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Rays 2, Astros 3: Cardiac Rays do it again

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The Rays are now 2-10 in extra innings.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Tomorrow (today?) I have to wake up well before the sun comes up so obviously the game went into extra innings. Pretty cool, sports team.

Karns allowed a run in the first inning because of course he did. I'm not being fatalistic here: I love Nathan Karns and I'm seeing why Frieds traded away quite a few folks to nab him from the Nationals. But boy or boy if it isn't a foregone conclusion that Karns will allow a run in the first inning. Carlos Correa took him deep to put the Rays in a quick 1-0 hole.

It didn't have to start that way though. With Keuchel on the mound, Kevin Cash had already reiterated how important it was to capitalize on Dallas' (a player for the Astros named Dallas is the epitome of baseball) mistakes. So with a leadoff double and walk in the books, you'd think you'd have an opportunity to score. And you'd be right! But...

Evan Longoria seemed to get a hit after the umps called Desmond Jennings safe at second base, but it was fairly clear that Jennings was out upon replay. The Astros asked the umps to review it, and their wish was granted: Jennings was out at second. Logan Forsythe struck out and Asdrubal Cabrera popped out to end the threat.

This is all to say that the Rays were in a hole early, and Keuchel settled in. He of the undefeated home record and sub-2 home ERA collected groundball after groundball, actually collecting nine on the night. Any time the Rays seemed to be about to get something going, Keuchel would coax a double play, or get a lineout, and the Astros would walk away unscathed.

Nathan Karns actually fared well after the first inning, per the norm with him. He even had to pitch around a Tim Beckham glove goof in the sixth. T-Bexxx seemed to throw out a runner, but he had a hard time getting the ball out of his glove, and the Astros once again won a challenge as Kevin Cash peered longingly over the top of the dugout railing.

So everything was bad until the seventh. And then it wasn't! Forsythe singled up the middle to reach base, and stole second. With a runner in scoring position, Tim Beckham delivered. And then some. He stroked a gapper, flying around second to reach third base, scoring the tying run of the game. One batter later, James Loney hit a fly ball to left. Thanks to a bad throw by the outfielder, Beckham made it in. So now the Rays, somehow, had scored two runs in the time it took for me to reheat the pizza I had for breakfast.

Karns left the game having faced most of the order three times. He threw 84 pitches, giving up only the first inning's run on six hits. Had he stayed in, he would have faced the bottom of the order for the next three batters, so the decision to pull him at the relatively low pitch count seemed questionable at the time. But Cedeno's quick and easy 1-2-3 inning made me look like a fool. Then Cash called for Alex Colome for the eighth and that also seemed like an odd move, because it seemed as though he would be coming in for two innings, and a fellow like him would be wasted pitching only one inning. Well that was also a wrong thought too because Colome struck out the side on 10 pitches so holy crap.

So Boxberger will probably pitch well.

Except he allowed a hard luck, softly hit double to left, allowed a wild pitch to put 'em on third base, and allowed a weak, possibly-broken-bat single up the middle to allow the tying run. Pretty good. Boxy coaxed a double play to end the inning but now the game went into extra innings, where the Rays were 2-9.

Extra Innings, or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Getting My Hopes Up

"Luke Gregerson and Brandon Gomes are equally as good."- Someone who has only watched the 10th inning of a midseason game between two baseball teams with little to no history.

Gomes For Closer, that's what I'm gonna start saying. Relying heavily on his breaking stuff, Gomes was able to collect four strikeouts and looked pretty gosh dang pumped up. Matt Andriese, recent Durham callup, also looked fairly good in the 12th inning, benefiting from a fine Jennings play to throw out Luis Valbuena, who tried to stretch a single into a double.

Alas, in the 13th, the thing we all expected to happen indeed happened. The game had been shifting towards one way the moment the double dropped in between Beckham and Jennings, and it finally came to a head in the unlucky 13th. After striking out Hank Conger (who struck out 5 times tonight) Andriese walked Colby Rasmus and allowed a single to Jose Altuve. Then he struck out Marwin Gonzalez, and we all were thinking, maybe it could happen? Maybe the Rays could continue to hold against the current of this game, continue to hold fast against what was such a clear and present flow against them.

but no carlos correa hit a ball well and the rays lost

Oh well. The Rays play again tomorrow. Life goes on.