Last night was fun, huh? If you like a lack of offense and watching swinging strikes, then it was the cat's pajamas. If you, like me, are rooting for a Rays victory every night, then it wasn't the best of times.
Obviously the story of the night was the performance by Carlos Carrasco. The young right hander held the Rays hitless for 8.2 innings and was one strike away from history when Joey Butler poked a line drive just over the head of second baseman Jason Kipnis. Carrasco was perfect through 6.1 innings until Joey Butler also broke that up by drawing a rare walk. That marks the third consecutive game Cleveland starters had a perfect game through at least five innings, which had never happened before baseball's long history.
Carrasco's performance was even more impressive because the Rays literally couldn't hit the ball. He induced thirty, that's 3-0, swinging strikes. That's the most since 2008, tying Francisco Liriano's effort in 2012. A majority (12) game off his slider which sits at a Chris Archer-like 90 miles an hour. The Rays reward for breaking up a no hitter for the third night in a row is...having to face 2014 Cy Young winner Corey Kluber, who has an 18 strikeout game under his belt already this season. Good luck.
The Rays actually did scratch out a run after being no hit for so long, but it wasn't nearly enough because the Indians used Rays' starter Alex Colome as a pinata. He did end up pitching seven innings, and the last three were very good, but the first four, specifically the second, third, and fourth, were hard to watch. He tried throwing his changeup early in counts in the second inning and it was easily handled by the Cleveland hitters. As Brian Anderson noted, this was a terrible idea because no other pitches had been established. A changeup isn't effective if the hitter isn't afraid of the fastball first and foremost. That, and he couldn't keep any pitch down. Everything the Indians hit was left up in the zone, which is the opposite of what he did in his previous start against Cleveland.
As I mentioned, the Rays face Corey Kluber today. What's the over/under on when they get their first baserunner? I'll be optimistic and go with the third inning.