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#R(3-2)PECT: Rays lose season finale against Yankees

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hey guise did u no deric jeter is retiring

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Listen to the sound of that crowd. It's hard for me to really hate Jeter, I mean really hate him, because the whole #RE2PECT thing at its core is right on the money, even if it has been absurdly overplayed and shoved down our throats on a level unlike anything I've ever seen before. The only aggravation I feel about the Yankees at this point in the year really just comes from Yankees fans and that whole arrogance behind essentially shutting down the game this year to throw rose petals at Jeter, just as they did last year for Mariano Rivera. But whatever, it's all over for the Rays now. Just wait until the end of the year for the Thinkpiece-mageddon.

Innings 1-3

Cobb started off pretty strong in the first, retiring the side on 7 pitches, 6 of which were strikes. Brandon McCarthy, if you didn't know, has an incredibly strong Twitter presence:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Ok I&#39;ll arbitrarily set the football right here then we&#39;ll officially measure it to within a hundredth of an inch</p>&mdash; Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) <a href="https://twitter.com/BMcCarthy32/status/510950623945457665">September 14, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>When I see people clap at fireworks my head tilts like a dog&#39;s does when it hears words it recognizes.</p>&mdash; Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) <a href="https://twitter.com/BMcCarthy32/status/510971838676353024">September 14, 2014</a></blockquote>

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He allowed a hit to Ben Zobrist in the first, shattering all hopes of the perfect game that we were all concerned over! Ha! Take that! But then David DeJesus was thrown out at second later that inning so, I mean, whatever. Cobb threw 9 pitches in the second, and looked good doing it. At the end of the third, Cobb had thrown 33 pitches and retired the first nine men in order, bringing to mind memories of this:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>DEVELOPING: Rays&#39; Alex Cobb only SIX outs away from no-hitting the Yankees in Yankee Stadium! <a href="http://t.co/R27G305e8l">http://t.co/R27G305e8l</a></p>&mdash; NBC Sports (@NBCSports) <a href="https://twitter.com/NBCSports/status/510233469210079232">September 12, 2014</a></blockquote>

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Innings 4-6

Alas, it was not meant to be. In the fourth, Cobb allowed a single to Jacoby Ellsbury to give the Yankees their first baserunner of the game. He'd be stranded at third though, when New York couldn't muster up a ball out of the infield. In the bottom of that inning, with two outs, Evan Longoria did a thing:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>GET OUTTA HERE. <a href="https://twitter.com/Evan3Longoria">@Evan3Longoria</a> takes an 0-1 fastball from McCarthy deep down grand central. Homer No. 22 for Longo puts <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RaysUp?src=hash">#RaysUp</a>, 1-0!</p>&mdash; Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) <a href="https://twitter.com/RaysBaseball/status/512393149667225601">September 18, 2014</a></blockquote>

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Maybe the power stroke isn't really gone. Maybe it's just been in hiding. Or maybe his daughter isn't keeping him up all night anymore, which let's be honest is probably what it was to begin with. #RaysUp 1-0

The good vibes wouldn't last long though. With his first pitch of the fifth inning, Cobb hit Chris Young, who if you remember (how could you forget?) both ended Cobb's no-hit bid the other night, and later hit a walk-off home run to spoil the night for the Rays. It was probably unintentional. Totally unintentional. Well anyway revenge is overrated because with one out, Chase Headley doubled home Chris Young to tie the game up 1-1. Just a few batters later, Brendan Ryan hit a ground rule double to score Headley from second, giving the Yankees the 2-1 lead. Nick Franklin would single in the bottom of the inning and steal second, illustrating to all of us that he truly is Ben Zobrist 2.0, but alas it was not meant to be, and the Rays would leave the fifth empty-handed.

The sixth was even worse for Cobb. Although he only allowed one run on a sac fly (which was only a sac fly by the graces of Wil Myers' glove) the inning could have and should have gone much, much worse.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Balls hit here just generally don&#39;t get caught. <a href="http://t.co/RgHWU6xgzk">http://t.co/RgHWU6xgzk</a></p>&mdash; MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) <a href="https://twitter.com/MLBGIFs/status/512411017440006145">September 18, 2014</a></blockquote>

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Cobb struggled to nearly every batter he faced. Jeter led off the inning with a base hit, and then allowed 6- and 9-pitch walks to Brian McCann and Mark Teixeira. Cobb, through some miracle, actually managed to avoid the Chris Young grand slam we all knew was coming, instead getting him to foul out in the most unproductive way. After the Brett Gardner sac fly Cobb again walked Headley on six pitches and somehow got Ichiro to ground out. This'd be the last inning that he'd throw, leaving the game with 4 hits, 3 walks, and only 3 strikeouts with 100 pitches thrown, only 60 of which were strikes.

The Rays'd get a run back in the bottom of the inning. David DeJesus hit a hard one-out triple and scored when Longoria grounded out a batter later.

Innings 7-9

With Cobb out, Maddon called to C.J. Riefenhauser who retired the only two men he faced. He made Jacoby Ellsbury in particular look pretty silly, swinging at cutters that dove away from the lefty Ellsbury. Maddon then called to Balfour to get Jeter, and he did, on the first pitch.

Then something happened in the bottom of the inning but we really don't need to talk about it. I mean sure only 71 (now 72 pitchers) have done it in MLB history but it's not like it's a big deal or anything. Heck, it's happened 6 times already this year, which is the most in history, so it's not even like immaculate innings are a big deal anymore. Whatever, man.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>It gets more immaculate the more you watch it. <a href="http://t.co/ZkgXx1GH2z">http://t.co/ZkgXx1GH2z</a></p>&mdash; MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) <a href="https://twitter.com/MLBGIFs/status/512424911051055104">September 18, 2014</a></blockquote>

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Balfour made it through the eighth after a comically, absurdly bad call by the ump was overturned. Dellin Betances would walk Ryan Hanigan, who was replaced by Brandon Guyer. Despite the speed at first, the Rays couldn't capitalize on a stolen base.

In the ninth Peralta ended and collected two more strikeouts. The Rays went fairly quietly in the ninth, with the monotony only broken up by a Wil Myers two-out single. Despite the loss, they took the series (and the season series) from the Yankees. And hey, we gave Jeter a great send-off, so there ya go.

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