In yesterday’s 5-3 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Rays starter Chris Archer put his name in the history books.
Yesterday’s loss followed a familiar script. The Tampa Bay Rays starting pitching performed well, but the offense did not provide enough support. When they did manage to tie the game, the bullpen struggled, leading to yet another loss. Meanwhile, the Rays are sliding further out of the playoff picture, and are in danger of missing their chance to return to the postseason.
However, all was not lost yesterday. Chris Archer pitched well, allowing three runs on five hits in seven innings. He struck out ten, but it was one strikeout in particular that was notable. In the fourth inning, his strike out of Miguel Montero gave Archer 1000 strikeouts in his career, and put him in some select company.
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That is certainly an impressive list. The majority of the pitchers on that list were considered amongst the best in the game at some point in time during their careers. While Archer has been impressive at times, he has not reached that same level of notoriety.
Perhaps it is time that changes. Archer has been a steady part of the Rays rotation, seemingly on his way to his fourth consecutive season with 30 or more starts. He has now struck out 200 or more batters in three consecutive years, and has made two All Star Games. Chances are, if he played on another team, he would be considered to be one of the top arms in the game by casual fans. Instead, he is still a bit of a secret outside of Tampa Bay.
Chris Archer solidified his place amongst some of the better pitchers in the past 30 years yesterday. The Tampa Bay Rays ace is only getting started.