It's not even about winning and losing at this point. The Rays aren't making it to the postseason this year. We've known that for a while. And good God is that freeing.
That's what makes games like tonight so much fun. To be honest, I didn't give two hoots about whether or not the team won or lost tonight. If they were prudent, they'd be tanking at this point to secure a super good draft spot, but you try telling a bunch of guys who make their living off of this game to tank. At this point I'm rooting for specific players, and rooting because of inertia. The team's going nowhere in October, but I'll be danged if I'm still not rooting for them.
The ending doesn't even matter to me. Honestly, it really doesn't. The fact that I seem to only recap losses doesn't even faze me at this point. I'm sick of being pessimistic when it comes to this team. So I won't. For eight innings, this was a crazy fun, exciting, pulse-pounding game. According to Dwayne, Erasmo has never made it out of the fourth inning without allowing a hit before. So to push it all the way, all of a sudden, through to the top of the eighth was exhilarating. When MLB Network drops in to watch your games you know you're doing something great. Erasmo went 7.2 innings, and allowed only one hit (a lined shot to lead off the eighth) and two walks. It was incredible.
Only, like, six things happened in this game. Erasmo and C.C. Sabathia were cruising, and neither the Rays nor the Yankees really got anything going until late in the game. So I'll recap those five things and go to bed, because tomorrow the Rays play again, and the season is getting shorter.
- The Rays loaded the bases in the second inning! That was good! Cabrera, Souza, and Shaffer all reached base with only one out. That said, nothing came of it. Maybe if it had, tonight's story would've been different. Kiermaier grounded into a force out at home, and J.P. Arencibia flew out to end any threat.
- Erasmo walked A-Rod in the fourth. That was it for a while.
- In the seventh a really cool thing happened! With Brett Gardner on second with one out, Brian McCann (one of the many McCanns that have obliterated the Rays) hit a ball really super hard that would have almost certainly been a home run in Yankee Stadium. But in the (slightly) less forgiving right field of the Trop, Mikie Mahtook was able to make a leaping grab and on an impossibly strong throw, double up the speedy Gardner at second. It was a then-game saving play to preserve a no-hitter, and had Erasmo gone on to string together a couple more hitless innings, it'd be the play we'd point to to show where the tables turned.
- Buttttttt in the eighth Carlos Beltran smashed a ball that skipped off of Richie Shaffer, ending the no hitter to the delight of the really pro-Yankee crowd at the Trop. Rays still didn't let them score though.
- Rays scored in the eighth! Yippee! With two outs, Logan Forsythe hit a the mirror image of the Brian McCann ball to left field that got a little caught in the webbing and bounced out, scoring the speedy Mahtook from first. Boxberger began to warm in the pen.
- With two outs, Boxberger allowed a hit to A-Rod, who can't stop beating the Rays. This scored the runner from second. Boxy intentionally walked Brian McCann. Then literal character from a film noir Slade Heathcott hit a three-run homer. 4-1 Yankees. The Rays lost a little bit later.