The hope of meaningful September baseball is alive, ladies and gentleman!
The Rays finished off a huge road series against the KC Royals. It has been an uphill struggle each and every month, every week, heck, every game for the Rays to have good performances from both hitting and pitching and relievers. Tonight was a different story.
I’m gonna let friend of the site and rookie sensation Jake Faria help me break down the Rays big plays against KC in this rubber match.
Reporting remotely from Tropicana Field, take it away Jake!
Hechy doing hechy things pic.twitter.com/wtweRwvibT— Jacob Faria (@JDFaria34) August 31, 2017
Those aforementioned “Hechy things”
Hech had his all over this one. pic.twitter.com/6Zx1gcbwXh— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) August 31, 2017
Also tonight, more of those “Hechy things” was a deep HR to center field. Hechavarria is certainly more known for the glove, but his bat has been long calling out for some positive regression.
Alright, back to Jacob in the field:
Souzbot: Activated pic.twitter.com/LhYsNIYy4X— Jacob Faria (@JDFaria34) August 31, 2017
Context: Souza hit a HR so high and so deep, somewhere Chris Berman is Googling Kansas City adjacent towns to reference.
LoMo just keeps 'em coming pic.twitter.com/oqnDG2uo2l— Jacob Faria (@JDFaria34) August 31, 2017
Never one to be outdone, Logan Morrison smashed his own deep fly BACKBACKBACK towards the RF foul pole.
Odo Does Enough
Tonight’s story also involves a starter who has been really bad all year long in Jake Odorizzi. Odo was tied for 9th worst starting pitcher by fWAR at -0.5 coming into tonight (2nd if you bump the IP to 100) in all of professional baseball. Odo has not been Odo in 2017.
On this night, Jake did what he needed to do to give the Rays a chance to win a crucial game. Odo went 5 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, and 3 K. That’s not a pretty line, and it wasn’t always smooth, but Odorizzi gave the Rays 3 totally clean innings, avoided too much disaster (aside from one lopsided inning), and Cash had the quick hook ready.
Pen full of Thoroughbreds
The work the Rays Front Office has done to turn around this bullpen has been outstanding. From easily the biggest weakness on the team, to now one of the greatest strengths, the Rays bullpen has been leaned on to get big outs and hold narrow margins.
Steve Cishek came in and notched 2 strong innings. This included a sharp comebacker straight at him that he twisted, turned, and found in his glove. Cishek might have actually caught with his glove and a buttcheek. I’ll have to go to the video tape.
Tommy “Two Towelz” Hunter worked an effort free 8th, to set the stage for the big horse to take us the final furlong.
Alex Colome came on to work a relatively clean inning, win the series, and notch his MLB leading 40th Save of the year.
And another one for El Caballo #LotsOfSaves pic.twitter.com/qSsDqMUYM5— Jacob Faria (@JDFaria34) August 31, 2017
Meeting and greeting the fans at the Trop, helping raise money for Houston, and helping me with my recap. What a guy!
Rays win a huge series against a Wild Card contender, have now won 7 of 10, and are off to Chicago to kick off what will hopefully be a thrilling September.