Chris Archer picked a fine time to have one of his best outings this afternoon, especially when you consider the Rays are in last place in the AL East.
With the Blue Jays' winning streak now at eleven games after their victory today, the Rays are currently tied for last in their division with a 39-37 record. Considering how consistent the Red Sox and Orioles have been playing all season (so far), it's safe to say that the Rays will need to put together a bunch of "mini" winning streaks together over the course of the season in order to even have a shot at a playoff spot.
Having said that, if the Rays starting rotation can have solid starts like what we saw today over the course of the season, a playoff spot might not be such a hard thought to fathom.
Archer pitched six incredibly strong innings, only allowing a single run in the first inning off of Robinson Cano's sac fly, and shut the Yankees' offense down the following five innings. Allowing six hits isn't that bad, but against a injury-plagued lineup like the Yankees, it's not something to write home about.
What's promising from Archer's performance was the fact that he looked like an actual pitcher rather than the high-velocity hurler he's known to be: one walk, four strikeouts and that lone run in the first; numbers that will make any manager happy.
Apart from Archer, the Rays offense was really only fueled by yet another offseason "steal of a pickup", James Loney.
Loney has definitely cooled off after his torrid start to the season, but is still hitting over .300 on the season while playing his usual textbook defense at first base. After Ben Zobrist's RBI single in the first inning gave the Rays the lead and then Cano's sac fly tied the game, Loney hit a two-run single in the seventh inning to put the Rays ahead for good.
Wil Myers was only 1-5 at the plate today and got the hat trick as well, as his proclivity towards striking out a lot has seemed to carry over from AAA Durham to the Majors. Still, his power was evident yesterday when he hit his first major-league home run: an opposite field grand slam.
It's a pretty deep hole the Rays currently find themselves in, but if the pitching staff can manage to come close to the form it was last season, anything is possible.
Notable Stats from Today's Game:
C. Arhcer: (2-3, W) 6 IP, 6 H, ER, BB, 4 SO
J. Loney: 3-4, BB, 2 RBI