Man, I had a really great recap all written up. I should have posted it anyway. I mean, you hit four home runs, you should win the game, amirite? And on Matt Moore’s birthday! Yep, in the first draft of this recap, the offense spotted Matty Mo the lead, we got all the breaks in the middle innings and stranded San Fran baserunners all over the place, and then the bullpen locked it down for the W. It was a thing of beauty.
Instead, I gotta write about this.
Early Innings: Rays take the lead playing homer ball
The Rays hit Giant’s starter Alberto Suarez pretty hard. Some of that was pitch selection. Such as in the first inning, when somebody thought it was good idea to try and get ahead of Evan Longoria with a middle-in first pitch fastball. And that was the called pitch and location; Suarez hit the mitt. Well, he would have hit the mitt if Longoria hadn’t tattooed the ball into the seats in left.
The Giants answered in the second their own homer from Matt Duffy. But the tie didn’t last long, and the Rays reclaimed the lead on solo shots from Brad Miller in the third and Logan Morrison in the fourth.
Happy Birthday, Matty Mo
Honestly, Moore wasn’t super-sharp early. He was pounding the zone with the fastball, but the curve wasn’t great, sometimes flat, sometimes hanging, and sometimes just a ball out of the hand. But then in the fourth inning, his defense put him in trouble. After a walk, a routine fly by Buster Posey dropped between Corey Dickerson and Mikie Mahtook. We’ve seen too many miscommunications involving our outfielders this year. I can’t for the life of me figure out how a major league team keeps letting this happen. But to his credit, Matt Moore put on his 27 year-old big boy pants, broke out the good curve, and struck out the side, fanning Duffy and Brandon Crawford swinging and Angel Pagan looking.
Matt ended up back in a jam in fifth, this time of his own making, walking Trevor Brown, surrendering singles to Gregor Blanco and Denard Span, and then hitting Joe Panik on an 0-2 pitch with the bases loaded to force in a run and make it a 3-2 game.
In stepped Brandon Belt with ideas to bust this one wide open. Instead, Belt hit a screaming liner directly to LoMo, who then calmly tossed to second to double off the wandering Span. Happy Birthday, Matty Mo.
Posey then hit a rocket to left that should have scored a run, expect for Corey Dickerson’s outstanding sliding catch. No, really!
Matt Moore ended up working a solid six innings (plus one batter in the seventh), in which gave up two runs on five hits, with two walks and five strikeouts.
The teams traded leaving ducks on the pond or chicken on the bone or whatever, pick your metaphor, for the next several innings. Then everything went to hell.
Everything Goes to Hell
They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I say it’s paved with maddening singles by Buster Posey. It started in the eighth. After a workmanlike one and a third scoreless innings from Xavier Cedeno, Erasmo Ramirez came on to face not-Tim-Beckham. Not-Tim worked a ten pitch at bat before singling past Logan Forsythe into right field. He advanced to second on a bunt by Duffy (which required a nice play from Ramirez), and scored on a single to right by Brandon Crawford (who was thrown out at second trying to stretch it into a double). And just like that, the lead was gone.
Evan Longoria led off the bottom of the eighth with a double to left off Hunter Strickland. He was promptly stranded despite a sharply hit liner from LoMo and a well struck fly out from Pearce. After an intentional pass to Dickerson, Mahtook ended the threat with a fly to right.
Alex Colome came on to pitch the ninth. Alex Colome has been great all year. He’s probably made one mistake all season. He’ll be great again tomorrow I’m sure. But that one mistake? It was in the ninth inning today.
Let’s tear off this Band-aid.
Angel Pagan lined out to Morrison. Trevor Brown singled on a soft liner that deflected off Colome toward Morrison. Gregor Blanco singled to right, sending Brown to third. The infield came in. An epic at bat to Denard Span followed. On the ninth pitch, Colome retired him on a chopper to first, holding Brown at third and advancing Blanco to second. Joe Panik stepped up to the plate. On the second pitch of the at bat, Alex Colome threw a cutter that didn't cut (I think), and it is the worst pitch he’s thrown all season. Joe Panik didn't miss, hitting it out to right. 6-3 Giants.
The Rays got a meaningless home run from Logan Forsythe in the bottom of the frame, and that was the ball game.
Ugh. I need a shower.
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