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TB 6, CIN 5: Vintage Cobb

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Plus: Dickerson and LoMo continue to be beastly at the plate, and Sucre hits a HR that barely leaves the ground

Cincinnati Reds v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

Oh, hello there Alex Cobb from 2014. It’s nice to see you again.

Cobb was by no means perfect, and his unfair change-up (aka The Thing) wasn’t quite The Thing from prime Cobb, but this was a tremendous effort and a real throwback to what was once the Rays ace.

It’s Cobbering Time!

The Reds have a dangerous lineup, with baseball Usain Bolt Billy Hamilton, light-tower power Scooter Gennett, and the angriest Canadian Joey Votto to name a few. Alex Cobb didn’t allow a hit to any of them.

Cobb worked his curve and change to great effect, getting some weak contact out of a whole bunch of +.800 OPS bats. Unfortunately, some of that weak contact ended up falling in for hits, and even a few falling in for “hits,” but only because the classification of errors is old and dumb.

Peter Bourjos and Corey Dickerson in CF and LF did not trick anybody into thinking it was Kevin Kiermaier and Colby Rasmus out there. However, Cobb worked around some extended innings, 2-out hits, and minor threats like the savvy vet he is.

Cobb finished with 113 pitches over 7 innings, with 6 Ks and giving up just 2 runs.

Home runs tall and short

Stop me if you heard this one before: Corey Dickerson and Logan Morrison lead the way for the Rays offense.

Despite an early lead for Cincinnati, it would be very un-2017-Rays-y to believe that the offense wouldn’t respond. And respond they did against the talented young lefty starter Amir Garrett.

In the 3rd, walks to Featherston and Souza set up Corey Dickerson to snap off a sharp RBI grounder to get the Rays on the board. With two out, LoMo came through to give the Rays a lead they would not relinquish, with another well struck ground ball single.

It wouldn’t be a Rays game however without some long balls. However, these two HR the Rays hit were very different.

First, Jesus Sucre smacked a line-drive HR over the Game 162 wall that needed that short wall to be exactly that short to get out.

According to Statcast, this had a max height of 38ft(!) and just the 6th HR hit with a max height of 38ft since 2015.

Corey Dickerson added the 6th, and final run for the Rays with his blast. Unlike Sucre, this was a towering shot the opposite way. Of course, in true Dickerson fashion, he took a ball low in the zone and sent it high into the dome lights and carrying just far enough over the LF wall.

This HR is just ridiculous and Corey Dickerson continues to do just ridiculous things.

Colome’s 9th inning adventure

This game was 90% fun, and 10% stressful. That 10% came entirely with 2-outs in the 9th.

Colome quickly dispatched Hamilton and Genett, but then things got super un-fun.

Joey Votto took a fastball as center as could be, and he deposited it deep over the RF wall. Okay, so that happens. Still have a 6-4 lead and 2-outs, so everything is still under control.

Adam Duvall took the 2nd pitch he saw for a double. Tying run stepping to the plate. Panic level: rising, but still manageable.

One strike away from ending the game, Colome threw a cutter that found its place smack dab in the center of the zone. Eugenio Suarez quickly deposited that pitch into LF for an RBI hit bringing the Reds within 1 run and the go-ahead run to the plate. Now the panic meter has hit quite uncomfortable levels.

Thankfully, Colome saved his best cutter for last, getting a swinging K to “save” the game.

The Rays move back up to 2 above .500 and tied for 3rd most wins in the AL with 38.