Rays plan to use bullpen against Marlins
Wednesday was already going to be a bullpen day for the Tampa Bay Rays, and Tuesday’s 16-inning, 9-6 victory over the Miami Marlins only adds to that, with one or two Rays relievers expected to be added to help provide fresh arms.
The five-hour, 31-minute marathon further taxed the bullpen for Tampa Bay (43-42), with Matt Andriese expected to start Wednesday in Miami after the teams played extra-inning games in the first two contests of the three-game series.
The Rays, continuing their strategy of using relievers as starters, scrapped a scheduled start by Ryne Stanek for the second day in a row, opting to use him in extra innings Monday and Tuesday instead of opening the following day.
Stanek was originally scheduled to start Tuesday, but came in for the 10th inning Monday night. He walked the first batter and then gave up two hits, taking the loss without recording an out to briefly give himself an infinite ERA for his career against the Marlins.
He was then slated to start Wednesday, but came in and pitched the 12th inning Tuesday night, striking out the side to push the game to the 13th inning. He added another scoreless frame, but that took him out of his scheduled role Wednesday, putting more work on an overused bullpen. Nine pitchers were used in Tuesday’s win, requiring at least one roster move just to supply enough live arms to get through Wednesday’s series finale.
Miami used eight pitchers Tuesday, so the Marlins may need to add a reliever for short-term relief as well, under much the same circumstances.
Andriese (1-3, 3.86 ERA) will start two days after he pitched two innings Monday against the Marlins, limiting them to one hit and no runs. That outing came after two straight appearances where he gave up three runs each, raising his season ERA from 3.27 to 4.02.
Andriese will make his fourth start of the season Wednesday, and has handled the Marlins well in his career, with a 1-0 record and 1.69 ERA career appearances against them, including a seven-inning scoreless gem last season.
Miami will start Jose Urena (2-9, 4.40), who is slowly bouncing back from a rough first two months of the season. Urena did not get any wins in his first 12 starts, but is 2-2 since and is just now returning from a stint on the disabled list with right shoulder impingement.
Urena had his best outing of the season two starts ago, going eight scoreless innings and holding Baltimore to three hits while getting the win June 15. He wasn’t as fortunate five days later, lasting 5 2/3 innings and giving up five runs and eight hits in a loss to the Giants.
Urena has never started against the Rays, but carries a 1.59 career ERA in six relief appearances, including five scoreless innings in 2015-16, against Tampa Bay. He pitched well last season, winning 14 games and finishing with a 3.82 ERA.
After this series, the Rays move on to New York for a three-game series with the Mets, while the Marlins go to Washington for a four-game series against the Nationals.