It's hard to follow a terribad game like the Rays and Red Sox played last night, but Red Sox' Joe Kelly (2.6, 5.94 ERA, 4.43 FIP) and the Rays' Matt Moore (1-2, 7.61, 5.36) gave it their best shot.
The Early Going
It appeared that the Rays' game plan was to be aggressive early against Kelly. Jaso singled on the first pitch of the game. Unfortunately, that bit of good fortune was followed by a popped up bunt by Souza on the game's second pitch, because Rays. Longoria at least worked a longer at bat before fanning on a slider away, and Loney was quickly dispatched on the foul pop.
Brock Holt started things similarly for the Red Sox, singling to left on Moore's second pitch. Things diverged with the next hitter, as Bogaerts worked a long at bat before squeezing a single back through the middle. Ortiz followed with a drive toward the windmill in right field corner which Souza did a nice job to run down and catch, allowing only Holt to move up to third. Ramirez followed with a sinking liner to center, to which Kiermaier did what KK does, charging and snagging it above the grass. Unfortunately, the barrel roll that followed allowed Holt to score. Moore then made quick work of Napoli, striking him out on three pitches to get out of the inning. All in all, not a bad job by Moore, who was around the zone even when he wasn't in it. If this was his One Bad Inning, maybe things would be okay?
Or Maybe Not
Travis Shaw doubled to left leading off the second on a good fastball away from Moore, and Matty was back to the stretch. Castillo followed by taking a decent curve from Moore the other way for a double, and it was 2-0. Then Ryan Hanigan hooked one past a diving Longoria, putting runners at the corners. Then some more stuff happened, but I was commenting in the GDT with a Red Sox troll, so I didn't see how we fell behind 5-0, and didn't have the stomach to rewind. Honestly, it looked to me that in addition to all Moore's other problems, he might have been tipping pitches. Turns out the first was Matt's One Good Inning. Blech.
Other Things I Saw While I Was Folding Laundry
- Some random Red Sox (Travis Shaw? Who's he?) hit a homer off Moore.
- Cabby made a nice play charging a ball, then made a solid one-hop throw to first. Of course James Loney didn't scoop it.
- His line aide, I thought Moore looked better. The velocity was up to 94. The command was still a work in progress, but I'd bet he put about half his pitches close to where he wanted them. Baby steps, and I'd rather he was doing this with the GCL Rays (who never win anyway), but it wasn't as bad as the final line looked.
Joe Kelly Does Joe Kelly Things
Try All of Column B
Joe Kelly? More Like KeLOLy
I imagine Sox fans were not surprised, as they are used to watching a terribly managed team, but I was surprised to see Kelly come back out for the sixth. The Rays made sure he wouldn't be out there for long, as a ground rule double by Asdrubal Cabrera was followed by a KK RBI single to center. 7-5, and no more Joe.
Justin Masterson came on, and was very intent on keeping KK close. So of course he fired a "slider to the on deck circle" (h/t Brian Anderson) to move Bo up for free. (Bo? Yes, like Bo Outlaw. That's what I'm going with. If you don't like it, write your own recap.) Masterson rallied to strike out Casali, but then lost Jaso on a six pitch walk. With Souza due up next, Guyer was called on to pinch hit due to the after effects of the nasty HBP in Junior's last AB. On the 0-1 pitch to Guyer, Bo took off for third and was called out trying to steal. The Rays challenged the play, with KK believing he reached the outfield side of the bag before the tag (or maybe that there was no tag at all). In the end, the call stood due to the limitations of reviewing a three dimensional play with two dimensional technology. Was KK safe? Viewed through my Rays glasses, of course he was. But even with the great look we got from replay, letting the call on the field stand was the right call.
The caught stealing stung a bit more when Guyer took the 0-2 pitch into the gap. Then it stung a bit less when John Jaso came all the way around from first to score, thanks to a weak throw and a smart slide. 7-6.
Geltz It Right Back
New pre-setup guy Steve Geltz came on for bottom of the sixth, and so did the rain. And some more walks. And some more runs. Ortiz and Shaw walked, moved up on a wild pitch, then scored on a single to right by Castillo, and it was a three run game again.
I don't like Travis Shaw.
One More Rally
In the eighth, after a one-out Bo single, Mighty Casali came up with a shot to draw the Rays closer once again. Sadly, his pop fly was just short of the loop-de-loop in left. But Jaso followed with his third hit of the day, a single to center, pushing Kiermaier to third, chasing Craig Breslow, and forcing yet another pitching change. John Farrell opted for righty Jean Machi, who fanned Brandon Guyer in a six pitch at bat, ending the Rays last best shot.
Hey, there was a Kirby Yates sighting in the bottom of the eighth. It went a lot like you remember Kirby Yates sightings going: single, strikeout (w/ a steal), home run (by Shaw? To straight away center? Seriously?), ground out, long fly to left after a long at bat that nearly gave me enough time to proof this whole recap.
Too Little Too Late
Logan Forsythe hit a homer off Machi in the ninth, but nobody cared besides his agent. 11-7 all prime number final for an ugly game. Go Rays.
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