Today’s game started off bad and got worse, which is a shame, as the Angels often feel like a team that the Rays have been able to do some damage against. Jared Weaver and his blazing 48 mph fastball was simply too much for the Rays offense to handle today. The Rays had a couple men reach base in this period, and then, like monks, carefully abstained from providing any more offense. As you know, one can only truly appreciate something when it’s absent, and right now I appreciate hits more than I ever could have thought was possible.
Drew Smyly, like Weaver, started out the tonight pitching well. He was mixing pitches fairly nicely and offering most of his secondary stuff the first time through the order. Alas, it was not meant to last.
So in the third inning everything went bad forever. The Rays’ sterling defense, which has been the cornerstone of the team’s DNA since 2008, failed them tonight. Three straight softly hit balls from Angels found the waiting embrace of Tropicana Field’s Astroturf, and all of a sudden Smyly found himself with the bases loaded and no outs. Keenly aware of the importance of pitching behind the 8 ball, Smyly took it upon himself to walk the first run of the game home. Pitchers, he has found, tend to pitch and perform far better when under pressure, and if the Angels weren’t going to score, he had to do it himself.
Mike Trout (whose name rhymes with strike out) grounded a ball to the shortstop for an out. The Rays looked like they were about to be gifted a helpful double play, but just as it seemed likely, Nick Franklin did a thing and completely botched the throw, allowing another run to score to put the Angels up 3-0. By the time Smyly left the inning, it was 4-0 Angels. Ah well.
Frankly the game was more or less over there but the Angels kept piling on. When even the sure-handed Evan Longoria (#VoteLongo and #VoteLamb) makes an error you start to understand that today just isn’t your day. The Angels were starting to find their zone and piled on a little bit more. After Yunel Escobar faked getting hit on the hand, the call was overturned and Escobar was forced to step back into the box. He responded meekly with a full-count RBI double to put the capper on a two run inning for the Angels, expanding the Rays’ deficit to 6-0. In the fifth Mike Trout hit a home run to make it 7-0. Old hat at this point. In other news, the sun rose yesterday.
Logan Forsythe tagged a ball and hit it pretty hard for a home run to give the Rays a mark on the board, though! Not terrible.
It’ll load eventually. If it hasn’t already. I’m writing this from the paaaaaaaaaast!
Drew Smyly left after the fifth and ceded the rest of the game to reliever Matt Andriese. Brad Miller made a bad throw that put C.J. Cron on to start the inning, but Andriese got ‘em back with a ground ball double play. Before this inning began, Casali left the game, and it was later revealed that he left with an injured head. Andriese worked the eighth as well, allowing another leadoff baserunner but erasing him, too, on a double play. Go Matt Andriese! We all believe in you.
In the eighth the Rays made a little bit of noise. Longo led off with a hit and LoMo put him on third with a double to right. On the first pitch of the next at bat, Angels pitcher Jhoulys Chacin uncorked a wild pitch that let Evan break for home. Initially called out, upon further review it was revealed that the catcher missed the tag and the run stood. 7-2 Rays.
This, however would be the rest of the offense put up tonight, and the Rays would go on to lose by that score. Tomorrow Blake Snell continues his rookie season, which is honestly really something to be excited about. Get hyped!