Rays let series finale slip away against Angels

July 17, 2017 general

Monday, 1 a.m. Now that the games count extra for the Tampa Bay Rays, losses like Sunday’s are sure to linger a little longer. The Rays lost to the Angels, 4-3, in a game that felt as if it had slipped away. The Rays could have come within 1 ½ games of the division leading […]

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Rays’ bullpen blows a 3-1 lead against Jays

September 5, 2016 general

Monday, 4 a.m. Seventeen-game winner on the mound for this team. Seventeen-game loser on the mound for that. Sounds like an easy game to pick, doesn’t it. The Toronto Blue Jays, with J.A. Happ, had a distinct advantage over the Tampa Bay Rays and Chris Archer. Still, this game will surprise you. Oh, Toronto won, […]

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Rays’ starting pitching finally showing up

August 18, 2016 general

Thursday, 6 a.m. Suddenly, they are hitting like crazy. Squint, or you might mistake them for Murderer’s Row. They have taken on the better aspects of the Big Red Machine. They might be the Gashouse Gang. Okay, okay. At least, they are better than what we are used to seeing from the Tampa Bay Rays. […]

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Isn’t it time someone on the Rays became angry?

July 4, 2016 general

Monday 6 a.m. The voices are soothing as they come out of the Tampa Bay Rays’ clubhouse. They are positive, affirming, and any minute, they might break into a chorus of Kumbaya. If there is disappointment, no one lets on. They come to praise whatever small parts of the game that can be praised. No […]

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What should the Rays do with Chris Archer?

June 23, 2016 general

Thursday, 5:45 a.m. Did someone say “ace?” These days, Chris Archer is a trey. Maybe a duece. Maybe a joker. These days, Archer is a bad pitcher. Not mediocre. Not slumping. Bad. On a night when the Rays needed Archer to say “enough,” when they needed him to hold up his hand and say “stop” […]

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Archer takes his eighth loss late against Houston

June 12, 2016 general

Sunday, 5:45 a.m. Chris Archer had a pretty good day Saturday. Just not good enough. He went 7 2/3 innings. He struck out eight. He gave up six hits. And he lost. Again. Archer fell to 4-8 as the Houston Astros rallied for a 4-3 victory Content beyond this point is for members only.

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Is Archer the pitcher that Hickey can’t figure out?

June 2, 2016 general

Thursday, 6 a.m. He harnessed Matt Garza’s hot head. There for a while, Garza was likely to blow his cool on the mound, and there for a while, his career threatened to go, too. He managed James Shields’ stubbornness. Shields was a battler, but there were times that his competitiveness could blind him to his […]

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Hello again; Archer looks sharp in beating Baltimore

April 25, 2016 general

Tuesday, 6 a.m. Confident guy, Chris Archer. Even in the middle of a losing streak, he held onto his swagger. Even when people gasping that his fastball was a whole mile an hour slower than last year, even when the search parties were out for his missing slider, even when the critics started taking swipes […]

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One game into the season, will you go back?

April 4, 2016 general

Monday, 6 a.m. Of all of the questions that remain after the opening disappointment by the Tampa Bays, this one is at the head of the list. Will you come back? They were good in spots, and they were bad in others. They finished second in a two-team competition. On the other hand, it was […]

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Archer remains an indispensable Rays’ player

March 24, 2016 general

Thursday, 6 a.m. The face of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays has a quick smile and darting eyes. It likes to laugh, loud and unbridled. The face of the Rays has a furrowed brow, questioning, interesting. It listens when other people talk, too. The face of the Rays is framed by hair, glorious, free flowing […]

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