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Rays vs. Yankees, game one recap: Odorizzi pitches well, except for when he doesn't

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Offense can't get the big hit.

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

The Rays tried to jump on Louis Severino early, and both Grady Sizemore and Daniel Nava hit fastballs hard and on a line to left field, but Sizemore's drive was straight at Carlos Beltran, and groundouts from Evan Longoria and John Jaso stranded Nava at second base.

They kept the pressure on in the second inning, when Logan Forsythe rolled a single against the shift. Frosty was thrown out stealing second, though (it may have been a hit and run), on a play that got the Statcast treatment.

That was a shame, as James Loney hit a single in the inning that might have brought the run home from second.

Having scored no runs, despite the early pressure, the Rays went down in the bottom of the second inning. Jake Odorizzi lost a bit of command to lead off the inning and walked Brian McCann, after missing inside and up a few times. That hurt, because the first pitch to Alex Rodriguez was a hanging splitter on the outside of the plate that A-Rod lined out to left-center. Rodriguez is old, but this season he's proving, once again, that he's one of the best ever. He's still a hitter that you just cannot make a mistake to.

Odor struck out the next three batters to end the inning, but the damage form his early lapse was already done.

Brian McCann gave Odorizzi trouble again in the fourth inning. After being taken to a full count, Odorizzi threw a fastball down and on the outer half, and McGann grabbed it good for a majestic fly into the bullpen in right field.

The Rays finally did get on the board in the sixth inning when the first pitch to Evan Longoria was a hanging frontdoor slider that Longo jumped and pulled off the front of the second deck in left field. A walk by Asdrubal Cabrera and a weird, ping-pong single by Loney threatened in the inning, but Severino was able to dominate Kevin Kiermaier on three pitches, going changeup, slider, and putaway fastball to get out of the jam.

After the Rays chased Severino in the top of the seventh (but without scoring any runs), Jake Odorizzi came back out to pitch the bottom of the seventh. Immediately he had to face McCann, who had owned him in their last two meetings. The result was, once again, a walk, and once more Odorizzi was made to pay for it.  He made quality pitches to strike out Rodriguez, but Greg Bird did the job, homering on a hanging splitter after working his way back from an 0-2 count.

That brought the score to 5-1, and while Kiermaier and J.P. Arencibia pulled one back in the ninth inning, the Rays never threatened enough runs to make the game interesting again.

If you just looked at the box score, you'd say that Odorizzi had been the better pitcher in this game. He struck out eight Yankees while pitching into the seventh inning, compared to Severino's five Rays. He only gave up two walks and three hits, compared to Severino's three walks and seven hits.

But Odorizzi's angry body language as he walked off the mound tells the real story. He struggled with bouts of inconsistency, where he had trouble locating his pitches, and all three of the home runs he gave up were on pitches where what came out of his hand fell far short of the way he planned the pitch.

For a team that has no margin of error, it was a disappointing night.

Roll Call Info
Total comments 76
Total commenters 13
Commenter list BravesRays, Brett Phillips, JRTW612, Mister Lizzie, Rays1118, RazeTheRoof, killa3312, raysinghell, sirthomas813, tampa_edski, the dobber, thedudeofdudes, turntwo21
Story URLs
# Recs Commenter Comment Link
2 JRTW612 More importantly: non-tender eligible
2 Mister Lizzie I know Arencibia had a good series against Baltimore, but nonetheless seeing Arencibia-Sizemore-Nava in a row depresses me.
1 thedudeofdudes It doesn't matter the park dimensions.