Found September 16, 2012 on
Fox Sports Florida:
Matt Moore hasn't taken the mound in the Bronx since baffling the New York Yankees last September in his first big league start.
The Tampa Bay Rays could surely use another dazzling display from Moore on Sunday as they try to gain ground in the AL East in the finale of a crucial three-game set against the Yankees.
Trying to catch both New York (82-63) and Baltimore in the East, third-place Tampa Bay (78-67) suffered a three-game sweep at the hands of the Orioles earlier this week before beating the Yankees 6-4 on Friday. The Rays, though, failed to get much going against Ivan Nova in Saturday's 5-3 defeat, dropping four games behind New York with 17 to go.
While Tampa Bay's postseason hopes remain alive, its chances of winning the division will fade with another defeat Sunday.
"We don't have a lot of time," said Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, who hit his 12th homer in Saturday's loss.
The Rays will try to regroup behind Moore (10-10, 3.68 ERA), who may be looking forward to getting back to Yankee Stadium. The highly-touted left-hander struck out a career-high 11 over five scoreless innings in his lone outing there, a 15-8 victory Sept. 22.
"I like it," manager Joe Maddon told the Rays' official website. "We did like Matt pitching here. Part of it is a lefty thing, and he's pitched well here in the past... I feel good about him here."
Since going 5-1 with a 1.97 ERA over an eight-start stretch July 17-Aug. 24, though, Moore has gotten off track. He's compiled a 4.41 ERA in losing his last three starts to match the longest skid of his brief career.
Moore labored through his shortest outing of the season Tuesday, yielding three runs, four hits and three walks over four innings of a 9-2 loss at Baltimore.
"If I was like, 'I feel like it's not coming out of my arm' or, 'It feels heavy or sore,' that would be an issue," said Moore, who according to recent reports may have been tipping his pitches. "But my arm feels good right now, and my entire body feels good. I think it might have just been a little dip there, and we'll see how it goes on Sunday."
Moore also struggled in his last matchup versus New York on Sept. 5, giving up six runs - four earned - over 6 1-3 innings of a 6-4 loss. He fell to 2-1 with a 3.44 ERA in three career starts in this series.
Moore has held Curtis Granderson hitless in six at-bats but will need to be wary of the hot-hitting center fielder, who has five homers and 11 RBIs in his last six games.
New York gives the ball to Hiroki Kuroda (13-10, 3.17). The right-hander surrendered four runs over six innings opposite Moore earlier this month, improving to 1-1 with a 6.17 ERA in two career matchups versus Tampa Bay.
Kuroda allowed three runs and eight hits over 6 1-3 innings of Tuesday's 4-3 loss at Boston but could benefit from getting back home, where he's 5-2 with a 1.85 ERA in his last nine outings.
Kuroda has also thrived in day games, posting a 0.84 ERA in six starts - nearly three runs lower this his 3.82 mark at night.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Tampa Bay Rays left-hander Matt Moore had two very good innings to start Sunday's game at Yankee Stadium. After a very bad third, he was done. Moore blew up in the third, allowing five runs, the big hit a three-run homer by Russell Martin after Moore was ahead in the count 0-and-2. The New York Yankees hung on to win 6-4. Moore has lost his last four starts and has lasted...
The 2012 MLB season is as exciting as ever but thanks to the media to divert the attention, while at the same time putting Yankee Universe into a tizzy, about something that has nothing to do with the now.
Rafael Soriano (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
So, it came as no surprise when I read, courtesy of CBSSports.com Jon Heyman, that the return of closer Rafael Soriano for 2013 was really...
Brett Gardner makes a outstretched catch during a game between the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles on April 24, 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Ohhhh yes, the New York Yankees are back in first place all by their lonesome after beating the Rays 5-3, which is great news but there is more.
Rumor has it, via the NY Post, that speedster Brett Gardner has run the bases and practiced...
The Tampa Bay Rays are trying to make the chase for the AL East title more than a two-team race.
James Shields hopes to continue his recent overall success by avoiding a sixth straight losing start in the Bronx on Saturday as the Rays continue their series with the New York Yankees.
Tampa Bay (78-66) was just swept in a three-game set at Baltimore and had lost four of its previous...
Nova needs a win to boost his own confidence, as well as the Yankees as the season winds down
Once again the ace in the Bronx failed to produce a quality start for the club, resulting in another loss for C.C. Sabathia, three straight, and another opportunity for the Yankees to pull ahead in the division wasted. Luckily for them though, the Orioles missed out on the same chance losing...
CC Sabathia takes pride in being the unquestioned ace of the Yankees' pitching staff, but his answer was
telling when asked Friday for his thoughts about injured starters Ivan Nova (shoulder) and Andy Pettitte
(ankle) returning to the rotation in games Saturday and Tuesday, respectively. "Hopefully they can help us out, because I haven't been," said Sabathia...
New York Yankees shortstop Eduardo Nunez had to settle for a single after his hard hit down the third base line hit third base umpire Jerry Meals during Friday night's game at Yankee Stadium against the Tampa Bay Rays.
It happened in the bottom of the fifth inning, and the hit by Nunez would have rolled into left field and given him a double had the ball not hit Meals and...
The Tampa Bay Rays will need another stirring rally if they want to return to postseason, and might have just the opportunity to get one started during a promising part of their schedule.
The Rays will play nine straight against sub-.500 clubs beginning with Monday night's visit from the Boston Red Sox.
Tampa Bay pulled to within 1 1/2 games of the AL East lead Sept. 4 after...
Yankees manager Joe Girardi will be back with the team in 2013 regardless of what happens this season said GM, Brian Cashman, according to Ken Davidoff of the New York Post. Hal Steinbrenner, Yankees managing general partner, told the New York Post earlier this month that Girardi's job is safe even though the team blew a ten-game lead in the AL East and are now fighting the Rays...
Taiwan’s Next Media Animation has really gone above and beyond with their latest effort, calmly titled, “New York Yankees 2012 season goes off the rails”. Taiwan Animation generally sticks to recapping major stories with a keen sarcastic eye for the absurdity of truth, but now they’re in the predictions game, and that game includes saying C.C. Sabathia has gained so much...
The Red Sox have a bit of freedom as they begin their four-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night. After all, they are finally, officially out of the playoff hunt. The Rays, on the other hand, are very much in the playoff hunt -- or could be, if they get some help down the stretch. Tampa Bay is actually in danger of falling too far behind in the chase for the postseason...
Russell Martin's three-run homer highlighted an eventful early burst and the New York Yankees kept their AL East lead, holding off Tampa Bay 6-4 Sunday and ending a most damaging road trip for the Rays.
The Yankees won the last two in the three-game series. They began the day with a one-game division lead over Baltimore, which later played at Oakland.
Minus ejected manager...
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Eliminated from postseason contention on Sunday and assured their first losing season since 1997, the Boston Red Sox pulled the Tampa Bay Rays closer to their own long, frustrating offseason on Monday at Tropicana Field. The Red Sox did not get a hit through the first 5 2/3 innings, but they rallied in the sixth and seventh innings to down the reeling Rays...