauers homer

Rays beat Yankees in 12 innings on Jake Bauers homer

ST. PETERSBURG — Rays first baseman Jake Bauers sat at his locker after Sunday afternoon's 7-6, 12-inning win over the Yankees and thumbed through his text messages. There was no way he could get through them all. That's what happens when ...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Rays journal: Yarbrough comes through, Venters to DL, support for Ramos

Rays journal: Yarbrough comes through, Venters to DL, support for Ramos

ST. PETERSBURG — Ryan Yarbrough was only supposed to throw on Sunday if it was an emergency. In the 12th inning with the score tied 6-6 and a runner on first, there was an emergency.Jonny Venters tweaked his right hamstring trying to cover firs...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Rays team up to beat Yankees again 4-0

Rays team up to beat Yankees again 4-0

ST. PETERSBURG — With all that's been said, tweeted, ranted and written on these pages and elsewhere about the Rays' odd, unorthodox, weird and some days downright wacky pitching plan, this might be the craziest thing yet:It's working.Like, rea...
Published: 06/23/18
Rays Tales: Why ‘trades’ and ‘prospects’ are always in same conversation

Rays Tales: Why ‘trades’ and ‘prospects’ are always in same conversation

Besides the continual evolution of their intriguing pitching plan, the primary topics of conversation for the Rays over the next several weeks will be trades and prospects. And not mutually exclusively.Some sooner than others, the Rays are going to c...
Published: 06/23/18
Rays journal: New confidence carries over for Willy Adames

Rays journal: New confidence carries over for Willy Adames

ST. PETERSBURG — The key to SS Willy Adames rapping two of the biggest hits in the Rays' 4-0 win Saturday actually took place the night before.An RBI single that snapped an 0-for-12 and a second hit two winnings later in Friday's game restored ...
Published: 06/23/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Yankees game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Yankees game

INF Daniel Robertson has only played two games after a short DL stint, but it seems like he has already made a half dozen great plays. Willy Adames and Jake Bauers get the attention, but Robertson has the skills to steal the show any night.It is obvi...
Published: 06/23/18
For starters: Rays vs. Yankees, looking for two straight

For starters: Rays vs. Yankees, looking for two straight

UPDATE, 2:38: Clarifying what was a communication error with the team PR staff, Rays manager Kevin Cash said LHP Blake Snell was slated for an extra day's rest all along and will face the Nationals on Monday not the Yankees on Sunday. The Rays will u...
Published: 06/23/18
Rodney Page’s takeaways from Rays-Yankees

Rodney Page’s takeaways from Rays-Yankees

1. SS Willy Adames had a nice night, and there appear to be many more in his future. He had two hits, an RBI and an inning-ending leaping catch on a line drive by Didi Gregorius in the fifth.2. DH C.J. Cron needs to shake things up. Take a different ...
Published: 06/22/18