Monday, April 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays' David Price not focused on 20 wins, wouldn't mind it, either

CHICAGO — LHP David Price admits he will take the mound today with a specific milestone in mind: getting the Rays' 88th win.

And if in doing so he gets his 20th, well, that would be even better.

"It's pretty special," Price said. "I would love to get to that mark, and not a whole lot of guys get to get there. It would be good for me, it would be good for the organization. I know this team wants me to get there."

Though new sabermetric stats provide alternative ways to measure a pitcher's performance, both Price and manager Joe Maddon said the 20-win mark remains significant. Price (19-5, 2.56) would be the first Ray to do so and, at age 27, the youngest in the AL since 2004, when 24-year-old Johan Santana did.

"There's other ways of looking at it regarding awards, but when it comes right down to it, to win 20 games as a starting pitcher has always been the benchmark for success," Maddon said. "You feel like you've accomplished a lot. … Organizationally and for him personally it would be kind of a neat thing to happen."

Doing so in his 31st and final regular-season start also would further Price's candidacy for the American League Cy Young Award. He leads the majors in ERA and would match Los Angeles' Jered Weaver for the AL lead in wins.

"Obviously that's an award I would love to have," Price said. "But it's not up to me. I can only go out there and pitch as good as I can (today) and leave the rest up to whoever else."

His teammates helped him a bit Saturday, knocking out Sox Cy Young candidate Chris Sale (17-8, 3.05) after a season-low 31/3 innings and handing him his first home loss since May 12.

TOUGH LESSON: Rookie RHP Chris Archer came out of the bullpen and worked quickly through the seventh and had two outs in the eighth when got into all kinds of trouble, loading the bases on a walk, single and another walk then giving up a pinch-hit grand slam to Orlando Hudson.

"That's the kind of inning I don't want him to have," Maddon said. "He's cruising along, two outs, nobody on, he's got great stuff. I want him to be able to learn a lesson from (Saturday). This guy's going to be so good. That's a growth moment in a negative way and it's going to be a positive in the future."

MO' BETTER: C Jose Molina's strained right quad improved enough that he was available for late-inning duty, and Maddon said it was "possible" he'll start today.

MORE MOORE: LHP Matt Moore broke LHP Scott Kazmir's 2005 Rays rookie record of 174 strikeouts. … Moore said he "absolutely" was surprised to be pulled in the sixth after 77 pitches: "By no means did I think I was ready to be taken out of the game, I still had a lot more to go."

MISCELLANY: LF Desmond Jennings' leadoff single was his first hit of the road trip; he and B.J. Upton were a combined 1-for-31 in the first four games. … OF Matt Joyce had his second career multihomer game, first this season. … INF Sean Rodriguez made his first career start at DH. … INF Jeff Keppinger improved his average against lefties to .381. … The Tampa Bay BBWAA chapter will announce its team MVP, outstanding rookie and Paul C. Smith champion award winners Tuesday at the Clutch Hitters banquet.

Comments
Alex Cobb and Logan Morrison have ex-Ray vision. Hereís what they see.

Alex Cobb and Logan Morrison have ex-Ray vision. Hereís what they see.

ST. PETERSBURG — Absolutely, Alex Cobb was saying over the phone, it's going to be weird pitching Tuesday against the Rays.The organization that he owes so much for rearing him since high school, standing by him through assorted injuries, enabl...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays win on Carlos Gomezís walkoff home run

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays win on Carlos Gomezís walkoff home run

Carlos Gomez, who had been struggling, delivers a two-run, walkoff home run as the Rays sweep the Twins for the first time at Tropicana Field. Rick Stroud discusses the moment and the celebration that followed Gomez's first career walkoff hit in toda...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Rays are suddenly swinging hot bats, but will it last?

Rays are suddenly swinging hot bats, but will it last?

ST. PETERSBURG — Good pitching and hitting go hand in glove, but the Rays did not look like a team that could swing the bats very well until this completed homestand.In their series sweep over the Twins, Tampa Bay scored 8, 10 and 8 runs. ...
Published: 04/22/18
Rick Stroudís takeaways from Rays-Twins

Rick Stroudís takeaways from Rays-Twins

–Yonny Chirinos may be the Rays fourth starter, but it seems to be in name only. He was lifted after pitching 4 2/3 innings against the Twin on Sunday, the shortest start of his career and his second-shortest appearance.  "Going into the g...
Published: 04/22/18
Raysí Carlos Gomez hits two-run walkoff homer to beat Twins for series sweep

Raysí Carlos Gomez hits two-run walkoff homer to beat Twins for series sweep

ST. PETERSBURG — With every swing, there is a chance Carlos Gomez is going to do something extraordinary with the baseball bat.He may swing so violently that he spins himself into the ground as if he were an oil drill. Or, you could see him sna...
Published: 04/22/18
For starters: Rays vs. Twins, going for the first series sweep of the season, 1:10 p.m.

For starters: Rays vs. Twins, going for the first series sweep of the season, 1:10 p.m.

Rays pitcher Yonny Chirinos is no longer just part of a bullpen day, he's the No. 4 starter and who goes to the mound at 1:10 p.m. against Phil Hughes to try to help Tampa Bay attempt to complete a three-game sweep of the Twins.Catcher Wilson Ramos g...
Published: 04/22/18
Rays thoughts are with ex-teammate Danny Farquhar

Rays thoughts are with ex-teammate Danny Farquhar

Members of the Rays organization sent their thoughts and prayers to former teammate Danny Farquhar, who was hospitalized Saturday night in Chicago in stable but critical condition after suffering a brain hemorrhage caused by a ruptured aneurysm.Farqu...
Published: 04/22/18
Rays on Sunday: 1:10 vs. Twins

Rays on Sunday: 1:10 vs. Twins

Sunday vs. Twins1:10, Tropicana FieldTV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 760-AM (Spanish)Tickets: $20-$300; available at Tropicana Field box office, raysbaseball.com, surcharge of up to $5 within five hours of game.Promotion: Mascot socks for kids 14 a...
Published: 04/22/18
Rays Journal: Team effort pays off in 10-1 win over Twins

Rays Journal: Team effort pays off in 10-1 win over Twins

ST. PETERSBURG – Let's be clear here, the Rays still have a long way to go, and a lot of ground to make up.But seeing them play like they did Saturday in beating the Twins 10-1, putting on a solid all-around show in cobbling their first three-g...
Published: 04/21/18
Updated: 04/22/18
Marc Topkinís takeaways from Raysí 10-1 Saturday win over Twins

Marc Topkinís takeaways from Raysí 10-1 Saturday win over Twins

* Is it time to take the leap and believe this is the real Blake Snell? He talked a good game this spring and pitched well in his debut, but that rough second outing raised old doubts. But a good outing in Chicago and two dominant ones on the homesta...
Published: 04/21/18