The Tampa Bay Rays pitching might have been an issue early on in the year, but they sure weren’t in June. They would put up a 3.30 ERA in the month, and while that resulted in just a 13-16 record for the Rays because of a struggling offense, it is quite an accomplishment. But even more impressive than that- with Brad Boxberger’s 12th inning strikeout on Monday, the Rays set the MLB record for most strikeouts in any single month with 287, surpassing a mark set by the 2002 Chicago Cubs. That would be good for a 10.0 K/9, and they would put up an outstanding 2.6 BB/9 on top of that. What a great month it was.
When there is a team accomplishment like this, the credit can’t all go to any one player. But, you can give a lot of credit to David Price for this record. He would account for 54 of those 287 strikeouts (18.8%) despite pitching 39.2 innings of the team’s 259 innings (15%). He would strike out at least 10 batters in each of his 5 starts, and walked only 5 hitters the entire month while going at least 7.1 innings in each start. That would all be good for a 2.27 ERA. If Price is leaving the Rays this summer, he sure is going out with style.
Price isn’t the only one deserving of recognition, however. Chris Archer posted a dominant month as well, striking out 31 batters and walking 12 in 37.0 innings en route to a 1.95 ERA. Likewise, Jake Odorizzi had a great month, putting up a 2.40 ERA while striking out 34 in 30.0 innings. Alex Cobb and Erik Bedard didn’t have great months from an ERA standpoint, but Cobb still managed to strike out 29 in 33.2 innings and Bedard struck out 34 in 31.0 innings.
The starters were for the most part outstanding in the month, but don’t forget the bullpen. The effort was led by Jake McGee, who put up a 1.54 ERA with 16 strikeouts in 11.2 innings. Brad Boxberger had a 4.73 ERA on the month, but struck out 23 batters in just 13.1 innings. Joel Peralta did a great job as well, striking out 15 in 11.0 innings en route to a 2.45 ERA. The bullpen as a whole did a great job in June, and this record would not have been possible without them.
It was a special month for Tampa Bay Rays pitching in June, and the Rays are going to need them to be equally as good moving forward. The great month is a testament of just how good the Rays are at putting together a talented, deep pitching staff. Let’s hope that the pitching can keep up the good work!