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Rays 8, Rangers 2: Guyer one-ups DeJesus, power the Rays to a W

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There is no middle ground in the life of Kevin Cash.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Don't let that final score fool you. This game got good fast, then even worse even faster, but it's easy to forget how boring and plodding it was for, like, an hour and a half. Nathan Karns was a little bit shaky at first, but also seemed to dominate. He was effectively wild, walking two in the early innings and allowing an early hit or two, but also collecting a career-high nine strikeouts. It was as though Karns was two opposite pitchers, overlapping for seven quantum innings. Tonight Tropicana Field was Schrodinger's Box, which is fitting considering practically no fans were present to observe.

On the other hand, the Rays did nothing offensively. Literally, besides David DeJesus's second inning flyball home run (on a pitch, I might add, that was seriously low-and-inside) the game was excruciating for almost six innings. Even though the Rays were winning thanks to serious shutout innings by Karns, it seemed like the Rays were going to find more ways to lose the game. Until the fifth inning, the home run was all the Rays would get in the way of baserunners. Texas starter Yovani Gallardo seemed to lose a bit of control and a bit of bite on his 89 MPH cutter/slider towards the end of the inning, walking Tim Beckham on a ball that somehow missed the strike zone (it didn't) and walking Jake Elmore, but he exited the inning with no harm done.

That said, Karns cruised through the inning that counted. The sixth was a difference-maker for the Rays, and Gallardo's loss of control got the best of him.

Kevin Kiermaier started the inning by working an eight pitch at-bat. KK grounded to shortstop, but Elvis Andrus bobbled it ever so slightly, and it was all the time Kevin needed to reach base. Souza grounded to third, but James Loney kept the party going with a single to center. Evan Longoria was given a 3-0 count, but Gallardo worked it to a full count with some meaty fastballs that can be chalked up as missed opportunities. Cash, with a full count, called for a hit and run.

It worked flawlessly. Longo lined it to right, scoring a run and knocking Gallardo from the game. And it wasn't over. In steps Brandon Guyer, pinch hitting for David DeJesus.

Guyer one-upped DeJesus, sending the first pitch he saw over the fence, killing the rally. It was not an effective night for Alex Claudio to say the least. Cabrera doubled to deep center, but the Rays would score no more this inning.

Cash kept in Karns for the seventh inning, and he rewarded his manager with a 1-2-3 inning. Everyone was happy. But with Kevin Cash there is no middle ground, and Karns remained out there for the eighth. He would face the 8 and 9 hitters, with the lefty-hitting Choo batting in the hole, so I can absolutely see the logic in the move. But is a Nathan Karns, pitching at a career-high 117 pitches, better than the extreme LOOGY Xaiver Cedeno against these two righties? I'm legitimately asking, I am not sure.

Well anyway it didn't work this time, because Karns gave up a home run and a single to these fellows before being pulled. Choo singled against Cedeno, and allowed a freak bunt hit to a hustling Elvis Andrus. All of a sudden: bases loaded, no outs, Rays ahead by four, Prince Fielder batting. The stars seemed to be aligning, and the constellation sucked.

Cedeno, despite it all, buckled down to strike out Prince. Kevin Jepsen entered, and allowed a run on a sac fly but was highly effective in stopping the bleeding. The biggest threat that the Rangers ever mounted was eliminated.


Source: FanGraphs

I call that "Panic Valley."

The Rays scored three more in the bottom of the inning for some sweet, sweet insurance. Loney, Longo, and Guyer singled to load the bases with no outs in their best Ranger imitation. Tim Beckham popped a sac fly, and Cabrera fouled out, but Jake Elmore managed to score two on a super weird play...or should I say...mis-play??? ("word-play") A single to right scored Longo, but the ball from Choo bounced off the catcher's mitt. It didn't go too far, but whoever was in charge of backing up the play was taken a well-deserved nap, because the ball rattled around behind the plate for way too long, scoring Guyer from first. #RaysUp 8-2.

Steve Geltz closed out the game, bringing the total Rays K total to 12. The offense showed up late, but at this point I'm happy if it shows up at all.

  • Can we pinch-hit everyone with everyone this year? Let's make the starting lineup all pinch-hitters.

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<th colspan=2>Roll Call Info</th>

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<tr><td width=150>Total comments</td><td>191</tr>

<tr class="alt"><td>Total commenters</td><td>21</tr>

<tr><td>Commenter list</td><td><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/Adam%20Sanford">Adam Sanford</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/Brett%20Phillips">Brett Phillips</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/Brian%20Andersbot">Brian Andersbot</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/ChiBurbRaysFan">ChiBurbRaysFan</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/DFAHowell">DFAHowell</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/Danny%20Russell">Danny Russell</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/Evan%20Vagoria">Evan Vagoria</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/Imperialism32">Imperialism32</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/JRTW612">JRTW612</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/Landlord">Landlord</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/MagicMark">MagicMark</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/Mr.Jenkins">Mr.Jenkins</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/Rays%20Fan%20in%20NC">Rays Fan in NC</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/Yoko%20Longo">Yoko Longo</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/budman3">budman3</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/essenpee">essenpee</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/kfharlock">kfharlock</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/lizzieray">lizzieray</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/magicrays">magicrays</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/tampa_edski">tampa_edski</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/tampagator">tampagator</a></tr>

<tr class="alt"><td>Story URLs</td><td><div><a href="http://www.draysbay.com/2015/5/8/8573051/gdt-welcome-to-the-rayngers-series">http://www.draysbay.com/2015/5/8/8573051/gdt-welcome-to-the-rayngers-series</a></div>

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<th width=60># Recs</th><th>Commenter</th><th>Comment Link</th>

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<td>6</td><td><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/Brett%20Phillips">Brett Phillips</a></td><td><a href="http://www.draysbay.com/2015/5/8/8573051/gdt-welcome-to-the-rayngers-series#305178472">Has anyone actually seen Rivera and Molina together in the same room?</a></td>

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<td>2</td><td><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/Brett%20Phillips">Brett Phillips</a></td><td><a href="http://www.draysbay.com/2015/5/8/8573051/gdt-welcome-to-the-rayngers-series#305178304">More rec-less than Kevin Cash allowing Karns to pitch the 3rd time through the order</a></td>

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<td>1</td><td><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/magicrays">magicrays</a></td><td><a href="http://www.draysbay.com/2015/5/8/8573051/gdt-welcome-to-the-rayngers-series#305185024">Looks like Guyer is our STFD guy</a></td>

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<td>1</td><td><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/Brian%20Andersbot">Brian Andersbot</a></td><td><a href="http://www.draysbay.com/2015/5/8/8573051/gdt-welcome-to-the-rayngers-series#305182434">If so maybe you're a part of Sterny's last wet dream in 1969</a></td>

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