Blog Entry

Rays to start rookie Moore in Game 1

Posted on: September 29, 2011 9:04 pm
Edited on: September 30, 2011 9:12 am
Matt MooreBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Matt Moore has thrown just 9 1/3 innings in the big leagues. And now he'll be a Game 1 starter in the playoffs.

The Rays announced they would start the rookie left-hander in Game 1 of the American League division series against the Rangers on Friday.

Moore, 22, will be making just his second big-league start on Friday. He started last Thursday against the Yankees and announced his presence with authority, striking out 11 batters, walking one and allowing four hits in five scoreless innings. In all, he's appeared in three games, going 1-0 with a 2.89 ERA. Moore hadn't pitched above Class A before the season, but in Double-A and Triple-A this season, he went 12-3 with a 1.92 ERA and 210 strikeouts in 155 innings.

Moore debuted in a loss to the Orioles on Sept. 14, allowing two runs on three hits in just 1 1/3 innings. However, he's gotten better in each subsequent appearance, allowing two hits and a run in three big relief innings against the Red Sox on Sept. 17 and then last week's lights-out start against the Yankees.

The Rays had been debating starting either Jeff Niemann or Moore in the first game and picked the rookie. James Shields will start Game 2. The Rays didn't release their entire rotation, but it appears they will have Jeremy Hellickson lined up for Game 3 and David Price for Game 4, if needed. .

Moore will face Rangers lefty C.J. Wilson in the first game of the series. Wilson is 16-7 with a 2.94 ERA and was 1-2 with a 3.70 ERA in four postseason starts in 2010.

It's yet another aggressive move by the Rays, who often take a little too long to get their top pitching prospects to the big leagues, but they certainly don't hold them back once they get there.

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Since: Apr 25, 2008
Posted on: September 30, 2011 11:01 am

Rays to start rookie Moore in Game 1

I think Joe Maddon is an awsome mgr and he deserves the benifit of the doubt with this call.  what if sneak away with game 1 and then they have price and shields still to go.  i think its mor eimportant for the rangers to win this game then the rays because of that.  NOW LETS GO YANKEES! 

Since: Sep 28, 2010
Posted on: September 30, 2011 9:19 am

Rays to start rookie Moore in Game 1

Hands down, Moore throws the easist 98 mph fastball in Baseball. It is simply mind blowing how simple and smooth his pitching mechanics are. However, don't expect to see 98 on the radar gun tonight. During Matt's first start he slowed his fastball down to 93-94 which improved his command. He had the Yankees big bats whiffing like crazy, recording 11 of the 15 outs by strikeout. This move will be quite a shock to the Rangers. They probably only have 5 innings of tape to watch from last week's performance against the Yankees, giving the advantage to Moore if he can locate his fastball.

Since: Feb 25, 2008
Posted on: September 30, 2011 9:13 am

Rays to start rookie Moore in Game 1

texas may very well win..they have a very good team..but the rays certainly have better starting pitching and much better have to remember texas plays a much softer schedule during the year..these are two very close teams..whoever gets hot wins.and no one can predict that

Since: Oct 9, 2006
Posted on: September 30, 2011 9:10 am

Rays to start rookie Moore in Game 1

16 pitchers this year made there first debut to the Rangers. There record was 3 and 7 with a 5.44 era, which does not bode well for the Rays. I just think Texas has far too many bats for the so-so rays pitching. Price lost twice to the Rangers last year in the playoffs and the only pitcher with recent success against them was Shields who looked very good against Texas. I got the Rangers in 4, sorry TB good luck next year.

Since: Oct 18, 2006
Posted on: September 30, 2011 9:02 am

Rays to start rookie in Game 1

A pitcher with lights out stuff who the opposing team has never seen and does not much to scout on... seems like a good move.

I really thought Jeff Neimman would get the start and have a short leash though.  That seemed to be the way to go.

Either way, all I know is the Rays need to score some runs.  I want to see 5 in every game!

Since: Sep 15, 2006
Posted on: September 30, 2011 8:50 am

Rays to start rookie in Game 1

Agree with StPete...not only did Price and Kershaw not start any games in 2008 postseason (let alone Game 1 of the opening series), but Kershaw had pitched over 100 innings in the 2008 season...Moore has only 9 innings pitched and has only been on the active roster for a month!  I've been following this kid and he is dynamite...he had no trouble moving from A to AA and didn't miss a beat moving from AA to AAA this year.  He was born to be a #1 starter.  With Shields, Price, Hellickson and now Moore, this team just needs to add a hitter or two to be a perennial powerhouse for years to come.  They will be fun to watch...starting today!  Now, if the Tampa fans would just support them...pathetic attendance for a team in the pennant race.

Since: Apr 17, 2008
Posted on: September 30, 2011 8:39 am

Rays to start rookie in Game 1

Joe Maddon had my AL Manager of the Year vote before he sent Dan Johnson to the plate when the Rays were down to their last bullet in Game 162, so if he wants to send a rook out there, we should just go ahead and let him.

Since: Sep 8, 2007
Posted on: September 30, 2011 8:14 am

Rays to start rookie in Game 1

This move to me is very smart on Maddons part. I think a roll of the dice is a good way to put it @fitz. CJ Wilson is 2-0 with a 2.08 era against the Rays. We all know the Rays hitting is like the cable company. You never know when they are going to show up. So why not take a chance in game 1. The Rangers haven't seen Moore. That could be an advantage. This is only his second start and it is in the post season. That could be a disadvantage. Also this move gives the top of the rotation their full days off.

Since: Mar 11, 2008
Posted on: September 30, 2011 5:15 am

Rays to start rookie in Game 1

topofstack - What are you talking about??  David Price didn't start any postseason games in 2008.  He worked out of the 'pen.  So did Clayton Kershaw.  Both had ZERO starts during the 2008 postseason.

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: September 30, 2011 12:31 am

Rays to start rookie in Game 1

Must agree I love the move and very gutsy call, fresh arm and the Rangers will not be familiar with Moore as others in the Rays rotation. Regardless of what happens win or lose the Rays are playing with "house money", no one expected them to be here after the departure of Garza and Crawford not to mention the off season debacle signing of Manny Ramirez. In all reality the Rays were supposed to be rebuilding this year for next while the young guns matured another year while the big bank Red Sox and Yankees went at it. The door was left open and we slid in, so what the heck now that we are at the party lets have some fun.

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