Archer avoids losing 20 games for Tampa Bay

by Gary Shelton on September 30, 2016 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Archer avoids losing his 20th game.

Archer avoids losing his 20th game.

Friday, 4 a.m.

In the end, he didn't put on the big red nose or the floppy shoes.

When a guy has spent all season pitching like a clown, that's something.

Chris Archer, serial loser, went out in the way most of his fans wanted him

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to pitch all along. Archer was crisp. He was efficient. And, egads, he won. In a season that has gone the wrong way for Archer, and for his team, that's something.

Archer stopped the Chicago White Sox, 5-3, on Friday night. He scattered six hits over 6 2/3 innings, and he held the White Sox to three runs. The Sox hit only one homer. Archer finished with a 9-19 record, still the most losses in the majors, but he at least avoided losing 20. Can you imagine? Every year, he'd hear the line “So-and-so is threatening to be the first 20 game loser since Chris Archer...”

Did you think he'd lose? That's Archer, a natural contrarian whose talent has been at odds with his results all season long. He still threw more than 200 innings, and he was second in the American League in strikeouts. But most nights, he lost.

Oh, it's been better lately. Archer finished 5-7, and he might have done better than that with a bit more run support. Still, it's hard to argue that this hasn't been a terrible year for Archer.

"Honestly, I never let those type of things creep into my mind because it's pointless to think about negatives,'' Archer said afterward. "I'm just glad I don't have to answer the question.''

Archer avoids losing his 20th game.

Archer avoids losing his 20th game.

The Rays still need Archer's abililty. It's unclear what the team will do next year, but starting pitching is part of it, and Archer still has the most ability on the staff.

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