Rays win! Rays win! Let's jump right in:
Innings 1-3: Smyly, Pineda each skate out of trouble
Drew Smyly threw the kitchen sink in the first inning and it was just enough to escape unscathed. Jacoby Ellsbury picked up a single, stole second, and reached third on a bunt. Smyly had to cut through the formidable duo of Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira. A-Rod foulded off a couple of pitches early and wouldn't stop making contact, finally working a 3-2 count. Smyly then threw a risky, plunging curveball that A-Rod reached for, striking out. Teixeira's at-bat was similarly high-intensity, but Smyly was still able to sneak an inside fastball past Tex, ringing him up and dancing out of early trouble. Unlike Odorizzi, Smyly limited any early damage.
That said, Smyly settled down for much of the game. Drew only needed 12 pitches to get through the second inning. In the third, Smyly struck out the first two batters he faced, but allowed a single to Ellsbury (again). After throwing over a couple of times, Drew managed to catch Ellsbury stealing, and he was tagged out. Only 11 pitches needed: not a bad couple of innings.
Pineda cruised through the first two innings, not allowing a baserunner. My internal groans were starting to become external, when Kiermaier got a base hit to lead off the third, and was bunted over to second base in a very un-Rays like move. The team had been 2-for-36 with RISP against the Yankees this year, as anyone who actually watched last night's game could testify to. Bobby Wilson was up, and was fooled badly, striking out fairly easily, but DeJesus battled and battled for a long time. On the eighth pitch, David struck out on a ball up, but the ball skipped past the glove of John Ryan Murphy, and DeJesus smartly recognized this, hustling to first base. Steven Souza Jr., unfortunately grounded out, and the Rays would leave even more men in scoring position. They probably wouldn't get a hit with RISP all game.
Innings 4-6: Rays, Yanks trade deuces, not in a weird way
In this inning, the Rays got a hit with RISP. It didn't start out promising. It really didn't start out promising. Asdrubal Cabrera and Longo quickly made the first two outs. Longoria struck out on three pitches so nasty Kevin Cash called the Health Department. James Loney, however, smacked a softly hit ball that barely skipped past the second baseman, and Logan Forsythe (who, by the way, has been a seriously hot hitter as of late) lined another pitch to right field. RISP w/ 2 outs: the scene was set for failure. Kevin Kiermaier, seemingly sensing the dire urgency of the Rays' scoring chances worked a DeJesus-esque at-bat. Pineda kept feeding him pitches on the outside corner, and KK kept fouling them back. On the ninth pitch of the at-bat, Pineda caught just a little too much of the plate:
Kiermaier launched a ball to right-center that off the bat, I personally thought was a home run. With a full count and the runners in motion, both Loney and Logan easily made it home. Bobby Wilson flew out to left to end the inning, but the Rays would finally grab their first lead of the series.
But the Yankees weren't done, not by a long
one shot. In the fifth, the Yankees grabbed a run back on a Chase Headley no-doubter. Smyly settled down collecting two more strikeouts to end the inning. In the sixth, with Steve Geltz warming in the bullpen, Chris Young hit a home run that seemed to come out of nowhere, in more or less the same place Headley hit his. After this inning (wherein no more runs were scored) Smyly was removed from the game. He finished with 6 IP, 2 ER on 4 hits and 1 walk. He'd also pick up 10 strikeouts.
Innings 7-9: Literally no one gets on base
Spoiler alert: Both teams pitched perfect innings for a while. If you want to skip this section, feel free, unless you very much enjoy pitching performances.
The Rays couldn't muster much against New York's David Carpenter, younger brother of acclaimed director John Carpenter. No Thing was falling, and the Rays seemed to be in a Fog against Carpenter's Live 95 MPH fastball. It was like Halloween all over again (meaning that it was spooky).
Steve Geltz got the call for the seventh inning, and managed to strikeout the side. His battle against Chase Headley was particularly impressive. Geltz worked him mostly fastballs up-and-away and Headley kept fouling pitch after pitch, working a full count. On the eleventh pitch of the at-bat, Geltz managed to sneak a fastball past him on the inside, catching him swinging. It was an example of what Geltz can do if he's truly on, and it's highly encouraging.
Dellin Betances made the Rays look silly in the eighth. There's really not too much more to say about it. Souza struck out on three pitches, and Cabrera swung at a 12-6 curveball that was sharp as a knife and would've been ball four. Longoria grounded out feebly to end the inning. It was as dominant a display by a reliever I've seen in a while.
Kevin Cash made a questionable decision in the eighth, leaving Geltz in to start the inning after having already thrown 23 pitches. Cash was walking a fine line, and it really seemed like it wasn't going to pay off when Geltz threw three straight pitches out of the zone to start the at-bat to the pinch-hitting Stephen Drew. But Geltz battled back, working low in the zone to actually strike out Drew. When Geltz struck out Didi Gregorius and was lifted for Kevin Jepsen (who got the final out), he had struck out the only five men he faced. In case you were curious, that's 22.33 points in the DRB fantasy league. But you weren't curious.
Geltz is 2nd #Rays to strikeout all 5 batters he faced in a game. Joaquin Benoit did it May 17, 2010 vs. Cleveland— RMooneyTBO (@RMooneyTBO) April 29, 2015
Jepsen worked an easy 1-2-3 ninth inning, by the way.
Andrew Miller, the Yankees closer, set the Rays down in order in the ninth inning, but not before snaring a serious liner hit by Logan Forsythe. With no time to move, Miller put his glove up and managed to come down with the ball. With all the pitchers hit with baseballs we've seen recently, I'm fine with all that. Did y'all see Archie Bradley's cheek? It was gnarly.
Innings 9-12: More of the same
Miller came back in, and dominated. Bobby Wilson hit a ball fairly well to left that Dewayne Staats got pretty excited over, but nothing really came of it. Tim Beckham pinch hit for David DeJesus and struck out. Like, he struck out hard. If you could strike out on a level from 1-10, Beckham would be closer to 9. Or 9.5.
Boxberger entered in the bottom of the inning, and with two outs, he allowed a baserunner via walk. This was the game's first man on base since Chris Young's sixth inning home run, and broke the streak of 25 straight men retired for both teams. The Rays, for their part, had retired the last 13 men. Boxy walked another guy but stranded both on base. To the eleventh inning we go!
The Rays got a baserunner this inning! Asdrubal Cabrera walked! Course, that was the end of the Rays' offense for the inning. Longoria grounded to short, and Loney struck out on a ball in his eyes, but, I mean, beggars can't be choosers. Just need one in the gap.
Boxberger stayed on for the bottom of the 11th, and promptly allowed a hit to Jacoby Ellsbury, whose name I'm really getting sick of writing all the time. Brandon Gomes relieved him, and was tasked with shutting down the heart of the Yankees order. Chris Young, after failing to lay down a bunt for Ellsbury, fouled out. A-Rod then struck out for the fourth time, and Gomes also got Tex to end the inning, after falling behind 3-0. He was giving him nothing but a steady diet of fastballs away, and Tex just missed when he swung, popping out easily to James Loney.
Kiermaier coaxed a walk thanks to a dropped pop fly in foul territory by the normally sure-handed Chase Headley. The Rays would leave him there though. Gomes stayed in for the bottom of the 12th, and allowed a single to Carlos Beltran and hit Brian McCann with a pitch, but he somehow managed to wiggle out of it. These inning-based recaps are getting pretty repetitive, you guys. If I said anything differently you probably wouldn't notice. Aubrey Huff hit a 7-run HR to put the Rays ahead 19-5 in 2004 but Alex Rodriguez used a time machine to recapture his past glory and kill Huff's grandmother, which created a paradox that destroyed a localized area of Yankee Stadium. No one was injured due to the butterfly effect but there will be a hurricane in Malaysia next year.
Inning 13: More like LUCKY THIRTEEN AMIRITE?
Wait a minute: someone scored? I had completely forgotten what scoring looked like. I think I'd seen a run in a book one time, but it was so long ago, I can't be sure. My grandfather told me runs used to run across the entire plain, rolling in the mud and running up and down the hills. I guess that was a long time ago. I guess those people didn't realize how lucky they were to have runs while they were around.
Souza worked a one-out walk, and Cabrera grounded out, pushing him to second base. I was ecstatic with this development. The Rays hadn't had a runner in scoring position since the fourth inning, and I was ready to try anything, just anything. The Yankees walked Evan Longoria, which, in all honesty, might not have been the best move. Sure, it sets up the lefty-righty matchup, but Loney has been known to hit lefties, and Longoria, despite his streak, hasn't exactly been a feared hitter. But look, I'm not complaining:
With the runners in motion on a full count, Souza was able to score fairly easily from second base. Does it count as an infield single if it scores a guy from second? Probably. Ernesto Frieri came in for the save, to the chagrin of many DRB posters, but he only really allowed a blooping liner off of the bat of Chris Young. What's better, A-Rod hit into an inning-ending double play after he'd already worn the Golden Sombrero for the game. Rays FINALLY win an outdoors game and beat the Yankees 3-2.
There's probably more room for editorializing but this was over a 4 hour game and I'm starting to feel like a hunchback leaning over my laptop to write this recap. Plus, it's already over 2000 words, I'd be surprised if anyone has read this far. Rays win, no offense, good bullpen, Cash played with fire, etc. Happy Wednesday, everyone.
Roll Call Info
#TheOneTrueKing, Ben Tumbling, Brett Phillips, Brian Andersbot, Brickhaus, BucoffBuddy, DFAHowell, Danny Russell, Dome Biscuit, Estivage, Ian Malinowski, Imperialism32, MagicMark, Noles95', Passionate Apathy, Rays1118, Spurrier? I Hardly Know Her, The extra 6.9%, all pRays, barnecles, budman3, jlmccal2, kapaafire, kfharlock, lizzieray, nomo.red.evil, npolackw, rglass44, thedudeofdudes, youcancallmeRayRay