As many of you may know, I've had a bit of a history recapping Rays/Red Sox games. I've been warned several times to tone it down. I've been told repeatedly to be less inflammatory. So for that reason, today's recap is all business. Nothing but the facts, ma'am.
The fact is, mouth-breathing neanderthals everywhere are rejoicing today, as their last place baseball team from their awful town managed to beat our Tampa Bay Rays by the score of five runs to three, even as they were out-hit ten to eight. The chances were there, but our Rays couldn't quite capitalize.
Chris Archer had a weird day, as he struck out ten but allowed five runs on five hits thanks to three homers. He hung a couple of changeups in the 2nd and allowed his nemesis, David Ortiz, to punish a slider in the 4th. Three painful pitches that I'm sure a fierce competitor like Chris Archer would love to have back. Perhaps he should chat with his old friend David Price about how to process and recover from today, as this was something our former ace dealt with on several occasions.
The trouble began in the 2nd for Archer. He hung a 1-1 changeup that looked like it would be fouled off in innocent fashion by a late Sandoval swing. Unfortunately, the ball managed to somehow stay fair long enough to bounce off the foul pole to put the visiting squad up 1-0 early. In the next at bat, Mike Napoli acted like a subhuman barbarian after a called strike three, and was immediately ejected. Like so many players with a B on their hat have over the years, Napoli reacted like a giant, entitled infant who did not get his way, and was excused from doing his job for the rest of the day because of it. Way to make 'em proud up there, Mike.
Napoli's ejection would prove to be anything but a turning point for Archer, as he almost immediately tossed another 85 mph meatball change over the plate that Alejandro de Aza deposited into the right field bleachers to put the basement-dwellers up 2-0.
The damage continued in the 4th inning, as America's least favorite athlete, David Ortiz, took a Chris Archer slider that slid right into the sweet spot into the stands before beginning a slow, laborious trot to home plate. A two-run shot. 4-0 NotRays.
The Rays finally got on the board in the 5th, as Brandon Guyer got on base with a single off the glove of Justin Masterson and advanced to second on a passed ball. Asdrubal Cabrera, on his Make Hatefilled Look Stupid World Tour, knocked a single to center that send a hard-charging Guyer to the plate to put the Rays on the board 4-1.
Archer continued to struggle in the 6th, striking out Brock Holt before giving up a double to Xander Bogaerts, allowing Xander to advance on a wild pitch and walking David Ortiz. That dadgummed Panda made him pay again, scoring Bogaerts on a sac fly to left. 5-1 BaseballTeamClosetoWhereNotoriousCheaterTomBradyPlaysFootbaw.
Guyer and Cabrera got after it again in the 7th. Cabrera sent Guyer across the plate after clobbering a fastball to center for a beautiful RBI triple (that was apparently later ruled a double and a Jackie Bradley Jr. error I guess?). Grady Sizemore, looking downright yummy in Tampa Bay Rays baby blue, scored Cabrera on an RBI single the other way down the left field line. 5-3.
Hope began to build, as the Rays brought the tying run to the plate in both the 8th and 9th innings, but our chances were stymied both times by a combination of Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara.
5-3 was your final, bringing the Rays' record to 42-35. Basement-dwellers aside, the AL East is crazy tight, with Tampa Bay, Baltimore, New York and Toronto all separated by just a game (as of the time of this writing). Nate Karns takes the mound tomorrow night against Cody "Kershaw" Anderson, so clearly we'll need his best.
- Evan Longoria made an outstanding play at third base in the 3rd inning. Diving to grab a Mookie Betts grounder, and hopping up in time to make a perfect throw to first base to record the out.
- Mookie Betts fouled a ball off of his own right knee in the 5th and went down in a good bit of pain. He rubbed some dirt on it and stayed in.
- The Rays had a real chance in the 8th, but Devin Marrero made a diving grab on a mean Guyer grounder with Forsythe in scoring position who would no doubt be headed home. Guyer threw his helmet in frustration, as I shattered a pint glass in my living room.
- Logan Forsythe was hit by pitches twice today, as the Red Sox continued to demonstrate their hatred for beloved X-Man Wolverine and all people named Logan. It's only a matter of time until Forsythe has had enough and breaks out the adamantium claws.
- The cries for justice and robot umpires became even louder today, as second base umpire Brian "Mr. Magoo" Gorman made a godawful safe call, on an Alejandro de Aza steal attempt that was thwarted by a terrific throw by Rene Rivera. As mentioned by Brian Anderson, de Aza seemed to slide into second like he was giving an awkward bro hug, never actually touching the base before he was tagged. The call was reviewed, and overturned.
- Asdrubal Cabrera and Grady Sizemore, in his Rays debut, were monsters at the top of the order today, going a combined 6-10 with 3 RBI. Brandon Guyer was no slouch himself, going 2-4 and scoring 2/3's of the Tampa Bay runs today.
- Don't worry too much about Archer. His changeup wasn't great, particularly two of them, but it's a pitch he needs to have in his tool belt. His effective fastball/slider combo was enough to strike out ten, and that Sandoval homer is probably a foul ball six times out of nine. Archie takes the mound in Yankee Stadium next time out, in what could be a battle for first place in the East, so I expect him to throw a Scherzer.
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