David Price pitched a complete game Monday and Alex Cobb threw 6.2 shutout innings Wednesday, so the Rays will turn to left-hander Matt Moore to start Game 1 of the ALDS against the Red Sox.
Moore will be followed in the ALDS rotation by Price, who’ll be working on full rest in Game 2, with Cobb expected to take Game 3 and Archer slated for Game 4.
Moore was fantastic in his second full season at age 23, going 17-4 with a 3.29 ERA in 27 starts. He walked 76 batters in 150 innings and uncorked a league-high 17 wild pitches, however, so controlling his excellent raw stuff will be a big factor against a patient Boston lineup that drew the second-most walks in the league.
The Reds announced earlier that they plan to extend the protective netting at Great American Ball Park in time for Opening Day next season. You can add the Padres and Mariners to what will surely be a growing list.
A young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, which gave new life to the netting debate. Some fans and media types think Major League Baseball is not doing enough to protect fans. While Major League Baseball has issued guidelines for protective netting, it is ultimately up to the teams to decide just how much netting to use.
Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.
The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.
Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.