On paper, Matt Moore has had a tremendous season, even before his start on Monday night began. He entered the game with 13 wins in the 1st half of the year, and he had helped carry the Rays to a playoff-contending record despite the injury-riddled season from their “ace” in David Price. On Monday night, however, Moore took it up a notch with a transcendent performance.
Moore threw a complete game, 2-hit shutout to lead the Rays to a 3-0 road win over the division-leading Red Sox, and he was every bit as good as the numbers indicated. The left-hander waded through 109 pitches in route to his first career shutout, and he walked only 1 Red Sox hitter while using an efficient approach that netted 4 strikeouts.
Pitcher “wins” have become a trendy topic in the statistical community (and with good reason), but this was far from a cheap victory for Moore’s 14th of the year. In all actuality, his numbers for the 2013 campaign don’t lend themselves to a 14-win resume, but against a quality lineup in Boston, Moore flashed the big-time upside that he possesses as a left-handed ace.
Offensively, the Rays got a 3-hit night from Ben Zobrist, and a clutch 2-RBI single from James Loney, but the night belonged to Moore. At 24 years old, Matt Moore reminded us all that he is still an up and coming stud in this league with a tremendous outing on Sunday night, and with the win, the Rays climbed within a half-game of the Red Sox. The race is on.