Although the Rays still have a few hours to finalize their ALDS post-season roster, a few decisions have been made as manager Joe Maddon announced that he’s tabbed rookie Matt Moore to start Game 1 of the ALDS against Texas, with James Shields taking the hill in Game 2.
Moore who split the season between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham went a combined 12-3 with a 1.92 ERA in 27 starts with 210 strikeouts in 155 innings was a September call-up following Durham’s exit from the playoffs.
Moore who was added to the 40-man roster upon his arrival was able to be included on the post-season roster as an injury replacement for Alex Cobb who is on the DL.
Upon his arrival to the big leagues, Moore’s role wasn’t really determined though there was talk that he could be the 2011 version of David Price from 2008 – get into a few games as a reliever down the stretch.
Moore pitched 4 1/3 innings in relief in which he had given up three runs on five hits before making his first major league start against the New York Yankees on September 22. In that game, Moore struck out 11, gave up four hits and walked one in five shut out innings of work to earn his first win in the majors.
In two relief outings (against Baltimore and Boston) and his one start, Moore is 1-0, with a 2.89 ERA with 15 strikeouts in 91/3 innings.
Moore will be opposed by the Rangers C.J. Wilson (16-7, 2.94), while James Shields (16-12, 2.82) toes the hill against Derek Holland (16-5, 3.95) in Game 2. Jeremy Hellickson (13-10, 2.95) and David Price (12-13, 3.49) are lined up to pitch Game 3 and 4 with either Moore or Shields ready for Game 5.
Ranger’s manager Ron Washington hasn’t announced his starters for Games 3 and 4 though assumption is that Colby Lewis will pitch Game 3 and Matt Harrison in Game 4.
There was speculation that Jeff Niemann or Wade Davis and possibly James Shields would start the opening two games for the Rays, but as all have come to know is that Joe Maddon doesn’t always do things in a conventional way.
Despite winning 11 games Davis will head to the bullpen, while Niemann who has struggled and pulled early from his past two starts could be left off the roster. As for the remainder of the bullpen, it will definitly include Joel Peralta and Kyle Farnsworth. The rest of the pen is still up in the air as Maddon has yet to determine how many positional players he intends to carry.
As for the remainder of the post-season roster, decisions loom regarding whether or not to carry a third catcher, another right-handed bat and if Dan Johnson and his magical bat will live to see another game this season.
The family of Buccaneers great and Pro Football Hall of Famer Lee Roy Selmon will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Game 3 at Tropicana Field on Monday. Selmon died Sept. 4. His wife, Claybra; daughter Brady; and sons Lee Roy Jr. and Christopher will be on hand.
The Hall of Fame requested, and Evan Longoriaagreed, to donate the bat used in his walk-off homer.
Of the Rays’ 17 September wins, nine came from five rookie pitchers, four by reliever Jake McGee.
ALDS Rays/Rangers Television Schedule
Game 1: Fri. Sept. 30 – TBS, 5:00 p.m.
Game 2: Sat. Oct 1 – TNT, 7:00 p.m.
Game 3: Mon, Oct. 3 – TBS, 5 p.m.
Game 4*: Tue. Oct. 4 – TBS, TBD
Game 5*: Thu. Oct. 6 – TBS, TBD
*= if necessary
All times are Eastern Standard
For more info: Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers
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