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Rays vs. Mariners, game three recap: King Felix too much for Kiermaier to handle alone

Outlaw was the only Ray able to touch him.

Jennifer Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Felix Hernandez clearly wants to be a Yankee. Maybe he's already on the payroll. Two starts ago against the Rays, he threw a complete game shutout where he walked no one and struck out eight batters. Last start against the Yankees, he couldn't make it out of the fifth inning, and gave up seven earned runs while walking five batters and striking out four.

So of course, back against the Rays, he was his normal self again, with seven one-run innings. The Rays actually worked three walks against him, which is a lot, but they weren't able to back them up with hits (only two against King Felix, three on the night)

We've questioned whether Kevin Kiermaier should be batting lead-off, but today he was perfect out of the first spot. He led off the game with a walk, and then promptly stole second base. Joey Butler struck out, so Kiermaier, seeing that he would need to advance himself, stole third (he was initially called out, but that was overturned to safe on review). Steeling third with a lefty (David DeJesus) at the plate is difficult, so that's a good job from KK.

DeJesus worked a walk to put runners on the corners for Logan Forsythe, who lined a changeup hard, but close enough for the Mariners shortstop to make a leaping grab. Steven Souza struck out, and Kiermaier's heroics were wasted.

Since his Rays teammates couldn't be counted on to bring him home, Kiermaier went ahead and did it all himself in the sixth inning (with the Rays now down 1-0). He pulled an elevated fastball on the outside portion of the plate over Nelson Cruz, and instantly decided it was a triple, putting his head down and running for all he was worth. Cruz's throw was strong, and I actually thought they had a chance of getting him, but the Mariners bobbled the relay and there was no throw to third. In the next at bat, Felix left a changeup in the dirt that Mike Zunino couldn't block, and Outlaw came home on the wild pitch.

Meanwhile, Alex Colome was not dominant, but he was good enough to deserve better. I thought that in his last start he was a bit too reliant on his cutter/slider, and that he failed to establish his fastball. Last night he rectified that, throwing 57 fastballs compared to only 18 cutters (according to Brooks Baseball). His fastballs were hard, with both the four-seam and the two-seam averaging above 95 mph, but he wasn't able to consistently locate and work combinations, as evidenced by the fact he only got one swinging strike on all of his secondary pitches combined.

But a 95 mph fastball is tough to hit. Colome scattered seven hits over six innings, along with three walks. He only struck out two batters, but he also only allowed one run.

The damage against Colome came in the fourth. Seth Smith flipped a fastball the other way into short left field and hustled for a double. Logan Morrison also flipped one into left field. It looked like DeJesus thought about selling out for a diving attempt, but decided at the last moment to play it off the hop instead. Willie Bloomquist singled up the middle to plate the run from third.

After a Mike Zunino walk (!), Colome got out of the bases-loaded jam with a popup and a double play.

Colome was relieved by Steve Geltz in the seventh inning. Austin Jackson, the second batter of the inning, homered on the seventh pitch of the at bat. We don't like for that to happen, but sometimes it does. Geltz finished the seventh and stayed in for a scoreless eighth inning as well.

Some other notes:

  • Much like Forsythe's unrewarded line drive in the first, Nick Franklin hit a hard line drive in the second inning, that only succeeded in doubling Jake Elmore off first.
  • Do not run on Rene Rivera. In the sixth inning (on what might have been a hit-and-run with the pitch too far outside for the batter to make contact), he threw out Logan Morrison at second. His throw was a little bit to the shortstop side, but it got there quickly enough that Cabrera had time to make the tag. Later, in the eighth inning, he caught Dustin Ackley. This throw was right on the money, and Cabrera didn't even need to move his mitt to make the tag.
Roll Call Info
Total comments 180
Total commenters 23
Commenter list Adam Sanford, AndrewTorrez, Barnese and Bailey Circus, Ben Tumbling, Brett Phillips, Brian Andersbot, Brickhaus, CSG BBR, Dome Biscuit, Hipster Doofus, JRTW612, MrWizzle21, Noles95', Pocoroba, Rays1118, RazeTheRoof, ReyL, lizzieray, magicrays, nomo.red.evil, the dobber, thedudeofdudes, turntwo21
Story URLs
# Recs Commenter Comment Link
3 RazeTheRoof Ha
3 CSG BBR The man changes a lot of diapers
3 Brett Phillips Thanks
3 Brett Phillips If I know anything about baseball
3 thedudeofdudes How freaking long do you walk your dog for?
2 AndrewTorrez didn't I watch this inning already?
2 lizzieray Where is Mr. Landlord for the Felix uniform critique?
1 turntwo21 I agree, holding the Mariners to two runs in two days IS good. Thanks for your optimism!
1 Dome Biscuit Two runs in two days!!!
1 magicrays more like yoko stopped putting out