Waiting for Matt Moore on the top step of the dugout in the middle of the fifth inning Friday to offer a high-five was Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon. It was a welcome sight for Moore, who has struggled with his command during his first three starts of the spring. The Rays left-hander struggled again Friday against the Phillies, but those struggles were mostly found during a 35-pitch second inning where Moore threw a wild pitch, walked a batter, allowed an unearned run and threw a pick-off throw past Ryan Roberts, who was making his Rays debut as a first baseman. Aside from that, Moore turned in a solid five-inning, three-hit, two-walk, seven-strikeout outing in the Rays' 3-1, 10-inning victory at Charlotte Sports Park. "It was better," Maddon said. "It's still not the finished product." Nor should it be in the middle of March. But for a pitcher who had trouble repeating his delivery and locating his fastball, it was a much-needed shot of feel-good. "It's kind of like one of those weird feelings," Moore said. "It's spring training, so I don't want to get too down on myself where I start to panic and go down that road where I feel like things are going wrong. I don't feel like that at all. I felt good about it (Friday) morning waking up, so I'm happy."
Best still to come for Tampa Bay Rays' Matt Moore
Tampa Tribune | Mar 16