Recaps are fun now!
The win tonight felt like a wonderful breath of fresh air. It's like the moment when you're skin diving, carrying an ancient artifact from a long-lost civilization and you finally break the surface, filling your lungs with wonderful Indonesian air. It's the moment after you cross the finish line at the Boston Marathon after recording yet another record time. It's the moment after you realize that the final show has dropped on the eight-team parlay you made in Las Vegas, and you are about to walk up to the cashier's desk and blow everyone away.
A good night! Frankly I have been recapping a load of clunkers lately so lucky me.
Tonight's offensive effort was very front-loaded. Most of the action came in the first five innings, and wouldn't you know it, the offense all came from the Rays. Steve Pearce, who needs to play basically all the time at this point, is absolutely on fire. After Taylor Motter hit a nubber in his first major league at bat that resulted in his first major league hit, Pearce lifted one to left on the very first pitch he saw, putting two on the board early.
Run you silver-haired beauty, run.
Drew Smyly nearly tumbled in the tightrope act he set up for himself in the first. After collecting two outs pretty quickly, Drew permitted three consecutive walks, forcing Tulo to the plate. Troy fell behind 0-2 immediately, and Smyly managed to strike out the hot Tulowitski, avoiding early damage.
As it turns out, however, that would be the most pressure Smyly would be under all game. What's more, his performance only got better from there. After having to labor through the first with 31 pitches, Smiles cruised. He left after the 5th, collecting six strikeouts and the win. What's more, he only allowed his first hit in the fourth inning, stifling this potent Blue Jays offense for over half the game.
The Rays offensive offense, however...
ANOTHER LONG BALL!— #VoteRays (@RaysBaseball) May 16, 2016
Tim Beckham smacks a 2-run HR to straightaway central!#RaysUp, 5-0!
mercy mercy mercy
And this wasn't even all of it.
In the second, Jennings singled and Casali doubled to put runners in scoring position with no outs. Yesterday, the Rays would have (and did!) gone down quietly, not plating any more runs. Tonight, however, J.A. Happ did not have his best stuff. Kiermaier plated Jennings on a sac fly, and Tim Beckham, who last year was robbed of a home run by a sparkling defensive gem on the part of Kevin Pillar, did not let history repeat itself. 5-0 Rays.
The next inning, Longo singled and Pearce walked to put more runners in scoring position. Steven Souza Jr. didn't blink and drove in Longo to give the Rays a 6-0 lead. At this point, Toronto had seen enough and pulled J.A. Happ. The normally reliable Happ clearly did not have his best stuff today, putting in his first non-quality start of the year. The next pitcher, Dustin Antolin, made it somewhat less quality.
Casali launched a ball to left field, giving the Rays a 9 run lead. Every ball put in play this inning up to this point was hit at over 104 mph. Naturally, Kiermaier hit a swinging bunt single back to the pitcher to round out the ball speed range for tonight.
It wasn't over. In the fourth, Jennings doubled home Longoria and Souza Jr. to plate another two runs. #RaysUp 11-0. What is happening
Drew Smyly allowed a run in the fifth but it somehow didn't break the universe. Steve Geltz pitched the sixth inning but managed to avoid allowing an 12-run home run (the elusive triple grand slam). Even Ryan Webb came out of the Witness Protection program to pitch a scoreless inning in the seventh. Quite the day. After everything was said and down, the Rays walked out of Roger Centre with a 13-2 victory. They broke their season highs with 13 runs and 17 hits apiece.
Free Thoughts on the Proceedings of the Tampa Bay Rays
- Desmond Jennings entered this game 1-for-a-billion but broke out in a big way, falling a triple shy of the cycle and collecting three RBI.
- In fact, three separate Rays got 3 RBI a piece: Jennings, Steve Pearce, and Curt Casali. All three hit home runs. It is really incredible to see non-solo home runs, huh?
- With his early hit Taylor Motter works his way in the Rays history books, becoming the 17th Ray to get a hit in his MLB debut. Truly a momentous and honorable list to be a part of.
- Steve Pearce drove in Taylor Motter both times he reached base. Let's never split these two up.
- Did you know Guyer has an OPS of 1.001? What the hell
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