Moore starts the game off well
Did you read that bullet? Because that's pretty much the extent of my analysis for this period. He was mixing pitches like a madman, he was hitting 96 (!) on that gun, and he even struck out a bunch of people! Like four! In the first two innings! In the second he struck out the side (including Encarnacion, Colabello, and Martin) and the last pitch he threw was a pretty sick changeup that Martin swung through. Not bad, Matt Moore. A good start from a guy who had a pretty good finish to the year after returning from surgery.
Later that inning Steven Souza Jr. hit a smokin' line drive double off the wall. It was a sign of things to come.
Moore continues the game off poorly
Oh no, a turn! If only every Rays pitcher could get everyone out at every time. Baseball would be a lot easier if so. Well anyway Matt Moore lost every ounce of control he had, and it all culminated in an absolute bomb of a home run by superhuman freak Josh Donaldson:
Pretty not good you guys. The Rays are definitely going to lose this game.
The Rays work hard to not lose this game
The first two games of the season saw this team seeming a little bit lethargic. Much has been made about Marcus Stroman's incredible stuff in the first game of the season, and it's certainly true. That aside it's pretty disheartening when everyone and their brother swings at the very first pitch they see. So to see the Rays work the pitch count anddraw their walks was pretty nice.
In the fourth inning three Rays singled to load the bases with only one out. Tim Beckham managed to (again) single a guy home, and it seemed as though this would be the inning where the Rays would make a little bit of noise. This fell through, and they only got out of it with one run scored.
In the sixth, Souza cut away at the lead a little bit with a 405-foot flyball that just barely made it over the fence
It's pretty nice to see the big man pump his fist as he rounds first. With Kevin Pillar--one of the best defensive CFs in baseball--manning the back wall, any time you see a pop fly to center you kind of automatically expect a catch. But as you can see in that video, Pillar looked like he had a little trouble tracking the ball, and he actually jumps and misses what could have been a HR-saving catch. I'm not complaining.
The Rays win the game
In the eighth (just like last night!) the Rays finally took the lead. Evan Longoria led off with a single, and Jennings singled right after him, putting runners at the corners with one out. In steps Souza, already 3-3 with a HR, a triple shy of the cycle:
Significantly better than a triple. Souza launched a ball into the Ducky's Porch, winning everyone there half-off chicken tenders with proof of purchase (probably). This put the Rays up 5-3, and it was a lead that they'd take to their graves. Erasmo Ramirez, our favorite starter-now-reliever, pitched the second inning in a row to slam the door, earning the win for his efforts.
After the deflating start to the season, the Rays managed to split the series with the reigning AL East champs. I'll call that a win in my book any day.
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