Today, the Tampa Bay Rays lost to the Toronto Blue Jays 5-3 in front of a crowd of 31,042. It was not the outing that the team wanted to start off on, but remember that there is still 161 games left in the enduring season.
In addition, it was Logan Morrison’s first game as a Ray and his glove looked a bit substandard, which hurts the Rays as they depend heavily on good pitching and defense. It showed that cutting Loney was a mistake from a defensive standpoint. Morrison’s defensive miscues pretty much contributed to putting the Blue Jays in better scoring situations that they converted. Now, like I said it was his first game as a Ray, but hopefully he can turn it around.
Next, from a more positive outcome of the game, Evan Longoria had a solid day at the plate going 2-for-4 with one hit resulting in as a double and the other one as a RBI. He looks like that he is going back to his younger form by becoming a more consistent contact hitter, which his home runs will appear as the season progresses, but the one thing I liked about Longo’s hits today, was the fact that he went with the pitch and did not chase balls outside the strike zone. If Longoria has a big year like most people are predicting him to do so, then it will help the Rays big time, well that is why they are paying him the big bucks.
However, the bullpen looked good, despite Ryan Webb giving up a two run shot to Troy Tulowitzki. Webb’s mistake was just a fastball that stayed up, but before that homer, he was flying through the Blue Jay hitters. Also, Dana Eveland continued his hot spring training form by punching out 2 Jays in 1.2 innings of work. Lastly, Enny Romero looked like the big flame throwing southpaw they dreamed about when they signed him out of Dominica Republic back in 2008. He displayed control with his fastball that was his problem the past couple of years and his breaking ball was on point. He finished the game with 1 big strikeout in 1 inning of work.
Finally, Chris Archer had a rough first inning, but later calmed down to find his stride, which he did, but his defense let him down that caused the game to change momentum again. He also walked 3 batters, which is low, but he walked them at the wrong time. Most important, the young ace will look to have a better outing in his next start. Now, Archer will write his name in the Rays’ record books by setting a Rays team record for strikeouts on Opening Day with 12 in five innings against the Blue Jays. The record was previous owned by Steve Trachsel (2000) and David Price (2011), who both struck out 7 batters. Lastly, why did Kevin Cash let Chris Archer throw 107 pitches in the first game of the season?
Corey Dickerson (standout)
Hank Conger (standout)
Brad Miller (non-standout)
Logan Morrison (non-standout)