And I'm spent. I think my body has been dosed with so many waves of adrenaline today, I'm exhausted. From the moment I woke up today, there's been non-stop drama with the Rays - first they traded for Qualls in the early hours of the morning, then they were involved in numerous rumors right up to the trade deadline, then they play an epic back-and-forth classic against the Yankees, then they fall short in the ninth inning, and then they announce they're calling up Jeremy Hellickson from the minors. My body doesn't know if I'm coming or going at this point. That's it, tap me out.
In his first start since his no-hitter, Matt Garza pitched well, going seven strong innings while striking out nine, walking one, and only letting up five hits. He threw mainly fastballs again, but he still generated swinging strikes on 8.25% of his pitches. The problem was, two of those five hits were homeruns, including one two-run homerun. On each occasion, those homeruns allowed the Yankees to come back and tie the game up.
Offensively, John Jaso and Carl Crawford led the charge for the Rays. Jaso went 3-4 with two doubles and a triple, while Carl had two hits and stole the 400th base of his career. Oh, and Matt Joyce crushed a solo homerun - it was one of the hardest hit homeruns I've seen all season - that put the Rays ahead in the sixth inning, but that's nothing new.
In the end, the game came down to one bad pitch. In the ninth inning with the score tied, Rafael Soriano came in to hold the Yankees down, but with Robinson Cano at the plate, he threw a low and inside fastball that caught just a bit too much of the plate. Boom stick, homerun. After that, it was Mariano Rivera and game over. The Rays played well but came up just short; hopefully they'll be able to finish off the series with a win tomorrow as Shields and Sabathia face off.
Odds are, there will be more roster moves coming up shortly (even potentially by game time on Sunday), so rest up and reload the system. We're in for another bumpy ride.