TAMPA BAY RAYS NOTES:
HOME RUN PAREDES — The Rays launched three homers, including a pair from 3B Isaac Paredes (2-for-3, 2HR, 5RBI, 2R, BB), to power an 8-5 victory over the Mets in Tuesday night’s series opener at Citi Field…starting in the lead-off spot for the first time 7/23/19 as a member of Miami, 1B Harold Ramírez (3-for-5, 2RBI, R) tallied three hits, including a pair of RBI-singles…CF Jose Siri (1-for-3, HR, RBI, 2R, SB) also homered for the Rays, his second long ball in his last four games.
LHP Jalen Beeks (2.0IP, H, 2SO) opened for Tampa Bay, retiring six of the seven batters he faced before giving way to RHP Yonny Chirinos (4.2IP, 3H, 3ER, BB, 2SO, 2HR)…RHP Zack Littell (1.0IP, 3SO) made his Rays debut in the eighth inning, striking out the side in order.
The contest marked the Rays 21st game scoring 8+ runs, most in the majors, ahead of Texas and Los Angeles-NL (13G each)…Tampa Bay is the only club in MLB history (since 1901) to plate 8+ runs in 21 of their first 43 games in a season (2nd: 1930 New York Giants, 20G).
EASY FOR ISAAC — Isaac Paredes tied his career high in RBI (5, 2x, last: 4/27/23 at CWS) while turning in his fourth career multi-homer game (last: 8/28/22 at BOS) in last night’s win…he joined BAL Ryan Mountcastle and TEX Adolis García (2G each) as the only players in the majors with multiple 5+ RBI games this season.
On the heels of a 2-for-28 (.071) skid from 4/14-23, Paredes is slashing .377/.457/.639 (23-for-61) with seven doubles, 3 HR and 17 RBI over his last 19 games…he ranks among qualified MLB leaders in that span (since 4/24) in average (2nd), OBP (3rd), OPS (4th, 1.096) and SLG (6th).
TAKE FIVE — Following Jose Siri’s homer last night, the Rays have 11 players with 5+ home runs this season, most in the majors, ahead of San Francisco (8 players)…per Elias, Tampa Bay is the first team in MLB history to have 10 or more players with 5+ home runs before reaching the 50-game mark in a season.
Isaac Paredes’ 5-RBI game last night marked the fourth individual instance of a Rays hitter recording 5+ RBI this season, tied with Texas for most in MLB…in 2022, the Rays saw just one such performance (Randy Arozarena, 6RBI on 9/23/22 vs. TOR).
FIRST FRAME FEATS — The Rays are outscoring opponents 36-11 (+25) in the first inning this season, the best first-inning run differential in the majors, ahead of Atlanta (+18)… Tampa Bay hitters lead MLB in several major categories in the opening frame, including average (.318), OBP (.397), OPS (.978), hits (57) and runs scored (36)…meanwhile, Rays pitchers have the lowest opponents’ average (.184) and second-lowest ERA 2.30) behind Miami (1.93) in the first inning.
When the Rays score in the opening frame, they have posted a 15-3 mark, including a 14-game winning streak in those contests to open the season.
INTERLEAGUE RUNDOWN — The Rays 9-1 mark against NL clubs signals the best Interleague record in MLB, ahead of Detroit (10-2)…Tampa Bay is outscoring NL foes, 65- 27 (+38), and has held the opposition to two or fewer runs in seven of its 10 Interleague contests…following a seven-game losing streak from 6/28-8/10, 2022, Tampa Bay has won 11 of its last 12 Interleague matchups dating back to 8/30/22.
Rays pitching has recorded a 2.43 ERA (89.0IP, 24ER) against the NL, the third-lowest Interleague ERA in the majors behind Baltimore (1.96) and New York-AL (2.33)…this includes a 1.84 ERA (44.0IP, 9ER) by Tampa Bay starters.
Meanwhile, Rays hitters are slashing .286/.351/.551 with 24 homers against the NL…they pace the majors in Interleague AVG, SLG and OPS (.902).
IT STARTS AT THE TOP — Yandy Díaz has a 12-game hitting streak since 5/3, batting .333 (15-for-45) with four doubles, 3 HR and 8 RBI during the run…the streak matches the longest of his career (also: 6/26-7/8, 2022) and is the longest by a Tampa Bay hitter since Wander Franco (13G) from 9/14-27, 2022…it is the fourth-longest active hitting streak in the majors, behind only TEX Jonah Heim (14G), HOU Yordan Alvarez (13G) and SEA Ty France (13G).
He also has a 16-game on-base streak since 4/27, slashing .358/.485/.679 (19-fo-53) with nine extra-base hits, 9 RBI, 10 walks and only 11 strikeouts in that stretch…it matches the fifth-longest active on-base streak in the AL.
Díaz has reached base safely in 26 of his last 27 games overall, going .354/.461/.615 (34-for-96) at the plate during that span…he ranks among qualified major leaguers in batting average (1st), OBP (1st), OPS (1st, 1.076) and SLG (3rd) during that stretch (since 4/15).
THE BAY BOMBERS — The Rays have hit a major league-best 84 home runs, the third-most long balls through a club’s first 43 games in MLB history (since 1901), trailing only the 2000 St. Louis Cardinals (89HR) and 1999 Seattle Mariners (85HR)…the 2000 Cardinals also hold the record for most homers through 44 games (92HR), followed by the 1999 Mariners (87HR).
Tampa Bay has out-homered opponents, 84-36 (+48)…its 36 homers allowed are third-fewest in the majors, behind Seattle (29HR) and Atlanta (35HR)…the Rays have gone deep in 38 of 43 games overall in 2023.
The Rays have an MLB-best 24 multi-homer games, ahead of Los Angeles-NL (21G)… this includes 14 games with 3+ homers, most in the majors.
Tampa Bay’s 25 go-ahead home runs lead the AL and trail only Angeles-NL (26) for the MLB lead…59 of the Rays 84 total homers (70.2%) have been solo shots.
LEADING THE PACK — The Rays pace the majors in runs scored (268) while surrendering the fewest runs (145)…Tampa Bay’s +123 run differential is the seventh-best mark through the first 43 games of a season in MLB history (since 1901), including the best since the 1939 New York Yankees (+134).
ON THE MOUND — Tampa Bay’s 3.30 ERA is tied with Houston for lowest in the majors… this includes the best starter ERA (3.00) and the ninth-best bullpen ERA (3.62)…Rays pitching leads MLB in opp. average (.214), hits per 9.0 IP (7.12) and fewest pitches per IP (15.7).
IN THE BOX — Rays hitters lead MLB in batting average (.275), OBP (.349), SLG (.509), OPS (.858), SLG (.479), homers (84), extra-base hits (171), total bases (749) and at-bats per HR (17.51).
IN THE BIG APPLE — The Rays and Mets meet for the first time since 2021 in this week’s three-game series at Citi Field…Tampa Bay has won five straight, eight of nine, and 10 of its last 12 meetings with New York-NL…the two clubs last met from 5/14-16, 2021 when the Rays recorded a three-game sweep at Tropicana Field.
The Rays are 9-7 all-time at Citi Field and have won each of their last three series in this venue dating back to 2009, going 7-3 in that span.
Tampa Bay holds a 17-14 edge in the all-time series against New York-NL, producing a narrow +8 (146-138) run differential.
TONIGHT’S STARTER: LHP JOSH FLEMING (0-0, 4.26)
BACK ON THE BUMP—LHP Josh Fleming is scheduled to make his ninth appearance of the season and his second start…he did not factor into the decision of his lone start on 4/4 at Washington after allowing five runs on 10 hits and one walk with two strikeouts over 3.0 innings…in seven relief appearances since, Fleming has pitched to a 3.14 ERA (28.2IP, 10ER).
START YOUR ENGINES — In 20 career starts, Fleming is 8-8 with a 6.05 ERA (96.2IP, 65ER) and 73 strikeouts against 30 walks…in three starts last season, he went 0-3 with a 9.26 ERA (11.2IP, 12ER).
Fleming has made 31 career appearances out of the bullpen and has pitched to a 3.71 ERA (106.2IP, 44ER) while holding opponents to a .254 batting average (104-for-410).
LAST TIME OUT — Fleming entered in the third inning and tossed 4.0 innings in Tampa Bay’s 6-5 loss to New York-AL on 5/12 at Yankee Stadium (4.0IP, 3H, ER, BB, 2SO)…his lone run allowed came on an Anthony Volpe solo homer in the fifth inning.
NEW YORK STATE OF MIND—In two career appearances (one start) against the Mets, Fleming is 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA (8.0IP, 1ER)…in his start on 5/16/21 at Tropicana Field, he tossed 5.0 scoreless innings, allowing just one hit with no walks and five strikeouts…in a relief appearance on 9/21/20 at Citi Field, he threw 3.0 innings of one-run ball, scattering three hits and a walk with two strikeouts.
The only start of his career in which Fleming tossed 5+ innings while allowing one hit or fewer came on 5/16/21 vs. the Mets.
INTERLEAGUE TALK—In 13 Interleague outings (6 starts), Fleming is 7-1 with a 4.06 ERA (51.0IP, 23ER)…he is 4-1 with a 5.02 ERA (28.2IP, 16ER) in the six starts, compared to 3-0 with a 2.82 ERA (22.1IP, 7ER) in seven relief appearances.
THE PRICE IS RIGHT—Since allowing righties to hit 8-for-14 (.571) in his season debut on 4/4 at Washington, Fleming has held right-handed hitters to a .241 average (19-for-79) over his last seven outings…in the same stretch, left-handed hitters are 2-for-22 (.091) against him with eight strikeouts.
In 2022, righties produced a .386/.447/.644 (39-for-101) clip against Fleming, the second-highest opponents’ average against righthanded batters in MLB behind KC Carlos Hernandez (.389) (min. 100 RHB faced)…his 1.091 OPS against right-handed batters last season was the worst in the majors under the same parameters.
THIS AND THAT — Fleming has held opposing hitters to a .192 batting average (5-for-26) with runners in scoring position, including .154 (2-for-13) with RISP and two outs…has not allowed the first batter he faces to reach base in any of his appearances (0-for-7)…from 4/10-5/2, Fleming’s 1.37 ERA (19.2IP, 3ER) ranked fifth in the AL while his .164 opponents’ average (11-for-67) ranked sixth (min. 15.0IP).
LUCKY NUMBER 7 — All seven of Fleming’s outings out of the bullpen this season have been 3+ innings, the most such relief outings in MLB…
the next closest is teammate Yonny Chirinos, who has five relief outings of 3+ innings this season…in 2021, Fleming made an MLB-high nine relief appearances in which he worked 3+ innings.
NEW YORK METS NOTES:
METSCELLANEOUS: The Mets lost to the Tampa Bay Rays, 8-5, last night…The team has lost back-to-back games and three of their last four…The Mets continue a six-game homestand (0-1) against Tampa Bay (0-1) and Cleveland (three games).
EMPIRE STATE OF MIND: Earlier today, Mark Canha lit up the Empire State Building with his family…The outfielder will turn on the lights in
recognition of Food Allergy Awareness Week.
MAKE YOUR MARK: The Mets are expected to recall INF Mark Vientos from Triple-A Syracuse prior to today’s game…The 23-yearold is the Mets No. 7 prospect…In 38 games at Triple-A, he was hitting .333/.416/.688…At the time of his call-up, he ranked among International League leaders in home runs (13, second), RBI (37, third), SLG (.688, third), OPS (1.104, fourth), hits (47, sixth) and average (.333, seventh)…He had nearly identical splits vs. LHP (.357/.419/.679) and RHP (.327/.415/.690)…Vientos made his ML debut September 11, 2022 at Miami and hit his first career home run on September 24 last season at Oakland…The Florida native was selected in the second round of the 2017 First-Year Player Draft out of American Heritage High School.
FEELING A LITTLE DRAFTY: The Mets have a homegrown player on their roster from the 2019 (Brett Baty), 2018 (Tylor Megill), 2017 (Mark Vientos, Josh Walker), 2016 (Pete Alonso), 2013 (Luis Guillorme, Jeff McNeil), 2012 (Tomás Nido) and 2011 (Brandon Nimmo) drafts.
WALK THIS WAY: Congratulations to LHP Josh Walker who made his major league debut last night…Walker tossed a scoreless frame allowing two walks…The southpaw was selected by the Mets in the 37th round of the 2017 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of New Haven…He joined LHP Zach Muckenhirn and RHP Kodai Senga as the other Mets to make their major league debut this year.
SENGA GENESIS: Kodai Senga has 43 strikeouts through his first sseven career major league games, the fifth-most in franchise history behind Dwight Gooden (51), Matt Harvey (49), Noah Syndergaard (45) and Nolan Ryan (44)…His 43 strikeouts through seven career games are the seventh-most by a Japanese born pitcher.
THEY’RE OUT OF MY LEAGUE: The new schedule format has New York playing a total of 43 Interleague games in 2023, more than double their previous high for a single season (20)…The Mets are 3-4 against the American League this year…Overall, New York owns a 238-231 record in Interleague play…The team’s .507 winning percentage is the second-best among National League clubs.
INTERLEAGUE PETE: Pete Alonso has hit 32 home runs in Interleague Play since the 2019 season…His 32 home runs against the American League is a franchise record, and the most among any player since 2019…Mike Piazza was the previous record holder with 28 Interleague home runs.
FOR PETE’S SAKE: Pete Alonso is tied for the major league lead with 14 home runs…His 33 RBI are tied for seventh in The Show and are tied for second in the National League…Alonso ranks 12th in franchise history with 413 career RBI…Next up is Kevin McReynolds (456) and Keith Hernandez (468).
WHAT A RELIEF: The Mets bullpen has held opponents to a .219 (130-593) batting average this season…That is the fourth-lowest mark in the majors and the second-lowest in the National League… They have allowed only 44 extra-base hits this year, which is the second-lowest in the National League.
IN THE CITI: The Mets are 7-9 at Citi Field this year…The team’s 16 home games are the fewest in the major leagues…The team won 54 games at home last year…That was their highest total at Citi Field in franchise history…The last time the team won more than 50 games in New York was in 2000 when they went 55-26…Overall, the Mets went 54-27 at Citi Field…The team’s .667 winning percentage was the fourth-highest in team history…Only the 1988 (56-24, .700), 2000 and 1986 teams (both 55-26, .679) had a better home winning percentage.
FIRST IS THE WORST: The Mets have posted a 7.74 ERA (37 ER/43.0 IP) in the first inning this season, the highest mark in the majors…Outside the first frame, the Mets are pitching to a 4.42 ERA (159 ER/324.0 IP)…The Mets have been outscored 37-9 in the first inning this year…The Mets are 7-20 when their opponent scores first…On the other hand, the Mets are 13-2 when scoring first this season… Their .867 winning percentage when scoring first ranks second in the majors.
DOCTOR ROBERT-SON: David Robertson has pitched 15 games and allowed one run in 15.1 innings of work, good for a 0.53 ERA…He has allowed eight hits and five walks while striking out 24…He is holding left-handed hitters to a .133 (4-30) average this season…He has converted all eight save opportunities he’s had this season…Overall, he has recorded 164 saves in his career…That is the seventh-most among active players.
AND THEY’RE OFF: Starling Marte is tied for 12th in the majors and tied for sixth in the NL with 11 steals…He ranks third among active players with 325 career steals…Only Elvis Andrus (340) and Billy Hamilton (326) have more…The Mets are fourth in the National League with a 82.4% success rate in steals this season…The Mets are ninth the NL with 28 steals this season.
BRIGHAM OUT, BRIGHAM OUT: Jeff Brigham has not allowed a run in his last six appearances….He has allowed two hits, a walk and struck out six in those 6.0 innings…Overall, Brigham has not allowed a run in 10 of his 12 appearances this season, posting a 2.77 ERA (4 ER/13.0 IP)…He has struck out 16 and allowed six hits and four walks in 13.0 innings this year.
STARTING PITCHING: Mets starting pitchers have tossed 207.2 innings this year, the fourth-fewest innings in the majors…They have surrendered 39 homers, the fourth-most in the majors…New York starters have issued 103 walks, tied for the most in the majors…They are 14-18 with a 5.46 ERA (126 ER/207.2 IP)…Their 5.46 ERA is the fifth-highest in the majors and the second-highest in the National League.
STARTING PITCHER – KODAI SENGA RHP #34
2023 STATS: 4-2, 4.14 ERA
SENGA’S PITCH ARSENAL
Pitch Type Usage Rate vs. LHB vs. RHB Avg. Velocity
Four-Seam Fastball 41.1% 41.4% 40.9% 95.9 mph
Forkball 21.6% 24.8% 18.5% 83.6 mph
Sweeper 15.7% 6.7% 24.2% 82.0 mph
Cutter 21% 26.4% 15.8% 90.1 mph
Curveball 0.6% 0.6% – 72.0 mph
LAST TIME OUT: Recorded the second loss of his career on May 11 at Cincinnati… Threw five innings and finished with a season-high five runs on eight hits, while recording seven strikeouts against one walk…Senga has now recorded seven or more strikeouts in three of his last five outings.
STRIKE ‘EM OUT: Senga has 43 strikeouts through his first seven career major league games, the fifth-most in franchise history behind Dwight Gooden (51), Nolan Ryan (50), Matt Harvey (49) and Noah Syndergaard (45).
PUTTING THE K IN FORK: Senga’s “ghost fork” has accounted for 27 of his 43 strikeouts through seven starts…The pitch has a 56.9 percent shiff rate and a 28.1 percent putaway rate…Opponents have managed just five hits in 40 at-bats ending with the forkball, a .125 batting average.
ALL I DO IS WIN: Senga became the only Japanese-born pitchers to start their career 3-0 and is the fourth player in franchise history to earn the win in their first two career major league starts, joining Steven Matz, Mike Pelfrey and Gary Gentry…Additionally, he joins Kazuhisa Ishii, Hideki Irabu and Koji Uehara as the only Japanese-born pitchers to win each of their first two career major league starts…Senga fell just shy of becoming the second Mets starting pitcher ever to begin his career 4-0, a record held by Steven Matz.