The Rays will need to be cleaner than this against the Yankees.
A lot of things didn’t go quite right in the second game of the three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox. Before the game descended into the madness of extra innings, on paper there was plenty to like, but the game showed that the team will need to clean up some sloppy play if before the weekend.
Starting out with Tyler Glasnow, let’s look at the line on paper: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K in 97 pitches. Good, right? Absolutely, if you don’t look at the fact Glasnow’s command wasn’t in peak form, or that the Red Sox first run came off a wild pitch that bounced up over Mike Zunino’s head, allowing Christian Arroyo to score the first run of the day.
He continued to show some borderline wild pitches throughout the game, but thankfully managed to avoid any further damage.
Glasnow’s opponent, Martin Perez, had a solid start to the game, but was chased after five innings of work when he amassed 92 pitches, and gave up three runs on five hits. The third inning was where Perez started to show strain, giving up a single to Mike Zunino, then walking Yandy Diaz. Randy Arozarena singled to load the bases, and then a Manuel Margot scored Zunino and Diaz. The smile on Margot’s face afterwards was pretty sensational.
In the sixth inning, things got better for the Rays, but also marked another notable gaffe for the team. First, the bad news. Following a Brandon Lowe walk, Willy Adames hit a long, loooong ball right to the Monster. It should have easily been a double, especially when it was bobbled by the Sox outfielders, but Adames clearly thought it was gone, because he was doing a slow cruise by first when he realized his mistake.
Too late, he realized he needed to be back at first, but was beaten by the tag. Lowe was able to advance to third, but what should have been two on, no out, was the first out of the inning. Thankfully, Joey Wendle, pinch-hitting for Kevin Padlo (whose expressions all game were the very definition of “just happy to be here”) hit a single to score Lowe, giving the Rays a 3-1 lead.
Let’s not dwell too much on the Margot fly out off the Monster (which you could actually hear hitting the wall before it was caught), we can consider if karmic balance for the Randy Arozarena “hit by pitch” the team got earlier in the game. The baseball gods giveth, the baseball gods taketh away.
Willy Adames, looking to redeem himself after the running mix-up earlier unfortunately continued his follies, and was tagged out in the top of the eighth inning trying to steal second. This was a further shame when Mejia was walked immediately after the tagout, in addition to Hernandez throwing a wild pitch on the fourth ball.
Pete Fairbanks looked rough almost immediately in the eighth inning, taking over from Cody Reed in the seventh. First Fairbanks gave up a double to Verdugo, then another double to Martinez, which scored Verdugo, bringing the score to 3-2, with no outs. The Rays got really lucky to end the inning as it appeared Martinez lost track of outs, allowing the Rays to close out the eighth with a double-play.
In the bottom of the ninth with no outs, Diego Castillo gave up a solo home run to Christian Vazquez to tie the game.
The tenth inning began with little action from the Rays, and in the bottom of the inning Andrew Kittredge came on to replace Castillo. Arroyo advanced the default baserunner to second on a groundout, and then Verdugo was intentionally walked. In spite of the high tension situation, Kittredge looked tuned in and got through the inning unscathed.
In the eleventh inning Willy Adames got his redemption. With Brandon Lowe the default baserunner, Adames hit a double to the left field corner, scoring Lowe and putting himself in scoring position. While the Rays did not score any additional runs in the inning, no matter how badly I wanted a Mike Zunino hero moment, the Adames RBI did give the Rays their lead back.
Jeffrey Springs let Kittredge end his game on a high note, with Springs coming in hoping to finish the Red Sox off in the bottom of the 11th. Alas, friends, that would not be the case. Devers, on the first hit of the inning ruined any hope of a clean inning as he scored baserunner Bogaerts and re-tied the game. Springs lasted only as long as necessary, and then Cash went to Ryan Thompson. Thompson was up and down in two pitches, sending the Rays to the 12th.
In the 12th, Zunino was able to advance to third on a wild pitch by new pitcher Valdez, and then a Randy Arozarena groundout scored Zunino to give the Rays the lead once more. Once again the one-run lead was all the Rays were able to get, so I guess we’ll see how the bottom of the inning goes, or if I’m going to be making myself a cup of coffee.
With two out in the bottom of the 12th, Thompson hit Verdugo, putting two runners on with J.D. Martinez due up. A wild pitch advanced the runners to second and third and took about six months off my life expectancy. A hit to right field from Martinez went over Arozarena’s head, and the missed catch allowed Renfroe and Verdugo to score, and it was a walk-off win for the Red Sox.
What a dismal loss for the Rays.
Final score: Red Sox 6, Rays 5, Recap rewrites 8.