TPR Bulletin: Rays Shutout Indians Once Again | The Process Report

TPR Bulletin: Rays Shutout Indians Once Again

Behind the right arm of Alex Cobb, the Rays defeated the Indians 6-0 in front of a crowd of more than 32,000 on Saturday night. It marks the sixth time in franchise history that the team has thrown a shutout in consecutive games.

  • Following Matt Moore’s six scoreless innings on Friday, Cobb threw 7.1 shutout innings versus Cleveland. He allowed four hits while striking out six and walking three. He encountered some minor speed bumps along the way, but limited the damage by keeping the ball on the ground and with strikeouts. Just four of the 22 outs he earned came off flyballs.
  • The big question from the mainstream media this off-season was “how will the Rays replace the lost innings from James Shields?” Through one turn, the rotation has thrown 32.1 innings with each pitcher throwing at least six innings. So far, so good.
  • Cobb is not an exact replica of  Shields, but he is the closest thing the Rays have. The Vero Beach native works in the low 90s with the fastball, has a knockout off-speed pitch, and uses his curveball in unconventional counts. Against the Indians, he threw eight first-pitch curveballs. The early hook was not just a disruption, it was effective. Cobb earned five called strikes on those pitches.
  • At times, he used the hammer to both to begin and end at-bats. Take this sequence to Michael Bourn as an example: front-door curveball for called strike, glove-side sinker for called strike, sinker up and in for a ball, back-door curveball for called strike three.
  • Offensively, Tampa Bay scored six runs on nine hits, but their biggest weapon early on was patience. After walking just four times in their first four games, they took nine walks today including seven off of Indians’ starter Trevor Bauer.
  • Speaking of Bauer for a moment, the enigmatic right-hander is a unique individual with a complicated repertoire. He had obvious control and command issues tonight as evident by the walk total. Meanwhile, I wonder if Bauer made the game more complicated by his position on the mound. I noticed early on, he moved on the rubber based on the hand of the batter. Against right-handed batters, he lined up on the first-base side. Versus lefties, he shifted to the third-base side. This was verified by pitch F/X expert Dan Brooks. For a pitcher struggling with command and control, trying to nail down two separate release points probably did not help.
  • Back to the Rays offense, the group squandered bases-loaded opportunities in the first and third innings, coming away with just one run through three frames. The team finally put a crooked number on the board in the fourth when Kelly Johnson blasted a two-run home run – his first with the team.
  • Newcomers also factored in the remaining runs as well. Yunel Escobar led off the sixth inning with some aggressive baserunning, stretching what looked like a lead-off single into a double. The risk paid off when Shelley Duncan lined an RBI single on the next pitch. With two on and two out in the eighth inning, James Loney laced a two-run double to left-center field. The 28-year-old has four hits this week, all to the left-side of the second base bag – a trait noted by R.J. Anderson.

hit-chart(1)

  • With the series victory already wrapped up, the Rays will look for their first sweep of the season tomorrow.

Stats and images courtesy of ESPN Stats & Info



2 Comments

  1. R.J. Anderson wrote:

    Even Loney’s outs have went to left or left-center. Twice this week he’s gotten a pitch low in the zone and dropped the bat head on it for a hit, too.

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