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Matt Moore dominates Yankees in first MLB start

Sep 22, 2011, 10:59 PM EDT

matt moore getty Getty Images

Rays left-hander Matt Moore took the mound Thursday night at Yankee Stadium for the first start of his major league career. And it went about as well as any prospect evaluator could have imagined.

The 22-year-old southpaw fanned 11 batters over five scoreless innings, yielding only four hits and issuing just one walk as the Rays grabbed a crucial 15-8 victory to move a half-game closer to the Red Sox in the American League Wild Card standings.

According to ESPN’s StatsInfo, Moore is the first pitcher in major league history to tally 11 strikeouts in five innings or less against the Yankees. Rookie or non-rookie. He threw 59 of his 84 pitches for strikes, displaying high-90s fastball velocity and great command over his curveball and changeup.

Moore was promoted to the big leagues 10 days ago after registering a 1.92 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 210/46 K/BB ratio across 155 innings between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham. He has ace-like upside.

  1. dailyrev - Sep 22, 2011 at 11:05 PM

    An AL Strasburg. Maybe next year the kid will be able to get a few people to attend a baseball game in FL. That would be headline-worthy.

  2. carlosologist - Sep 22, 2011 at 11:16 PM

    Yankee fan over here. Absolutely enjoyed watching Moore pitch. Really easy delivery that produced that high cheese. Obviously had no trouble racking up the strikeouts. I’m really going to enjoy watching him for the next 5-6 years in TB.

  3. itsmekirill - Sep 22, 2011 at 11:36 PM

    He pitched very well but saying that he dominated the “Yankees” is a bit of a stretch given the lineup today.

    • pisano - Sep 22, 2011 at 11:46 PM

      Exactly, he dominated mostly minor league call ups sprinkled with some regulars, but that being said this kid has a big future. Great form and good command, good luck to him.

      • bigharold - Sep 23, 2011 at 12:18 AM

        “Exactly, he dominated mostly minor league call ups …”

        Absolutely. I went to the game tonight with tickets that should have gotten me into the Jeter 3000 hit game but it was rained out. So after $400+ in tickets I end up in the game the day after clinching and then I spend $75 in gas tolls and parking and $80 in food, … not mention about $100 in beer, (thanks Pat for being the designated driver), and I get not the A team, .. or even the A- team, .. I get the Butch Cassidy; “who are those guys” line up.

        Well at least they won the AL Easty and are likely to get home field advantage. But frankly, I want the Yankees to smack the RS around this weekend regardless of what they’ve accomplished so far.

      • purnellmeagrejr - Sep 23, 2011 at 9:21 AM

        bigharold “$100 in beer” and to top it off a case of whine.

      • uberfatty - Sep 23, 2011 at 10:45 AM

        bigharold, you left off the #firstworldproblems at the end of your post. :)

  4. ahp1 - Sep 22, 2011 at 11:45 PM

    Moore dominated the Yankees all right: half of the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees.

  5. Ick McWang - Sep 23, 2011 at 12:02 AM

    Good, now the kid got his feet wet and can give us one more start, against the Red Sox. That will be the crucial one, against a full opposing lineup at playoff intensity.

    • jimbo1949 - Sep 23, 2011 at 12:38 AM

      Which Yankee or Oriole pitcher are you talking about?

  6. btwicey - Sep 23, 2011 at 2:36 AM

    They may have been no bodies but they still have 2 arms and legs and had no idea what that high 90’s thing was coming at them. This kid has the easiest action to produce power I’ve ever seen. How, i mean how on earth under any circumstances was this guy a 12th round pick??!!

    • wlschneider09 - Sep 23, 2011 at 9:39 AM

      Lack of control basically.

    • basiltharat - Sep 23, 2011 at 1:04 PM

      Actually an eighth-round pick, but still a good question. From what I’ve read, Moore basically was a raw kid with a fastball around 90, no reliable secondary pitch (“needs to add polish” to curve and change, according to BA scouting report at the time) and shaky control; on top of that, the caliber of competition in New Mexico wasn’t the highest. Seems crazy in retrospect that he fell that far, but I suspect there are a few dozen guys with similar profiles in every draft.

  7. marinersnate - Sep 23, 2011 at 3:50 AM

    Well, that was intelligent. Please post more often.

    • pisano - Sep 23, 2011 at 9:16 AM

      marinersnate….. Be careful what you wish for, I have a feeling this guy could get even worse than he already is.

  8. dapperdan50 - Sep 23, 2011 at 7:33 AM

    “According to ESPN’s StatsInfo, Moore is the first pitcher in major league history to tally 11 strikeouts in five innings or less against the Yankees. Rookie or non-rookie.”

    I’m having a problem believing this. Maybe the stat should be first pitcher, rookie or non-rookie, IN HIS FIRST GAME against the Yankees. Or something. I just have a tough time believing that no pitcher ever, under any circumstances, has ever struck out 11 Yankees in 5 or fewer IP.

  9. protectthishouse54 - Sep 23, 2011 at 9:39 AM

    Every couple of months the Rays call up some new 22 year old stud. Unbelievable. What a well run organization and scouting department.

  10. foreverchipper10 - Sep 23, 2011 at 11:42 AM

    All this talk about how he didn’t really have a good start because the Yanks weren’t playing all of their regulars. Regardless, the kid made his first start at Yankee Stadium and fanned 11 in 5 innings. That seems to be 11 of the 15 outs which is insane. I don’t care who he pitched against.

  11. btwicey - Sep 23, 2011 at 4:01 PM

    Good point

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