If you’re a fan of deep counts and long at bats, this game was for you. If you like crisp baseball, no so much.
Edison Volquez lasted just four and a third for the Marlins before leaving with a blister issue. During that time, he gave up just three hits, and struck out nine Rays. But he also walked eight. And it didn’t get much better when the relievers came in.
It was brutal to watch, even if the good guys did come out on top. On the night, the Rays would strike out fifteen times, while walking eleven times. They left fifteen men on base.
But you know what? Ugly wins are still wins, and we’re back to .500. Go Rasy!
The Rays got on the board first in the third inning, when Logan Morrison destroyed a 1-0 sinker that didn’t sink.
We saw him in BP and trust us, this was inevitable. pic.twitter.com/cagK4rY9Rx— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) May 3, 2017
In the fifth, the Rays loaded the bases all on walks (two by Volquez and one by his replacement, Dustin McGowan, who is apparently still in baseball? Who knew?), which brought Tim Beckham to the plate with one out. TBex hit a rocket that nearly got over Christian Yelich’s head in left. The end result was sacrifice lineout that scored Kevin Kiermaier and sent Brad Miller to third.
Derek Norris followed by singling up the middle, scoring Miller and closing the book on Volquez.
Norris' RBI single #Rays https://t.co/sA8rs75T2v pic.twitter.com/EbkePvhfZo— Rays Report (@rays_fanly) May 3, 2017
For his part, Alex Cobb occasionally flashed the good split-change, but still struggled to find the feel. He leaned heavily on his other pitches and scrapped his way through the Marlins’ lineup.
Maybe the best scoring chance against Cobb came in the first. With Alex fighting what looked like a blister or a bad callus — a situation that led to a first inning mound visit from Cash and got Chih-Wei Hu warming — Martin Prado whacked a hanging charge to left for a one-out double. Prado then moved to third on a Yelich groundout to second, but was stranded there when Cobb fanned Giancarlo Stanton looking at a 92 mph fastball away.
The Marlins again pressured Cobb in the fifth. Miguel Rojas led off with a single, bringing up the pitcher’s slot. Strangely, Don Mattingly sent up reliever Dustin McGowan to sacrifice despite being down 3-0. Even Kevin Cash doesn’t do this. The bunt was “successful,” but thanks for the out, Donnie Baseball.
After hitting Dee Gordon to put runners on first and second, Cobb extinguished the threat by getting a Prado flyout and a Yelich groundout.
On the night, Cobb would throw 92 pitches, 61 for strikes, over his six shutout innings of work. He gave up four hits while striking out two and walking two.
Chase Whitley came on to work a clean seventh.
The Marlins finally got on the board in the eighth against Erasmo Ramirez. Prado singled to lead off the inning, and was chased home by a scorched one-out double to left from Stanton. Ramirez worked out of the jam by inducing a popup from Marcel Ozuna, then getting pinch hitter Ichiro Suzuki to tap softly to Daniel Robertson at third. Ichiro made the play at first close, but DRob charged the ball and made a nice play to get him by half a step.
Alex Colome struck out the side in the ninth, working around a walk to former Rays farmhand Derek Dietrich on his way to his seventh save of the season.
- Daniel Robertson played well again at third in place of the ailing Evan Longoria.
- Colby Rasmus finally made his debut. He pinch hit for Alex Cobb in the seventh. He walked, because everybody walked.
- These announcers, man. Really looking forward to getting DeWayne and BA back. But they did show LoMo versus the Praying Mantis several times. The attack is about a minute into the clip below.
- Tomorrow, the Citrus Series shifts to St. Petersburg. Start time is at 7:10 PM.