Rays are going to need Moore

By on July 2, 2015

 

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Matt Moore (55) throws a pitch during the sixth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Tropicana Field. (USA TODAY Sports / Kim Klement)

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Matt Moore (55) throws a pitch during the sixth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Tropicana Field. (USA TODAY Sports / Kim Klement)

For the first time in over a year in the MLB spotlight,   Tampa Bay Rays lefty Matt Moore took the hill.  It was  a getaway  day matinée today at Tropicana Field.

After getting ahead of Cleveland leadoff hitter Jason Kipnis 0 and 2,  Kipnis drove the third pitch hard. The cowhide looked as if it would sail to the wall but tracking it down with graceful speed was Joey Butler. Out number one of 2015 for Moore.  At the time I thought, wow what a defining moment as Tribe went down 1-2-3 in the first.

A walk to lead off the Indians second, followed by a strikeout and an inning ending double play and Matty Moe was on the comeback trail.  A 1-2-3 third and so far it had been smooth sailing, three innings, nine batters faced.

With a 2-0 lead Moore took the mound in the fourth.  Weakness starts to rear its ugly head.  Leadoff singles to Kipnis and Francisco Lindor followed by a wild pitch and sac fly.  Moore settled to strikeout Ryan Raburn and get Carlos Santana to ground sharply to short to close out the inning.  Oye como va… Rays 2, Indians 1.

After two quick outs in the fifth,  a single, another wild pitch, a walk, the table was set once again for the Tribe.  Back to back RBI singles by Kipnis and Lindor and Moore’s lead was gone.   Then on Moore’s 81st pitch, Michael Brantley bled a single up the middle and Moore’s day was done.    A  line of  4 2/3 innings pitched, 4 earned runs, with 2 walks and 4 strikeouts.  The three wild pitches point towards control issues Moore will start 2015 with an ERA of 7.71.

Come back in the books.  It could have gone better, but Matty Moe is back in the line up for better, for worse.

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