Rays Stat of the Day: April 2021

May 1st, 2021

MLB.com is keeping track of a Stat of the Day for the Rays this season, highlighting a unique, interesting or fun nugget from each game.

April 30: Astros 9, Rays 2 -- Trouble at The Trop
The Rays' loss brought their record to 3-5 on their current 10-game homestand and dropped them to 6-9 overall at Tropicana Field so far this season, giving them as many losses at home this month as they had during the entire pandemic-shortened 2020 season. Tampa Bay went 20-9 at The Trop last year. Most of the Rays' struggles have come at the plate -- they've scored only 19 runs on 51 hits while striking out 84 times and batting .198 overall, including .089 (5-for-56) with runners in scoring position, over the last eight games.

April 29: Athletics 3, Rays 2 -- McClanahan misses many A's bats
After becoming the first pitcher in Major League history to debut in the postseason, Shane McClanahan showed his overpowering arsenal on the regular-season stage in the Rays' 3-2 loss to the A's on Thursday afternoon at Tropicana Field. He opened the game by striking out Mark Canha with a 100.5 mph fastball, tied with Chris Sale (June 24, 2018) and James Paxton (June 6, 2016) for the fastest strikeout pitch by a left-handed starter in the pitch-tracking era (since 2008). He also recorded 15 swinging strikes in 59 pitches, a single-game swing-and-miss rate (25.4 percent) higher than any lefty starter in the Majors this season besides Clayton Kershaw (25.6 percent Wednesday against the Reds).

April 28: Rays 2, Athletics 0 -- Glasnow's strikeout, shutout stuff
Tyler Glasnow lowered his ERA to 1.67 with a scoreless seven-inning, 10-strikeout performance. He's now recorded back-to-back double-digit strikeout games for the first time in his career, also becoming the first Rays pitcher to do so since Charlie Morton from Aug. 10-16, 2019. Glasnow has compiled 50 strikeouts in 31 2/3 innings over his last five starts, the most by a Tampa Bay pitcher in a five-start stretch since Chris Archer had 51 from May 5-26, 2017. The Rays have pitched four shutouts this season, and Glasnow has started three of them.

April 27: Rays 4, Athletics 3 -- Pitching steps up
The Rays have now allowed three runs or fewer in four straight games. During that stretch, they've put together a 2.25 ERA. In five games this homestand, Tampa Bay's bullpen -- battered by injuries as it's been -- has allowed only three runs in 24 1/3 innings. That's especially impressive when you consider that the Rays are still without six pitchers they planned to have in their season-opening bullpen, having lost Nick Anderson, Ryan Sherriff, Chaz Roe, Pete Fairbanks, Collin McHugh and Cody Reed since the final week of Spring Training.

April 26: Athletics 2, Rays 1 -- Hill is still getting it done
Rich Hill's 10-strikeout start was clearly the highlight of the Rays' 2-1 loss to the A's on Monday night at Tropicana Field. It was Hill's first double-digit-strikeout performance since he fanned 10 Reds for the Dodgers on May 17, 2019, and his 17th career double-digit-strikeout outing. At 41 years and 46 days old, he became the oldest pitcher in Rays history with at least 10 strikeouts in a game, surpassing Charlie Morton (35 years, 299 days), and the oldest pitcher in the Majors to do so since Randy Johnson struck out 13 for the D-backs on Aug. 22, 2008.

April 25: Blue Jays 1, Rays 0 -- Patiño's youthful appearance
Tampa Bay's baseball team officially entered the world on March 31, 1998, when the Devil Rays played their first game at Tropicana Field. Twenty-three years and just shy of a month later, the Rays sent 21-year-old right-hander Luis Patiño to the mound at The Trop to start Sunday's series finale against the Blue Jays. And that marked an unusual bit of history, because Patiño was born on Oct. 26, 1999, making him the first Rays player to be born after the Devil Rays' first game. Every other player in franchise history had been older than the franchise, until Patiño. Shane McClanahan previously claimed the most recent birthday for any Rays player -- April 28, 1997, about 11 months before Tampa Bay's first game -- when he debuted during the postseason.

April 24: Rays 5, Blue Jays 3 -- Yarbrough's stellar relief work
After an excellent 5 2/3-innings outing, Ryan Yarbrough has allowed just one run in 10 2/3 innings over his past two appearances as a bulk-innings pitcher out of the bullpen, compared to 12 runs in 16 2/3 innings in his three starts. The lefty now owns a 3.47 ERA in 50 career relief appearances, including a 0.92 ERA in four such outings since the beginning of last season, compared to a 4.51 mark as a starting pitcher.

April 23: Blue Jays 5, Rays 3 -- Glasnow's first an MLB rarity
Tyler Glasnow's four-run, four-strikeout first inning was historically rare not just for the Rays, but for Major League Baseball. He became just the third pitcher in franchise history to strike out four batters in one inning, joining Alex Cobb (May 10, 2013, vs. the Padres) and Jeremy Hellickson (Aug. 25, 2011, vs. the Tigers). According to STATS, Glasnow became just the second pitcher in Major League history to have at least four strikeouts while allowing at least four runs in the same inning. The other: the Phillies’ Doc White, who turned in a similar inning against the Brooklyn Superbas on July 21, 1902.

April 21: Royals 9, Rays 8 -- Rays' offense breaks out
After struggling offensively through the early stages of the season, perhaps the Rays just needed a getaway. They scored 44 runs (7.33 per game) on 58 hits during their 5-1 road swing after averaging just 3.85 runs while going 5-8 in their first 13 games.

April 20: Rays 14, Royals 7 -- Tampa Bay wins seventh in past nine games at Kauffman
With a 14-7 win on Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium, the Rays improved to 13-3 against the Royals since the start of the 2018 season, including a 7-2 mark at Kauffman Stadium. That is their best record against any opponent during that time. During their 5-0 start to this road trip through New York and Kansas City, the Rays have led after 34 out of 45 innings and have trailed at the end of just one inning, with 10 ending in a tie.

April 19: Rays 4, Royals 1 -- Hits hard to come by
The Rays held the Royals to only five hits in their 4-1 victory on Monday night at Kauffman Stadium. It was the fourth straight game in which Tampa Bay allowed five hits or fewer, matching the longest streak in franchise history from Sept. 2-5, 2011. During their four-game winning streak, Rays pitchers have allowed only eight runs on 16 hits and nine walks, while lowering their team ERA from 4.85 to 4.19.

April 18: Rays 4, Yankees 2 -- Call it a comeback
Tampa Bay had not overcome a deficit this season, but that was fixed on Sunday. After a Giancarlo Stanton home run put the Yankees ahead in the second, the Rays fought back to claim a win (and a three-game sweep) against the Yankees. Tampa Bay had been 0-6 this season in games in which it trailed. Last year, the Rays claimed 20 comeback victories, second only to the Padres (22).

April 17: Rays 6, Yankees 3 -- Rays' domination continues
With Saturday's win, Tampa Bay moved to 4-1 against the Yankees this season and collected another series win over its AL East rival. That marks the sixth consecutive series win for Tampa Bay over New York, which is the longest streak against the Yankees in franchise history. It also matches the longest series-winning streak against the Yankees since 2015-16, when the Blue Jays also pulled off six in a row.

April 16: Rays 8, Yankees 2 -- Wacha powers down Bombers
Right-hander Michael Wacha dominated the Yankees' lineup, striking out nine while allowing just one hit and two walks over six scoreless innings. It was his ninth career game with at least nine strikeouts and just the third time in his nine-year career that he put together a scoreless start of at least six innings with nine or more strikeouts. Wacha previously accomplished that feat in 2017 and as a rookie in '13. Wacha's last two outings have come against the Yankees, and he held them to three runs over 10 innings with 14 strikeouts in those games. Additionally, Friday was the third time this season that Tampa Bay's pitchers have allowed three hits or fewer in a game; the other two were Tyler Glasnow's starts on Opening Day in Miami and last Monday against Texas.

April 15: Rangers 6, Rays 4 -- Three under .500? It's been a while
After losing three straight games to the Rangers at Tropicana Field, the Rays have lost eight of their last 11 to fall to three games under .500 for the first time since they woke up with a 37-40 record on June 25, 2018. That may not seem like all that long ago, but consider this: Of the 10 players who started that game, only two -- center fielder Kevin Kiermaier and Willy Adames, who was at second base in just his 16th game in the Majors -- are still with the team. Tampa Bay was still more than a month away from acquiring Tyler Glasnow and Austin Meadows at that point. The '18 Rays went 53-32 from that point on, before going 96-66 in 2019 and 40-20 last year.

April 14: Rangers 5, Rays 1 -- Going for grounders and a Gold Glove
Rays left-hander Josh Fleming took the loss in Tampa Bay's 5-1 defeat against Texas despite pitching five strong innings and allowing just one run. It was a quintessential Fleming outing in many ways, including this one: He recorded nine outs on the ground, four of which were hit back to him on the mound. Fleming's four assists were one shy of tying the club record for a pitcher and the most by a Rays pitcher since Nathan Eovaldi logged four on June 15, 2018, against the Yankees. "I like getting ground balls. That's the kind of pitcher I am. And I like fielding them, too," Fleming said afterward. "Want to get that Gold Glove, so anytime I can make a play, I'm going to do it."

April 13: Rangers 8, Rays 3 -- A frustrating night for Yarbrough
After taking the loss, lefty Ryan Yarbrough is winless in his last 20 starts, going 0-9 with a 4.99 ERA as a starter since Aug. 17, 2019. Pitcher wins and losses aren't always reflective of individual performance, but this is a particularly frustrating stretch for Yarbrough as he's allowed six runs or more in consecutive starts for just the second time in his career. His nine-game losing streak is the longest by a Rays starter since Jason Hammel dropped 10 straight from April 11, 2006-Aug. 23, 2007. Additionally, Yarbrough allowed a career high-tying 10 hits for the fourth time, with three of those going to the first four batters he faced and another four in a row to begin a four-run fourth inning.

April 12: Rays 1, Rangers 0 -- Tyler Glasnow's historic dominance
According to Stats LLC, only three pitchers in baseball’s modern era have recorded at least 29 strikeouts while allowing one run or less in their first three starts of the season: Pedro Martínez and Curt Schilling in 1998, and now Tyler Glasnow. That's just one of the many impressive stats about Glasnow after his career night on Monday: a 14-strikeout, 7 2/3-inning gem against the Rangers at Tropicana Field in which he recorded a career-best 27 swinging strikes. Additionally, the Rays became the first team to win multiple 1-0 games within the first 10 games of a season since 2018, when the Giants and Royals each won two 1-0 contests. Glasnow has been on the mound for both: Opening Day and Monday's win. The last time that happened twice for a pitcher in the first 10 games of the season? The Mets' Tom Seaver in 1971.

April 11: Yankees 8, Rays 4 (10 innings) -- A rare late-inning lapse
The Rays' loss was their second this season when leading after seven innings, making them 2-2 in those games this year after they went 25-0 when leading after seven in 2020. Sunday also was the first time Tampa Bay lost at home when leading after seven since July 20, 2019, against the White Sox. It's a statistic that speaks mostly to the significant bullpen injuries the Rays have incurred, including the loss of high-leverage arms and , as the club has now blown a lead in four of its five losses to start the season.

April 10: Rays 4, Yankees 0 -- Meadows continues to rake against Yankees
Rays outfielder took Yankees right-hander Domingo Germán deep to right field in the first inning Saturday afternoon at Tropicana Field. That was nothing new for Meadows, who has hit nine home runs against the Yankees since the start of the 2019 season, including two in last year's American League Division Series. The only player to homer against the Yankees more than Meadows during that time is Toronto's Randal Grichuk, who has done so 10 times. Meadows has hit 10 home runs against the Blue Jays in his career, his most against any single opponent. But he's been particularly effective against Germán, going 4-for-8 with three homers off the Yankees righty -- tied with Toronto's Trent Thornton for most homers against one pitcher.

April 9: Rays 10, Yankees 5 -- Rays move to .500 in home openers
The Rays' victory over the Yankees on Friday afternoon improved their all-time record in home openers to 12-12. They also scored double-digit runs in their first home game of the season for the second time in franchise history, their second-highest output in a home opener behind only a 15-5 win over the Yankees on April 13, 2009. Additionally, Tampa Bay improved to 5-0 in home openers against New York, with wins in 2004 (Tokyo), '09, '12 and '17. It was a welcome performance in the Rays' first game in front of fans at the Trop since Game 4 of the American League Division Series against the Astros on Oct. 8, 2019.

April 7: Red Sox 9, Rays 2 -- McHugh matches his longest relief outing
Collin McHugh probably wishes this feat came under better circumstances, but in a mop-up role during Wednesday's loss, he worked three scoreless innings of four-hit ball, matching the longest relief outing of his nine-year career. The outing doubled as his longest shutout appearance since an April 16, 2019, start against Oakland (McHugh pitched for Houston at the time).

April 6: Red Sox 6, Rays 5 -- Stopping the stopper
Entering Tuesday night’s 6-5 loss to the Red Sox at Fenway Park, the Rays had won nine straight regular-season games started by Tyler Glasnow dating back to last Aug. 13. Tuesday’s defeat was, obviously, no fault of Glasnow, who permitted just one run while striking out nine over six spectacular innings of work in Boston. Glasnow has allowed five total hits in 12 innings over two starts to begin the season. But he fell short of becoming the third pitcher behind whom the Rays could have won 10 consecutive games with. The only two who hold that distinction are Matt Moore from Sept. 22, 2012-May 19, 2013, when the Rays went 11-0 and Moore 9-0; and Blake Snell from Aug. 10-Sept. 29, 2018, when the Rays went 10-0 and Snell 9-0.

April 5: Red Sox 11, Rays 2 -- First loss at Fenway in 9 games
The Rays’ 11-2 loss to the Red Sox on Monday night in Boston brought a halt to their eight-game winning streak at Fenway Park. That was the longest streak by a visiting club in Boston since the Blue Jays won 15 straight from 1987-89, the longest road winning streak by a Red Sox opponent since Fenway Park opened in 1912. That was also the longest winning streak at an opponent’s home ballpark in Rays history, surpassing four seven-game streaks (Anaheim, Houston, two stretches in Miami). The last time the Rays lost at Fenway Park was June 8, 2019, 667 days before Monday’s defeat. The Rays are still 13-2 at Fenway since Aug. 19, 2018, and they’ve outscored the Sox 97-59 during that time.

April 3: Marlins 12, Rays 7 -- Relay replay
The Rays' first loss of the season could have gotten even further out of hand if not for a perfectly executed relay by left fielder Manuel Margot and shortstop Willy Adames. Margot followed Miguel Rojas' double to the wall in left, picked up the ball and quickly made an 81.3 mph throw to the cutoff man. Adames made the exchange in 0.77 seconds, according to Statcast, then fired a 92.1 mph strike to catcher Mike Zunino. That gave Zunino plenty of time to tag out slow-footed catcher Chad Wallach, who attempted to score from first on the play.

April 2: Rays 6, Marlins 4 -- Two and counting
After beating the Marlins, the Rays are 2-0 for only the fourth time in the franchise's 24-year history. They also won their first two games in 2002, '10 and '12. They have only begun the season with a three-game winning streak twice in franchise history -- in 2002 and '12 -- and they've never won four straight games to begin a season. It's probably not fair to read too much into the results of the first series of the season either way, however. In 2012, they won 90 games; in '02, they went on to lose 106 games.

April 1: Rays 1, Marlins 0 -- Another nail-biter
The Rays beat the Marlins, 1-0, in their season opener. They're obviously no strangers to playing -- or winning -- close games. Last season, Tampa Bay played 33 games decided by two runs or fewer, tied with Houston and Toronto for most in the Majors. The Rays went 23-10 in those games, the best winning percentage in the Majors. And they were an MLB-best 14-5 in one-run games, including a 13-3 run in one-run games beginning last Aug. 7. The Rays had 13 hitters record a save between the regular season and postseason last year, the most in Major League history, and Diego Castillo locked down their first of 2021 on Opening Day.