Game 64: Offense Can’t Support Chris Archer, Rays Fall 5-0

By Fletcher Keel

The Seattle Mariners clinched a series victory over the Tampa Bay Rays with a five run top of the ninth inning, wasting a tremendous outing by Chris Archer in a 5-0 final.

In all but the final inning, pitching was the name of the game, as both Archer and Mariners starter Felix Hernandez tossed outstanding ball, with Archer going 6.1 innings of five hit shut out ball, while King Felix went a complete seven innings, allowing just four hits and set a new season high in strikeouts with 15. Archer only found himself in true danger once, as he loaded the bases in the fifth inning, but was able to escape untouched. He was taken out after only 90 pitches in the seventh with a runner in scoring position, but Jake McGee and Joel Peralta did a great job of holding the game for him. For Hernandez, he only reached a three-ball count on a Rays batter three times, and used his changeup as his out pitch, throwing it for 10 of his 15 strike threes.

This game seemed prime for extra innings until the top of the ninth when Grant Balfour was on the mound for Tampa Bay. He had struck out the first two batters of the inning, and had a two-strike count on Brad Miller before he tripled on a line drive in right field, and Balfour lost it from there. After walking the next batter he faced, Endy Chavez singled juuuuuuuust out of the reach of a diving Yunel Escobar to score the games first run, as Miller crossed the plate. The very next batter, James Jones would triple home a run, and following a Robinson Cano walk, Kyle Seager would double home both Jones and Cano.

Simply put, King Felix was too much for an already struggling Rays offense, and a five run top of the ninth took any and all the sails out of the line up to make a possible bottom of the ninth rally.

The series will wrap up tomorrow, as the Rays will attempt to salvage the series by sending Mr. David Price to the bump to square off against Erasmo Ramirez in a 1:10 non-televised game.