On Saturday, the Rays lost 4-2. But that was in no way the fault of Chris Archer. Archer had an incredible outing, going 7 innings allowing just 2 runs on 8 hits, striking out 11 while walking just 2. His one mistake was a hanging slider in the 4th inning that Josh Hamilton slammed for a 2-run homer. What the significance of Archer’s outing? Well, Twitter sure had a lot to say.
Chris Archer becomes the eighth rookie in #Rays history with a 10+ SO game.
— Craig Vanderkam (@cvanderkam) September 9, 2012
— Mark Simon (@msimonespn) September 9, 2012
— RaysRadio (@RaysRadio) September 9, 2012
Those are all cool, but here are a couple more.
- There have now been 21 cases in baseball this season where the Rays were involved in a game where the winning pitcher struck out at least 11 batters in a game that his team lost. The Rays have now been involved in 5 of them, winning 3 as they victimized Derek Holland, CC Sabathia, C.J. Wilson in their gems but losing one of David Price‘s 11-strikeout performance and now Archer’s. The Rays are tied for the major league lead for both being involved in games where a pitcher struck out 11+ batters and lost and winning such games with the team who they played on Saturday, the Rangers, who also have been involved in 5. The Rangers had been 0-4 in such games entering Saturday, with 2 of the losses coming at the hands of the Rays. 9 teams have not been involved in any such games on either end while 20 have been involved in 1 or less. Wow. If these games were divided evenly among the 30 teams, the probability of the Rays playing in 5 of them in one year by chance alone would be .0005 or 2000 to 1. As we know, the Rays strike out a lot of guys and strike out a lot themselves too.
- The other side of the story is that Archer has also attempted a stolen base this season after entering a game as a pinch-runner. When was the last time a major league pitcher had an 11-strikeout game and a stolen base attempt in the same season? Cliff Lee has also accomplished the feat this season, but he’s an NL pitcher who gets to bat in just about every game and get on base every once in a while. How about the last full-time pitcher (excluding Chris Davis and all the other position players who have pitched) who spent the entire season in the American League to attempt a stolen base and have an 11-strikeout game in the same year? Andy Messersmith and Nolan Ryan back in 1972, the final year before the American League adopted the designated hitter rule. Don’t think we need to remind you that Ryan played for the Rangers and is now their president and CEO.
Wow. Especially the second one is pretty crazy.
Other than the game Saturday, the Rays also took their team photo. Here’s the team in the process of getting their photo taken.
— Steve Carney (@stevecarney) September 8, 2012
And now here is the Rays having their pitcher taken with their hats tilted to the left in honor of Fernando Rodney. Pretty cool.
Ladies and Gentlemen…your Tampa Bay Rays (Lids to the Left Edition): twitter.com/Jonathan_Gantt…
— Jonathan Gantt (@Jonathan_Gantt) September 8, 2012
Gotta love Rodney’s face (third row, middle left) in that picture in addition to Desmond Jennings (fourth row, middle) doing the “I’m too cool to do that routine,” and Ryan Roberts (third row, fifth from left) looking towards the sky (or the Trop roof if you would prefer) in homage to Rodney’s famed arrow shooting routine following every successful save.