Fresh Deal? Archer clobbered as Rays lose again

by Gary Shelton on April 15, 2018 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

The look on Chris Archer's face says it all./STEVEN MUNCIE

The look on Chris Archer's face says it all./STEVEN MUNCIE

Wednesday, 1 a.m.

Can a pitching staff have a four of hearts?

Pitcher Chris Archer, supposedly the ace of the Rays' pitching staff, the stopper, struggled once again Saturday night.  Archer lasted only four innings and gave up eight hits and seven earned runs.

The Rays fell, 9-4, to take their 11th loss in their last 13 games. Off to their worst start of their franchise history, they are now the worst team in the American League.

For all the talk about the "bullpen days" of the Rays, the starters are having a harder time. Archer's brief start was the sixth time this season a Rays' starter went four innings or fewer, the most in the majors.

Archer's results have never quite matched his regard, however. He's lost 44 games over the last three full seasons and the start of this one..

Chris Archer looks for the ball./STEVEN MUNCIE

Chris Archer looks for the ball./STEVEN MUNCIE

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Kevin Kiermaier had two hits to up his average to .143./STEVEN MUNCIE

Kevin Kiermaier had two hits to up his average to .143./STEVEN MUNCIE

“Primarily my execution," Archer said when asked his problems. "I gave up a ton of hits with two strikes. My slider was just a little bit off. I trust that pitch regardless if two or three guys in a row get a hit off it. It’s my money pitch and I probably leaned on it a little too much. It’s unfortunate because the one thing I pride myself in is at least giving the team length regardless

Austin Pruitt threw five innings of relief./STEVEN MUNCIE

Austin Pruitt threw five innings of relief./STEVEN MUNCIE

of the results and I didn’t do that. I put us in a bad spot all around."

In the second inning, he gave up four straight hits.

“Those were well placed hits," he said. "You turn the page quick and continue to compete at that point. I didn’t do a good enough job of stopping their momentum and that’s my fault and I learned from it and it won’t happen again.”

Rays' manager Kevin Cash seemed as if he was puzzled by Archer's outing.

“I can’t really say (it was) command," Cash said. "I thought he threw the ball over the plate. I thought they had a really good approach obviously to string together six runs off him in one inning. It was surprisingly that he wasn’t able to limit damage.

Mallex Smith increased his average to .343./STEVEN MUNCIE

Mallex Smith increased his average to .343./STEVEN

"It appeared like the ball maybe wasn’t coming out with his slider as sharp early on and then he jumped the velo after the big inning and sat around 95-96 and he was throwing sliders 90-91. It’s early. It still takes some guys some time to get into the flow of the game. A lot of credit goes to Philadelphia’s lineup for a bunch of guys who don’t have a ton of history facing him. They really didn’t waver from an approach. They came out and attacked and didn’t miss pitches.”

Johnny Field made His MLB Debut./STEVEN MUNCIE

Johnny Field made His MLB Debut./STEVEN MUNCIE

Cash agreed that the three regulars (Archer, Blake Snell and Jake Faria) have been more of a problem that the bullpen pitchers.

"They have been. No doubt about it," Cash said. "All three of them need to pick it up. We're only going to go as far as they take us. The consistency, the pitching efficiency, getting deep into ballgames, all the things that make us an organization built on pitching We have not done that this year."

The Rays will start Ryan Yarbrough in today's game against the Phillies' Ben Lively. The game begins at 1:10 p.m.

Wendle slides Iunderneath Hernandez last second./STEVEN MUNCIE

Wendle slides underneath Hernandez last second./STEVEN MUNCIE

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