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.

More Rangers-Rays ALDS coverage

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Since: Jan 19, 2007
Posted on: September 29, 2011 10:59 pm

Rays to start rookie in Game 1

Genius!  If you feel like you stole one.  If you lose...oh well, we didn't expect that one anyway, but we had to rest our studs.  If the Rays win game 1, all the pressure now switches to Texas, and Shields owned Texas this year.

Since: Apr 6, 2007
Posted on: September 29, 2011 10:30 pm

Rays to start rookie in Game 1

Starting a rookie (or young guy) in Game 1 is not new.  Torre did it with Kershaw in the 2008 NLCS.  Price in 2008 as well.  In addition to the factor that the Rangers haven't seen Moore, it takes ALOT of pressure off the guy.  If you pitch Moore is Game 3 after losing the first 2 or Game 4 down 2-1, the guy will be under too much pressure to win.  Though you want to win Game 1, its not the end of the world if you don't because its not a home game.  It may be the best game to lose.

Since: May 20, 2010
Posted on: September 29, 2011 9:59 pm

Rays to start rookie in Game 1

Classic Joe Maddon, the mad scientist, love this dude, he's not  scared to throw a rookie  out there ala David Price in 2008.  This is why he should be manager of the year this year. Joe is fearless unlike most managers, A plus

Since: May 7, 2007
Posted on: September 29, 2011 9:58 pm

Rays to start rookie in Game 1

This smacks of roll the dice desperation to me. But Joe Maddon has had the golden touch for a long time. Maybe he is a freaking baseball genius. I can't wait to watch Moore against that Texas lineup. He blew through my Yankees lineup a week ago.

Since: Apr 9, 2008
Posted on: September 29, 2011 9:55 pm

Rays to start rookie in Game 1

He has unreal numbers in the minors this year. The Rangers will be guessing all night. They key will be the second and third times through the line-up for Matt Moore and the Rays. I believe the winner of game one will win this series.

Since: Dec 13, 2008
Posted on: September 29, 2011 9:41 pm

Rays to start rookie in Game 1

smart move Maddon, chances are Rangers haven't seen him and usually the pitcher has an advantage in that situation.  Might get them a game ahead, that being said....GO RANGERS!

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or