The matchup for today's getaway game featured the surprisingly-impressive-if-rarely-rewarded Nathan Karns against last year's matinee idol, Yordano Ventura. After being purchased (accidentally) in the Tier 1 DRB Ottoneu draft for the ridiculous sum of $38, Ventura has had a rocky sophomore season, going 3-6 with a 4.68 ERA / 86 ERA+ / 3.94 FIP, to go along with several scuffles, a brawl-related suspension, and most recently a DL stint. With this being the wiry Dominican's first game back, the Rays were hoping to cash in early.
Hahaha, just kidding. This game was terribad from the get-go. Yordano was good enough, Nate got rocked early like a cheap beach umbrella, and the Royals ran around the bases like kids at Family Fun Day on their way to an 8-3 beatdown of our beloved and beleaguered Rays. I have no idea why all these old bluemen sing so fondly about KC, because I for one am glad to put this town in our rear view mirror. I love me some Royals when other teams are playing them, but Mother Mary on toast, am I tired of them stealing our lunch money.
The Gory Details
After John Jaso started the game with another hit, he was promptly erased when a deep fly by Grady Sizemore was snagged on a great over-the-shoulder catch by not-Alex-Gordon. The relay back to first beat Jaso handily, and that was that.
Hey, remember when we had good outfielders?
Then in the bottom of the frame, a single by Alcides Escobar was followed by a run-scoring double by Eric Hosmer, which was followed by a homer by Lorenzo Cain, and three batters in, it was 3-0. Fats Domino sang that "they got crazy way of lovin'" there in Kansas City, but personally I'm not feeling it. Nate probably isn't either.
The second didn't start much better for Karns. With no outs, Cheslor Cuthbert tripled -- thanks in part to the ill-advised Sizemore dive shown in the main article picture -- driving in Alex Rios and collecting his first RBI in The Show. Woo history! Karns did manage to strand him there and keep the deficit at four. Small victories. Tiny. Insubstantial, obscure, infinitesimal victories.
The Rays put together a little two-out rally in the fourth, when an Evan Longoria single was followed by a James Loney walk. The rally was cut short when Ventura struck out Logan Forsythe looking at 95 up and away. Because Rays.
And Then Came the Fifth
Oh, the fifth. Beethoven's fifth, a masterpiece. A fifth of Irish whiskey to forget your troubles. The fifth amendment, the greatest of all the amendments, except for the one that made it legal to drink Irish whiskey again. The fifth inning was almost special.
The rally started while I was looking for the definitive lyrics to "Kansas City Blues," when the Rays loaded the bases with no outs for Rene Rivera. But we've seen this before. What we haven't seen in a while is a banner worthy bases loaded walk, which Rivera coaxed out of Ventura on seven pitches, putting the Rays on the board and bringing up John Jaso and his slow-pitch softball batting average to the plate.
Now, I'll admit it. I'm not ashamed of it. I might be a cynic, a pessimist even, but I'm still a baseball fan. So, yeah, I felt a little spark of hope. Even though the payoff was only back-to-back sacflies, first from Jaso and then Sizemore, to make it a 4-3 game. Call me crazy but I. Had. Hope. Because 4-3? That's a game, right? And then Longo reaches on a error, and like me, maybe you're thinking, well, don't slumps have to end somewhere? Why not here, in Kansas City? And even after James Loney flies out, you still think, hey, it's only one run. We... we can do this...
But then Karns gives up a single to Hosmer, hits Cain, throws a wild pitch, gives up a sacfly to Kendrys Morales, and we give back one of those hard earned runs, just like that. And then, just to make sure your dreams are not merely mostly dead, but all dead, good ol' Nate follows that by grooving one to Salvador Perez, who goes deeeeeep to left, putting us right back where we started, down four, at 7-3. And that, Rays fans, is why we can't have nice things. Because of fifth innings like that.
The Rays has a couple mini-rallies after that -- second and third in the sixth snuffed out when Rivera chased ball four in the dirt from Brandon Finnegan, Evan Longoria with a lonely single in the seventh of Ryan Madson, a walk from Joey Butler in the 8th against Luke Hochevar -- but the fight was gone. And bonus anti-climax points for Alex Colome's effort out of the pen, where he worked the 8th and gave up a run on four hits.
- Hey, did you know these recaps are a lot easier to write when you know how the game is going to end before it even starts?
- Weirdness - Non-All-Star Omar Infante struck out in the first, then took off for first when the ball bounced. That's not weird. But before Rivera could coral it and make the putout, Infante's bat hit the ball, leading to a out by batter's interference. Not something you see every day.
- Cain was tossed between the 7th and 8th for arguing balls and strikes. Come on, man. Aren't you beating us badly enough already? Chill out already.
- Why would you play Grady Sizemore and John Jaso in the same outfield, in a game when you're DH-ing David DeJesus?
- Jake McGee: Still rested
|Roll Call Info|
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