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Matt Moore to make first MLB start Thursday vs. Yankees

Sep 22, 2011, 12:03 AM EDT

matt moore ap AP

The Rays suffered 4-2 defeats in both halves of Wednesday’s doubleheader against the Yankees, dropping a half-game in the AL Wild Card standings despite the Red Sox’ 6-4 loss to the Orioles.

Well aware that another loss could sink the Rays’ chances of overtaking Boston by the end of the regular season, Rays manager Joe Maddon has made an aggressive but warranted move.

According to beat writer Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times, rookie Matt Moore will take the mound in Thursday evening’s series finale against New York. It will be the first major league start of the 22-year-old left-hander’s career.

Jeff Niemann, who was originally scheduled to make the start, has been bumped to Saturday.

Widely regarded as baseball’s best pitching prospect, Moore posted a 1.92 ERA and 210/46 K/BB ratio in 155 innings this season between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham before earning a mid-September promotion to the majors. He’ll be taking on a Yankees squad fresh off an AL East title celebration.

Tampa Bay faces a 2.5-game Wild Card deficit with only seven games left to play.

  1. Chris K - Sep 22, 2011 at 12:07 AM

    I can only imagine something along the lines of the 1994 film, The Scout will happen. Moore will get to the mound, have stage fright of facing the Yankees, proclaim that he needs the lord, then vomit on the mound. Some poor scout will be banished to Mexico.

  2. btwicey - Sep 22, 2011 at 12:16 AM

    Can’t wait for this, itll be a huge test for the kid , but he seems to have what it takes.

  3. pisano - Sep 22, 2011 at 12:39 AM

    I hope the Rays win out and the Yankees knock Boston out of the play offs. I love to see the so-called experts that picked Boston to win it all get mud in their faces.

    • uyf1950 - Sep 22, 2011 at 5:47 AM

      pisano, my friend how are you doing today? I think most Yankee fans share you sentiment but I wouldn’t expect to much from the Yankees today. Girardi will probably rest most of the Yankee regulars now that they have won the AL East Division. I’m sure it’s been a long and tiring season for many of the players and to be fair they earned a bit of a rest after a hard fought and very successful September.

      So don’t be disappointed or surprised if their is a bit of a let down on the Yankees part today.

      Take care my friend and talk to you later.

  4. itsmekirill - Sep 22, 2011 at 12:49 AM

    The Yankees will probably run out their best Scranton-Wilkes Barre lineup there tomorrow so if the Rays don’t take advantage they might as well pack their bags and book their October vacations.

    • dailyrev - Sep 22, 2011 at 12:58 AM

      Can’t be sure: they want to get home field thru ALCS. Then again they’ve got a 5 game lead on Det. and TX for that, so they could have a scrub-heavy lineup. But their scrubs might be just the guys they need — it’s possible a few of them have faced this kid before in the minors. The really interesting thing to see is how they line themselves up in the last series against the Sawx.

  5. cavredleg15 - Sep 22, 2011 at 1:46 AM

    This still pisses me off that in the bottom of the 8th with the game tied bases loaded. I was screaming at Maddon to bring in the kid. No one on the Yankee roster has seen his stuff. Instead Gomes comes in and gives allows 2 runs to score.

    I’m going to watch his start tomorrow but is using him as a starter right now when the pen could still blow a game going to gain the team anything?

    • Ick McWang - Sep 22, 2011 at 2:17 AM

      forget gomes, it shouldn’t have gotten to that point. maddon subs out mcgee for jun cruz, a righty, to face a lefty, texiera. no sense. normally, joe is all about lefty/lefty and righty/righty matchups.

  6. btwicey - Sep 22, 2011 at 2:27 AM

    Ummm Tex is a switch hitter… Lol

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