Unfortunately for Archer and the Rays, reaching his goal came wrapped in an 8-7 loss at Fenway Park.
Archer insisted that Monday night was not bittersweet for him.
"As far as the sweet part, it's nice," Archer said. "It shows a level of consistency, a level of trust the team has in you to go out and maybe get an extra inning worth of work. And two or three extra outs over the course of 33 starts is the difference of going 190 and 200. So it's a nice accomplishment. I'm able to separate the two. I'm happy about the accomplishment, but the loss [stinks]."
With two on and no outs in the second, Brock Holt grounded to Rays shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, who stepped on second and threw to first base to complete a double play that put Archer on new ground, with 200 innings on the button.
"He's had an impressive year," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "His overall body of work has been impressive. The way he's gotten to 200 innings with the strikeouts, lack of walks, lack of hits and what he's provided for us, it's kind of fitting that this is coming at the end of the year. ... He's been really good all year long."
Archer became the seventh pitcher in team history to reach the blue-collar goal that says so much about a starter.
Archer is the first pitcher to turn the trick for the Rays since 2012, when Price and Shields both exceeded the mark.
In addition, Archer became the fourth Rays pitcher to record a 200-inning, 200-strikeout season, joining Price, Shields and Kazmir.
Archer moved to 203 1/3 innings for the season with his five innings worked Monday. Although Archer left with a 3-1 lead -- despite walking five and throwing two wild pitches -- he received a no-decision thanks to the back-and-forth of lead changes that followed his departure.
"I'm sure he'd be the first to say he's thrown the ball better before," Cash said.
Archer is constantly striving to improve, from diet and offseason conditioning to studying what other pitchers have done to be successful. Given that background, he allowed that reaching the 200-inning mark did, in fact, validate the way he goes about his business.
"It feels good because you know at the end of the season there's only a handful of people in the American League that do that," Archer said. "And it's been a goal that I've had my sights on since 2011, so it's nice validation of the hard work, for sure."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.