Jun 9, 2013; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Matt Moore (55) reacts after he pitched the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Game 62: Late Comeback Not Enough to Overcome Moore Bludgeoning

It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish–but when you fall behind 9-1 after the top of the 4th, even a comeback of unbelievable proportions will not be enough. The Rays offense continues to flex its muscles, but Matt Moore got destroyed for the second straight start to send the Rays a 10-7 loss and settle for two out of three against the Baltimore Orioles.

After allowing 6 runs in just 2 innings his last time out, Matt Moore took the hill hoping for much better results. He didn’t get them. Moore allowed 2 runs in the 1st and 3 in the 2nd and 3rd to put the Rays in an 8-1 hole and wound up allowing 9 runs, 8 earned, in 5 innings of work. You have to give Moore some credit for battling to get through 5 and save the Rays bullpen, even finishing his outing with a shutout 5th, but he was just horrible again and that can happen. Unlike his previous outing, where he didn’t have any control and walked 6 batters, Moore was able to keep the ball over the plate, throwing 71 of 100 pitches for strikes and striking out 6 while walking 1, but he just left pitch after pitch up in the zone and got hammered in the process. Moore’s ERA was at 2.18 two starts ago–now it’s at 3.78. Moore is a whole lot better than this. We’re not talking about an issue insidiously arising to begin a lengthy collapse but just Moore losing command of his pitches for a couple of starts. Now Moore has to find a way to get back on track and resume being the talented pitcher the Rays know he can be.

Cesar Ramos had a great bounce-back outing in relief of Moore, allowing 1 run on 4 hits in 3 innings of work, striking out 4 while walking none. Ramos has rebounded nightly after a recent disaster stretch, allowing 1 run in his last 8 innings. And thanks to Ramos’ strong effort, the Rays were able to make a comeback, albeit one of the “too little, too late” variety. Ben Zobrist and Sam Fuld both slammed homers, with Fuld’s being his first of the season, and a Jose Lobaton single in the 9th actually brought the tying run to the plate with two runners on the Rays down 10-7. But it all went for nought and the Rays will have to hope for better luck and better starting pitching next time around. Even after such a disastrous game, though, the Rays can hang their hats on a series win versus the Orioles and they will be just fine as long as they can put this game in the rearview mirror as they begin a huge three-game series with the first place Boston Red Sox.

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Tags: Cesar Ramos Matt Moore Sam Fuld Tampa Bay Rays

  • david egbert

    Could it be that the one inning rain delayed start screwed him up that much. If so, that’s a problem!

    • Robbie_Knopf

      Pitchers are creatures of habit. What can you do. At least he completed 5 innings in this one and hopefully got back to his routine.

      • david egbert

        By the way, it appears that I have passed the Fanside/Mike Engel “smell test”. How do we proceed from here?

        • Robbie_Knopf

          I’ll get an email and I’ll get in contact with you as soon as I do. Sorry for the delay–I just have people above me that I have to wait on.

  • Baltar

    “Moore is a whole lot better than this. We’re not talking about an issue insidiously arising to begin a lengthy collapse but just Moore losing command of his pitches for a couple of starts. ”
    Excellent perspective Robbie. Although Moore has been battered in 2 consecutive starts, this happens to every good pitcher sometime. The odds are overwhelming that he will look like the pitcher he has been for one full season and parts of 2 than the one we have just seen soon.

    • Robbie_Knopf

      I remember when James Shields had a couple of absolutely horrific starts in June amidst his untouchable 2011, making everyone wonder whether he was about to experience a major regression to the mean, and then just went right back to normal, finishing the season with a 2.82 ERA. Moore certainly has the ability to do the exact same thing. Someone tried to tell me on Twitter that the league is figuring Moore out and that’s why he’s struggling. With his stuff and usually-solid command, that doesn’t make any sense. David will have more on this in under an hour.