Cash picks wrong answer in tough decision

by Gary Shelton on May 6, 2017 · 0 comments

in general

Rays' centerfielder Peter Bourjos can't come up with a big catch in the eighth./JEFFREY S. KING

Rays' centerfielder Peter Bourjos can't come up with a big catch in the eighth./JEFFREY S. KING

Saturday, 2 a.m.

The decision seemed easy. You let him pitch, right?

After all, Chris Archer was cruising along. He had 11 strikeouts. He had given up only three hits and one run through six innings. And he's gotten out tough hitters before. Consider the way the Rays' bullpen has sprung leaks this year, Archer was his best chance to get by Kendrys Morales, right?

Wrong.

Frankly, the decision not to have Archer pitch to Morales should have been easy. You keep Archer as far away from Morales as possible. It's like gasoline and matches.

And Cash picked the wrong door.

 Content beyond this point is for members only.

Already a member? To view the rest of this column, sign in using the handy "Sign In" button located in the upper right corner of the GarySheltonSports.com blog (it's at the far right of the navigation bar under Gary's photo)!

Not a member? It's easy to subscribe so you can view the rest of this column and all other premium content on GarySheltonSports.com.

Archer was cruising until he had to face Morales./JEFFREY S. KING

Archer was cruising until he had to face Morales./JEFFREY S. KING

In the seventh inning of Friday night's 8-4 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, Cash decided to back his pitcher and let Archer pitch to Morales even though Morales was 14-for-23 against him. On a 3-1 pitch, Morales hit a home run to tie the game, and the Rays never recovered. They gave up five runs – and another homer to Morales, this one off of Jumbo Diaz in the eighth.

“It wasn't debatable,” Cash said afterward. “I know he's had a lot of success against him, but I'm betting on Arch. I had every bit of confidence in him getting the big out.”

Whitley has been solid out of a leaky bullpen./JEFFREY S. KING

Whitley has been solid out of a leaky bullpen./JEFFREY S. KING

Archer was asked where he wanted his home-run pitch.

“Not there,” he said. “Not over the fence.”

The Rays are 9-10 in their last 19 games, even though they have had a lead in 18 of them.

Tampa Bay led 3-0 going into the seventh with homers from Daniel Robertson and Derrick Norris

Centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the fourth. X-Rays on his right wrist were negative, but Kiermaier had to leave the game. Backup Peter Bourjas misplayed a fly ball (it was ruled a double) in the eighth.

“Sore,” Kiermaier said. “He got me good. (I) came out of the game. I could throw, but then the next half inning and I went up to the batting cage and picked up a bat. I tried doing a swing about 20-30 percent, but it didn’t feel good turning my wrist over. At that point on, I decided to play another inning of defense, but you guys are going to have to get someone else loose because I can’t hit, can’t stay in the game. He got me in a really good spot.”

It was Archer's third start against Toronto this season. He's finished each game with a no-decision. In all three games, the tying or go-ahead run has been charged against him in his final inning.

Diaz took the loss, giving up three runs in one-third of an inning.

Longoria had three hits for the Rays.

The Rays play the Jays again today at 4:10 p.m. Jake Odorizzi of Tampa Bay pitches against Marco Estrada.

Archer flips the ball to first for a force-out./JEFFREY S. KING

Archer flips the ball to first for a force-out./JEFFREY S. KING

 

Share with:Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: