Rays Vs. Marlins: Javier Vazquez Hurls Gem, David Price Doesn't

David Price and Javier Vazquez face off today, trying to sneak in one last win before the world ends.

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Javier Vazquez Hurls Gem, Beats Rays

Going into today, Javier Vazquez had not lasted more than six innings in any start, and he hadn’t allowed fewer than three runs in any start either. He had struck out more batters than he walked in only two games, and in both those games he struck out only two more batters than he walked. His previous low for baserunners allowed was seven.

And yet, the Rays just made Vazquez look like an ace. Vazquez lasted seven innings against them, striking out seven while walking two and allowing three hits. The Rays couldn’t score any runs against him, essentially sealing their fate. Although the Rays scored a few runs against the Marlins’ bullpen late in the game, they had already fallen into a 5 run hole by the time David Price left the game.

Price was not at his best tonight, allowing multiple homeruns to the Marlins and lasting only five innings. He missed his location at times and although he did get four strikeouts, he wasn’t blowing hitters away as he normally does. It was an off day for him; thankfully days like today don’t happen to him too often.

The Rays have now lost six of their last eight games, and they’re tied with the Yankees for first place in the AL East. Their offense has been the main cause of their recent slump, averaging only 3.1 runs per game over the last week. Thankfully, there is one small bright spot: Josh Johnson was placed on the disabled list today, so the Rays will not have to face him tomorrow after all.

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Rays Vs. Marlins: David Price Takes The Hill On Rapture Day

After losing Friday night to the Marlins and Anibal Sanchez, the Rays turn to David Price (2.96 FIP) to help get them back in the win column. The Rays are in a mini-skid, losing five of their last seven games, and their lead in the AL East has shrunk to only a half game over Boston. A win today would be huge, especially considering the Rays have to face Josh Johnson and his 1.64 ERA tomorrow.

The Rays' offense has struggled recently, but that should hopefully turn around today with Javier Vazquez taking the mound for the Marlins. In short, Vazquez (5.38 FIP) has been one of the worst pitchers in the majors so far this season. His velocity is down from where it was in 2009 and he looks even worse on the mound than he did last year (when he posted a 5+ ERA with the Yankees). He's walking over 5 batters per nine, striking out only 4.5 batters per nine, and averaging over one hit allowed per inning. It's like he's throwing batting practice whenever he takes the mound, so the Rays better bring their bats and be ready to rack up some runs. 

Today's game is scheduled for 4:10 PM, meaning the Rays and Marlins could sneak in the game before the Rapture happens around 6-7 PM EST. Until then, enjoy this picture from Doug09 at DRaysBay. Happy Rapture Day!

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