Odorizzi keeps decent pitching going for Rays

by Gary Shelton on July 30, 2016 · 1 comment

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Miller slides safely into third after a triple./TRAVIS PENDERGRASS

Miller slides safely into third after a triple./TRAVIS PENDERGRASS

Saturday, 5:30 a.m.

How competitive might the Tampa Bay Rays have been if they had had decent starting pitching all along?

Maybe, they would have looked something like this.

The Rays have won six of their last 11 games (after going 3-24 in their previous 27) with nine straight quality starts by their starting rotation. The latest was a second-straight shutout by Jake Odorizzi over the New York Yankees. Since the all-star break, the

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Odorizzi has thrown back-to-back shutouts for Rays./TRAVIS PENDERGRASS

Odorizzi has thrown back-to-back shutouts for Rays./TRAVIS PENDERGRASS

Rays are 6-7 with six one-run losses.

“We’ve played that way since the break,” manager Kevin Cash said. “I know

we don’t have the wins to support that, but we’re playing tighter ballgames, our pitching has been tremendous and the timely hits, hopefully they continue to come.”

Jake Odorizzi, who has spent most of the season getting no decisions, evened

Forsythe has hit safely in eight of his last nine games./TRAVIS PENDERGRASS

Forsythe has hit safely in eight of his last nine games./TRAVIS PENDERGRASS

his record at 5-5. He now has a 14 2/3 inning scoreless streak. Odorizzi has already had 12 no-decisions, becoming only the third pitcher since 1913 to go so often without a decision in his team's first 100 games.

“Odo was outstanding, really threw the ball well,” Cash said. “He’s been throwing the ball well since the break, but Odo’s last two starts were

Steve Pearcr makes a running catch for Rays./TRAVIS PENDERGRASS

Steve Pearcr makes a running catch for Rays./TRAVIS PENDERGRASS

tremendous. It’s good to see him get a win against the Yankees —probably his toughest loss of the year was a (2-1) ballgame that he lost earlier (May 29) against these guys here at home. Offensively, Logan gets the big home run in the first and we continued to add on.”

Logan Forsythe and Corey Dickerson each had solo home runs in the first inning. Brad Miller had a double and a triple.

But the difference for the Rays has been the starting pitching, the part of the game that was supposed to be strong all along.

“We’d talked about it for a while during the first half and it never came. Basically since the second half started, we all kind of changed our tune, I guess,” Odorizzi said. “Everything is going well for all the starters, just consistent outings back-to-back-to-back. It really takes stress off the bullpen. I think another thing, our defense is playing phenomenal. They’re really backing us up, and it’s a lot easier to pitch when you have great plays being made behind you. It really shortens the game.”

Rays' centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier leaves his feet to make a catch./TRAVIS PENDERGRASS

Rays' centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier leaves his feet to make a catch./TRAVIS PENDERGRASS

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Larry Beller July 30, 2016 at 5:25 pm

So the Rays are finally getting the good starting pitching they expected all along & they are still barely over .500. To be fair a lot of those games have been on the road so we are left to wonder can this team be tweaked next year and be competitive or does it need to be blown up? Some obvious needs are a good defensive shortstop and catcher that can hit a little, a power hitting first baseman that is not a liability on defense, same for a corner outfielder & a deeper bullpen. That sounds like a lot especially when you consider the low payroll limitations ownership imposes. We will see if Matt Silverman has learned a little bit as the trading deadline nears and then again at the end of the season when the annual remaking of the team begins. I’d like to be optimistic but getting the Rays competitive for next year from the depths they have fallen seems like mission impossible.

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