List of Tampa Bay Rays Opening Day starting pitchers

List of Tampa Bay Rays Opening Day starting pitchers


The Tampa Bay Rays are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Tampa Bay, Florida. They play in the American League East division. The first game of the new baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, and being named the Opening Day starter is an honor, which is given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season.[1] The Rays have used ten different Opening Day starting pitchers in their sixteen seasons. Since the franchise's beginning in 1998, the ten starters have a combined Opening Day record of four wins, six losses (4–6), and six no decisions.[2][3][4][5] "No decisions" are awarded to the starting pitcher if the game is won or lost after the starting pitcher has left the game.

James Shields holds the Rays' record for most Opening Day starts with four, with one win, one loss, and two no decisions.[2] The all-time record for a Tampa Bay pitcher winning an Opening Day game is one, shared by Steve Trachsel, Albie Lopez, Victor Zambrano, and James Shields.[2]

Overall, Rays starting pitchers have a combined 2–3 record at home and 2–3 when they are away for Opening Day.[2][4] In 2004, the Rays opened the season against the New York Yankees at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan.[2][6] Although that game was not played in Tampa Bay's actual home of Tropicana Field, it was still considered a home game for the Rays.[2][6] Tampa Bay beat the Yankees 8–3 in that game, giving starting pitcher Victor Zambrano the win.[6]

Key

Season Each year is linked to an article about that particular Rays season.
W Win
L Loss
ND (W) No decision by starting pitcher; Rays won game
ND (L) No decision by starting pitcher; Rays lost game
Pitcher (#) Number of appearances as Opening Day starter with the Rays
* Advanced to the post-season
** Won the American League Championship Series

Pitchers

Season Pitcher Decision Opponent Location Ref(s)
1998 Alvarez, WilsonWilson Alvarez L Detroit Tigers Tropicana Field [2][3]
1999 Alvarez, WilsonWilson Alvarez (2) L Baltimore Orioles Oriole Park at Camden Yards [2][3]
2000 Trachsel, SteveSteve Trachsel W Minnesota Twins Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome [2][3]
2001 Lopez, AlbieAlbie Lopez W Toronto Blue Jays Tropicana Field [2][3]
2002 Sturtze, TanyonTanyon Sturtze ND (W) Detroit Tigers Tropicana Field [2][3][7]
2003 Kennedy, JoeJoe Kennedy ND (W) Boston Red Sox Tropicana Field [2][3][8]
2004 Zambrano, VictorVictor Zambrano W New York Yankees Tokyo Dome [2][3][6]
2005 Brazelton, DewonDewon Brazelton L Toronto Blue Jays Tropicana Field [2][3][9]
2006 Kazmir, ScottScott Kazmir ND (L) Baltimore Orioles Oriole Park at Camden Yards [2][3][10]
2007 Kazmir, ScottScott Kazmir (2) L New York Yankees Yankee Stadium [2][3][11]
2008** Shields, JamesJames Shields W Baltimore Orioles Oriole Park at Camden Yards [2][3][12]
2009 Shields, JamesJames Shields (2) L Boston Red Sox Fenway Park [2][3][4]
2010* Shields, JamesJames Shields (3) ND (W) Baltimore Orioles Tropicana Field [2][3][5]
2011* Price, DavidDavid Price L Baltimore Orioles Tropicana Field [2][3][13]
2012 Shields, JamesJames Shields (4) ND (W) New York Yankees Tropicana Field [2][3][14]
2013 Price, DavidDavid Price (2) ND (L) Baltimore Orioles Tropicana Field [2][3][15]

References