First, the good news: The Rays got the no-hitter out of the way early, with an Evan Longoria single in the first. Also, after giving up hits to the first three Yankees and a sac fly to the fourth to put the Rays down 2-0, Nate Karns settled in and had a fine outing. He gave up just two more hits the rest of the way, walking two and striking out ten in seven innings.
Now for the bad news: but I don't have to spell it out for you, do I? You know the drill. For this team, especially during this slump, a two run deficit has been practically insurmountable. And even on the rare occasions where it is if not surmounted, then at least -- um, mounted? I guess? -- even then, this team has shown it can be creative when it has to be.
So let's get this over with.
All hope is false hope
As mentioned already, the Rays did get some hits early. In the first, Longo's no-hit-bid shattering two-out single was followed by a James Loney single. But before Michael Pineda could start sweating, he saw Steven Souza Jr. coming to plate and breathed a sigh of relief. Souza responded by fanning for the eleventy-billionth straight at-bat.
The second inning was where it got really frustrating though. Asdrubal Cabrera got things started with a leadoff double, which was followed with a Kevin Kiermaier walk. This brought Jake Elmore to the plate. I don't know why Jake Elmore is still on this team. I don't know why he was called on to give away an out in the second inning when we were already down 2-0, and Curt Casali was the next hitter. And I really don't know why we can't even execute bad strategy correctly. This is how the rest of the inning went: Elmore popped up a bunt to the catcher, Casali struck out, and Grady Sizemore grounded out. End of "threat." lol
Here were the other threats:
Souza singled in the fourth, but only ironically.
Casali led off the eighth with a double, chasing Pineda. Girardi went to lefty specialist Justin Wilson. Cash responded by pinch hitting Brandon Guyer for Sizemore. Guyer struck out. For good measure, the lefty specialist also struck out Joey Butler (Joey's fourth of the day), before giving way to Betances, who induced a Longo ground out.
Photo credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Wherein Steven Souza almost screws up my recap
Admit it, they almost got you in the ninth, didn't they? You almost fell for it. Silly Rays fan.
With Dellin Betances still on for a four-out save, Loney led off with a single, bringing Souza to the plate. Now, it had been a while since our three true outcome guy had done anything beside the one outcome we all bitch about. But you always knew it was going to happen sooner or later. Today, at a very unlikely time, it did, and Souza took Betances deep.
It almost made you forget that all hope is false hope.
Abandon Hope, All Ye Who Enter Here
Brad Boxberger came on to try to keep the game tied at two, even though Jake McGee didn't come back out for the 8th last night so he would still be available today. (Not that I'm still bitter.) And even though Boxy failed, he at least did it in a new way. So that's something, right?
No. No, it's not.
Double by Horseface after Boxy was ahead 0-2; pinch runner Jose Pirela; walk to Chris Young after Boxy was ahead 0-2; bunt by Ramon Flores, Boxy botches the throw to first on the bunt, Pierla scores. Ball game.
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