Rays starter Chris Archer racked up double-digits in strikeouts and issued no walks for a third consecutive start, helping the Rays fend off the Mariners 3-1 on Sunday. It’s the first time in the modern era that a pitcher has put together three straight starts in which he’s struck out at least 10 and walked none, per ESPN Stats & Info.
Archer allowed only one run on seven hits while walking none and striking out 11. Now with 108 strikeouts, he’s the third to cross the 100-strikeout threshold on the season, joining Corey Kluber and Clayton Kershaw.
Archer, 26, has held the opposition to one or zero runs each of his last five starts and in nine of 13 starts overall. He sports a terrific 1.95 ERA with a 0.96 WHIP and a 108/20 K/BB ratio in 83 innings. Among qualified American League starters, only Athletics right-hander Sonny Gray (1.65) and Astros lefty Dallas Keuchel (1.85) have posted a better ERA. Archer is only in his third full season in the majors and is well on his way to earning his first All-Star nomination.
On Wednesday, Astros third baseman Alex Bregman was hit by Cardinals pitcher Ramon Santos. It marked the seventh time an Astros batter had been hit in spring training exhibition games thus far, the highest total among all teams. As expected, teams are exacting revenge for the Astros’ cheating ways!
Well, not quite. The pitch Santos hit Bregman with was a 3-2 breaking ball that got away. Usually, if a pitcher is going to hit a batter as an act of revenge, he’ll attempt to do it with a first-pitch fastball.
José Altuve was also hit by a pitch against the Tigers on Sunday. The pitch, which looks to be the off-speed variety, appeared to graze his uniform as opposed to hitting him flush, so it was likely unintentional on the part of pitcher Nick Ramirez.
Other Astros to have been hit in spring training thus far: Alex De Goti, Aledmys Díaz, Osvaldo Duarte, Dustin Garneau, and Jake Meyers. Not exactly a who’s-who list of Code Breaker operatives.
Will some pitchers intentionally throw at the Astros this year? Almost certainly, despite commissioner Rob Manfred’s warning. Have they been doing it from the moment exhibition games began earlier this month? Certainly not.