One of the biggest stories of the 2016 Major League Baseball season has been the poor performance of Chris Archer. The ace of the Tampa Bay Rays has not even been close to the dominating pitcher he has been in prior seasons. The May 22nd game against the Detroit Tigers was no different. The Tigers won the final contest of the three-game series. Detroit has only lost once in their past seven games. Many people thought that the game would be a low-scoring affair with Archer and Jordan Zimmerman on the mound for their respective teams. However, that type of pitcher’s duel did not materialize. Archer’s bad outing was not the only problem. Zimmerman was forced to leave the game early with a strain of his right groin.
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus attributed the success of his team to their ability to lay off many of the pitches Archer threw to them. This allowed Tiger hitters to get themselves into favorable counts. Archer’s pitch count was 77. He wound up giving up eight hits and six runs during the three innings he pitched. This was Archer’s shortest start in almost two years. Rays manager Kevin Cash continues to say that he is not overly concerned about Archer’s poor start. He said that a pitcher of Archer’s ability will eventually break out of his slump and start to string together some solid starts. The Rays hope this will be the case. They have no chance of winning their division unless Archer starts to turn things around.