Morton stops another Rays’ losing streak

by Gary Shelton on June 6, 2019 · 4 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Morton didn’t allow any runs in seven innings./CHUCK MULLER

Wednesday, 4 a.m.

He’s a stopper. He’s an ace. He’s a leader.

So far, in fact, Charlie Morton is a bargain.

Morton, the man who makes losing go away, stood up for his Tampa Bay Rays again Tuesday night, leading the Rays to a 4-0 victory over Detroit. Morton, 7-0 on the season, went seven innings and allowed five hits and no runs, allowing the Rays to break a four-game losing streak.

“He was outstanding,” Rays’ manager Kevin Cash said. “I think he had another inning to go, but we capped  him off. Seven (innings) has been his top. He’s going to

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Ji-Man Choi had two hits for the Rays./CHUCK MULLER

pitch on normal turn for three starts now, so it didn’t make sense to make him go out there and build his pitch count up any higher. He was outstanding. His breaking ball was good. He spotted some fast ball throughout the game that helped complement the breaking ball. He just did a good job of limited damages.”

The Rays managed just seven hits themselves, but three Tigers’ errors helped them along.

“Everyone recognizes that we needed to shut the door on a team offensively to get our offense going,” Cash said. “That’s what a veteran pitcher can bring. That calming effect. To go out there and navigate through their offense really successfully.”

Austin Meadows got the Rays’ started with a triple and scored on an error. The Rays added two in the fifth when Avisail Garcia doubled in Yandy Diaz and scored on Ji-Man Choi’s double. Guillermo Heredia scored the final run on an error.

It was Morton’s second straight game without a walk.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I’m not sitting here patting myself on the back. My job is to throw  quality strikes. That’s how I feel about it.”

The Rays will use an opener today, probably Ryan Stanek. He’ll throw against Detroit’s Daniel Norris at 1:05 p.m. at Comerica Park.


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Larry Beller June 6, 2019 at 8:58 am

The Rays invested well in Charlie Morton. Where would this team without him? Going out and getting fee agents like Morton is what it takes to be an elite team.

But as we all know spending that much money for a player is not something the Rays can do as often as needed. To the surprise of nobody, they were just out bid for Craig Kimbrel, a guy that would have bolstered their wobbly bullpen.

Now the Rays revert back to 4 straight games of openers, bulk guys and a parade of mediocre bullpen pitchers. Good luck with that.


Gary Shelton June 6, 2019 at 1:13 pm

Neither one of us really expected the Rays to make a run at Kimbrel. Their history says that unless he was a bargain, they aren’t interested in paying a lot for a closer. Now, I’m not saying they shouldn’t be more interested. But even Rodney and Soriano came here at bargain prices. They seen to want to get 180 innings a year out of a starter than 50 higher-leverage innings.

Actually, openers have fared better than I would have thought. As we talked yesterday, I think they’ll be fine unless they’re against upper echolon competition.

If it was up to me, I’d like a solid third starter at least and rely on an opener once or twice a week. I think the signing of Morton proves how much this team could use another guy like him.


Larry Beller June 6, 2019 at 6:51 pm

Are the Rays interested in paying a lot for anybody? Of course not. They desperately need a reliable closer though. If they had one they would probably be in first place now. The season will be lost if they can’t find somebody for that role or by some miracle someone on their current staff figures out how do it. It’s not a match up type position even though the Rays keep saying it is. That’s just a line they throw out to the media to justify not paying for an experienced guy.

If I remember right Soriano got $7 Mil and Rodney got maybe a little less. In today’s dollars that would be significantly more.


Gary Shelton June 7, 2019 at 8:30 am

Soriano was being given away by the Braves, who didn’t they needed him. He came to the Rays at a lesser price than he thought he deserved and left quickly. Rodney didn’t get along with the Angels and he, too, got much less than he deserved. He signed for $1.7 and made $2.5 his second year.

Both pitchers came here at a bargain rate, and both made more the 10 million a year after leaving.

If I was a pitcher on the market today, I would prefer to pitch for the Cubs, too.


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