Skip to content

Matt Moore dominates as Rays cruise to Game 1 victory

Sep 30, 2011, 8:09 PM EDT

Matt Morre AP

Pretty much any team other than the Rays would have given Matt Moore an opportunity months ago. Fortunately, Tampa Bay did find some room for him in the end.

Making just his second big-league start and fourth appearance, Moore blanked the Rangers for seven innings on Friday and, supported by a pair of homers from Kelly Shoppach, picked up the victory in a 9-0 game.

Moore was never in serious trouble while giving up just two hits and two walks. He touched 98 mph on the gun and struck out six.

Moore’s Rangers counterpart couldn’t compare.  After posting a 1.21 ERA in September, C.J. Wilson entered the series as hot as any pitcher in the postseason.  However, he gave up eight runs — six earned — and three homers in this one.

With one in the second, Johnny Damon started it off by hitting just the third homer Wilson has given up to a left-hander this season.  Shoppach then added a three-run homer in the third and a two-run blast in the fifth.

The loss at home with their best starter on the mound leaves the Rangers in a big hole here.  Now they’ll have to beat Rays ace James Shields on Saturday to have much of a chance in the series. The good news is that Shields hasn’t been at his best lately. Also, the Rangers will get to play in the evening and their offense was much better in night games than day games this year. Still, they may need their own young left-hander, Derek Holland, to come through with the same kind of performance that Moore did today.

Notes

- The two homers gave Shoppach five RBI.  He didn’t drive in more than two runs in any of his 87 appearances this season, and he ended the year with just 22 RBI (despite having hit 11 homers) in 221 at-bats.

- Shoppach was the first player since Ryan Howard in Game 4 of the 2008 World Series to have two homers and five RBI in a postseason game. He joined Yogi Berra, Gene Tenace, Johnny Bench, Gary Carter, A.J. Pierzynski and Mike Napoli as the only catchers to have two-homer games in the postseason.

- One of the two hits surrendered by Moore was a Josh Hamilton double to right that Matt Joyce got a bad read on. It was a ball that should have been caught.

- Hamilton was initially credited with a sacrifice bunt while the Rangers were down 8-0 in the sixth. He was going for the hit, of course, but since it moved Elvis Andrus up to second, the sacrifice was awarded. Fortunately, the official scorer came to his senses and reversed his decision two innings later.

- Hamilton had both Rangers hits in the game.  He had as many hits today as he did in the ALDS against the Rays last year (2-for-18) and as he did in the World Series loss to the Giants (2-for-20).

- Damon’s homer was his 10th in 249 postseason at-bats, giving him a home run rate 66 percent higher in October than his regular-season rate (he’s averaged six homers every 249 regular-season at-bats in his career).  He’s the 33rd player in big-league history to reach double-figures in postseason home runs.

Latest Posts
  1. The Cardinals have moved ahead of the Brewers for first place in the National League Central

    Sep 1, 2014, 6:31 PM EDT

    683a4a3efa2ddee3b986dcc9c8b0849c AP

    The Brewers have had at least a share of first place since April 4.

  2. The Dodgers call up Joc Pederson

    Sep 1, 2014, 5:15 PM EDT

    SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game - World Team v United States Getty Images

    The Pacific Coast League MVP is on his way to L.A.

  3. No-hitter! Four Phillies pitchers combine to blank the Braves

    Sep 1, 2014, 4:21 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-09-01 at 3.46.22 PM Getty Images

    Four pitchers, led by Cole Hamels, who handled six innings of it, combined to no-hit the Atlanta Braves.

  4. Henderson Alvarez leaves start with a strained oblique

    Sep 1, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-09-01 at 2.30.12 PM AP

    As the Marlins’ playoff chances fade.

  5. Jesus Montero suspended for the rest of the season due to the ice cream sandwich affair

    Sep 1, 2014, 1:44 PM EDT

    Jesus Montero Getty Getty Images

    He was already unofficially shut down. Now it’s all official-like.

  6. Bo Porter fired by the Astros

    Sep 1, 2014, 12:38 PM EDT

    Bo Porter AP

    Reports of strife between Porter and the front office were apparently right on the nose.

  7. The Brewers activate Matt Garza

    Sep 1, 2014, 10:51 AM EDT

    Matt Garza Matt Garza

    The Brewers are tied for first place and need a boost.

  8. Ned Yost says his players tried too hard in front of large crowds

    Sep 1, 2014, 10:17 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-09-01 at 8.14.33 AM AP

    Maybe Yost should just tell Royals fans the exact number of people he needs in the seats for his team to play at its best.

  9. Video: Bob Melvin calls the Athletics’ play “Embarrassing. Pathetic.”

    Sep 1, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT

    Bob Melvin Getty Images

    The A’s were, quite recently, the best team in baseball. Now they’re five back of the Angels.

  10. Wanna buy Ernie Harwell’s house?

    Sep 1, 2014, 8:45 AM EDT

    Harwell House

    Well, it’s not his (or his estate’s) house anymore. Likely wasn’t for decades. But if someone wants Jon Voight’s LeBaron, someone will probably buy this, right?

  11. Settling the Score: Sunday’s results — and a reminder of what Labor Day is all about

    Sep 1, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    Labor

    And part of the reason for this reminder is that, while Major League Baseball sees fit to commemorate most other holidays that occur during the baseball season, it has always given Labor Day short shrift.

  12. Blue Jays acquire John Mayberry, Jr. from the Phillies

    Aug 31, 2014, 11:35 PM EDT

    John Mayberry Jr. John Mayberry Jr.

    The Blue Jays added an outfield bench bat, picking up John Mayberry, Jr. from the Phillies on Sunday.

  13. The Brewers made a run at David Price in July

    Aug 31, 2014, 11:05 PM EDT

    David Price David Price

    The Brewers tried but ultimately failed to acquire David Price from the Rays in July because they refused to part with pitcher Jimmy Nelson.

  14. Bryce Harper logs his first multi-homer game of 2014

    Aug 31, 2014, 10:30 PM EDT

    Bryce Harper Bryce Harper

    Bryce Harper entered August with numbers far below expectations. He’ll enter September with much better-looking stats thanks to a decent showing in August, including a spectacular finish on Sunday.

  15. Aroldis Chapman’s fastball could make some history

    Aug 31, 2014, 9:35 PM EDT

    Aroldis Chapman Getty Images

    Aroldis Chapman has had a great season, as usual, but he could do something no pitcher has done since the implementation of pitch-tracking technology in 2006.

  16. The Phillies achieved a rare but ignominious feat on Saturday

    Aug 31, 2014, 8:40 PM EDT

    Philadelphia Phillies v New York Mets Getty Images

    Is it really a good thing if one’s team is one of only two teams in the last 113 years to have four relatively old players accrue a significant amount of playing time?

  17. Yankees acquire pitcher Chaz Roe from the Marlins

    Aug 31, 2014, 7:45 PM EDT

    Chaz Roe Getty Images

    The Yankees picked up Chaz Roe on the cheap from the Marlins on Sunday, just ahead of the waiver deadline.

  18. Adam Dunn plans to retire, says this season “is probably going to be it”

    Aug 31, 2014, 6:55 PM EDT

    Adam Dunn Getty Images

    Adam Dunn is ready to call it a career, he told the media on Sunday after he was traded from the White Sox to the Athletics.

Featured video

Who are the favorites for Rookie of the Year?
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. J. Soler (4112)
  2. R. Castillo (3018)
  3. Y. Molina (2996)
  4. A. Rizzo (2496)
  5. J. Ellsbury (2369)
  1. B. Posey (2341)
  2. M. Cabrera (2245)
  3. D. Pedroia (2182)
  4. M. Wacha (2161)
  5. A. Dunn (2138)