Two things we can be sure about for the 2015 Tampa Bay Rays season: Alex Colome will be on the roster and Wil Myers has to play better. Colome is out of options and possesses too electric an arm to lose while a resurgent performance from Myers could play a huge role in turning the Rays’ lineup around. The Rays have to hope that Saturday’s game was a teaser for how good both players can be next year.
One night after Chris Archer was not quite good enough in his matchup with Corey Kluber, Alex Colome out-dueled fellow Cleveland Indians breakout starter Carlos Carrasco. Colome went 6.1 shutout innings allowing just 4 hits and a walk while striking out 6. Joe Maddon was certainly playing this game to win as he pulled Colome in favor of Joel Peralta with Colome at just 79 pitches in a 1-0 game in the seventh. However, Maddon’s quick hook takes nothing away from Alex Colome’s stuff in this game. With a strong mid-90’s fastball and flashes of effectiveness from his changeup and cutter, Colome made Indians hitters look bad all night.
The Rays offense continued to look sluggish in this game, but two runs wound up being enough. Wil Myers led the way with a 2-for-4 day with an RBI single and a stolen base while James Loney knocked in a key insurance run on another single in the 8th. Myers now has a three-game hitting streak and has showed better defense of late. It is not as though he is back to hitting rockets, but it is nice to see some amount of progress as the season draws to a close.
Speaking of players progressing, Grant Balfour followed Joel Peralta’s 0.2 shutout innings with a perfect frame with a strikeout. Since August 29th, he has tossed scoreless ball in 12 of 13 appearances for a 2.25 ERA and also has a 13-2 strikeout to walk ratio in 12 innings pitched. It is far too late for Balfour to salvage his season, but we can be a little more confident that he can be a usable reliever for the Rays next season. Jake McGee, though, has no intentions of giving up his closer role, recording his 19th save by striking out the side in the 9th.