Expect a tired bunch of Tampa Bay Rays to take the field tonight at Kauffman Stadium.
Because of a rainout, the Rays played a doubleheader Sunday in Philadelphia. Although they swept the twinbill, the last game didn’t end until 9 p.m.
Tampa Bay played the doubleheader because of a rainout Friday in Philly. That bad weather pushed Alex Cobb’s start back to tonight, meaning he is well-rested. Cobb, 3-3 with a 3.82 ERA, last pitched on June 17 when he beat the Marlins and struck out 10 in seven shutout innings. In his previous three starts (all losses), Cobb was raked for 21 hits and 13 earned runs in 18.2 innings.
However, last year Cobb threw seven shutout innings against the Royals, allowing just six hits as the Rays beat won 5-0 at Kauffman Stadium on July 24.
On Tuesday, rookie Chris Archer will make his second career start. Last week he lost a pitcher’s duel against the Nationals’ Stephen Strasburg (no shame in that). Archer gave up three runs (just one earned) in six innings.
Lefty Matt Moore (4-5, 4.13 ERA) gets the start Wednesday. After a rocky start to the season, Moore has a 2.61 ERA in his last five starts.
Although he was suspended for having pine tar in his glove last week, former Royal Joel Peralta is still part of the Rays bullpen pending his appeal.
At the dish, the Rays entered Sunday’s doubleheader ranked 18th in runs scored.
Bad news for Royals fans who watched Sunday’s walkfest is that Tampa Bay was first in all of baseball in bases on balls (259) through Saturday’s games.
The Rays are without two of their best hitters. Matt Joyce, who leads the team in homers (11) was put on the disabled list Friday with an oblique strain. Third baseman Evan Longoria was put on the disabled list in May with a partially torn hamstring.
First baseman Carlos Pena is second in home runs (10) and he has 32 RBIs, but he is hitting just .199. The good news is that in Pena’s last seven games, he is batting .316 with a .435 on-base percentage.
Designated hitter Luke Scott leads the Rays with 35 RBIs, while right fielder Ben Zobrist is hitting .237 with nine homers and 28 RBIs.
And then there’s Hideki Matsui. The former Yankee is hitting .169 with two homers and six RBIs in 19 games.
Finally, make sure to check out the Twitter account of Rays manager Joe Maddon this week. Among the tweets from this month:
**“How cruel is it that Chris Archer has to face Stephen Strasburg in his major league debut? Grand mal cruel.”
**“My biggest concern for tonight is Joel Peralta. He's going to get vilified and he doesn't deserve that. It isn't right. Ask the players.”
**“Matsui is in there tonight. It's his birthday. Sometimes you have to look beyond the stats and go with the birthday theory.”
| Pete Grathoff, email@example.com