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Brewers 3, Rays 0: Deja vu all over again

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Rays again waste solid pitching effort as scoreless streak extends to 20 innings

Milwaukee Brewers v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

You can’t win if you don’t score. For the second game in a row, the Rays didn’t, while the Brewers did.

Heck, for a while it didn’t look like the Rays were going to get a hit, as zeros hung on the board until a Lucas Duda single in the sixth. And even that was quickly erased by a double play.

What I’m saying is, it was bad, and I wouldn’t blame you for not reading this. But for those of you who are gluttons for punishment:

Alex Cobb was solid, turning in six innings of five-hit ball, while striking out six and walking one. The only run charged to Cobb came in the third. Keon Broxton led off with a single, then swiped second with the Orlando Arcia batting. On the very next pitch, Broxton broke for third, but Arcia swung and hit a sinking liner the other way. With Steven Souza Jr. closing on the ball, Broxton slammed on the brakes and doubled back. But the dive from Souza came up just short of the catch. As the ball kicked away, Browton again reversed field and scored.

And that would be it.

Or — well, it should have been it. We’ll get to those last two Brewer runs in a second.

For the Brewers, Zach Davies pitched seven innings of one-hit ball. This despite the fact that he did not record his first strikeout until the fifth, and he in fact only tallied two on the night. He succeeded by continually keeping the Rays off balance, and inducing a ton of weak contact.

But the Rays did have a chance or two.

With one out in the fifth, Brad Miller reached second base on a double error by third baseman Hernan Perez. Perez was shifted into the shortstop position when Miller hit a routine grounder his way, which Perez booted (error #1). He then panicked, scrambled after the ball, and fired a throw that wouldn’t have gotten Miller anyway into the stands, for which Miller was awarded second (error #2).

Rally!

After a Adeiny Hechavarria strikeout, Miller even got as far as third, when a wild pitch got past catcher Manny Piña. Mallex Smith then walked, bringing up RISP-king Jesus Sucre. Sucre hit a first pitch fastball right on the screws, but the liner was tracked down in center by Broxton.

The Rays’ best scoring chance came in the eighth inning. Jacob Barnes came on for Davies, and he was immediately greeted with a Hech single the other way. Mallex Smith hit a near-homer down the left field line but the shot faded foul. He instead flew out to left. Next was Sucre, who lifted a high pop up toward the right field line that somehow 1) stayed fair and 2) avoided falling into anyone’s glove. First and second.

Another rally!

During the Corey Dickerson at bat that followed, Piña made a snap throw down to second. It was a play where he didn’t really have a chance of getting Hech. Even worse, the throw was off line and went into center field. Hech advanced to third easily, but Broxton made an unnecessary throw in that direction anyway, allowing Sucre to trail into second. Sucre was then replaced by pinch runner Peter Bourjos, who represented the (at that point) go ahead run.

Double rally!

Unfortunately, the Dickerson at bat ended with a strikeout swinging, and Lucas Duda was deprived of the chance to play hero when his jersey was hit by a pitch. Evan Longoria ended the threat by flying out to center.

Sigh.

Now, about those other runs...

Ryne Stanek looked great, and I mean that. In two innings of work, he gave up no hits and struck out four while walking just one. His showed off his new pitch — a splitter — that, while it didn’t have great depth, did have the needed separation from his fastball, and looked to be a pitch he might even be able to command. All in all, it was a dynamic two innings.

So why on earth was he sent back out there for a third inning? On what planet was this a good idea?

So of course Hernan Perez homered. And then Jesus Aguillar singled. And then Manny Piña walked. And then finally we got a relief pitcher — Jose Alvarado — who wasn’t available to come in right after the dinger because he wasn’t even warming up.

Seriously, Cash???!!!??? What were you doing? This was a one run game! We have an off day Monday!

This was managerial malpractice.

Alvarado sandwiched a couple strikeouts around a walk, bringing up Eric Thames. He got ahead of Thames 0-2...and promptly uncorked a wild pitch to score Aguillar.

Baseball gods 2, Brewers 1, Rays 0, Kevin Cash -69.

Brad Miller singled in the ninth against Anthony Swarzak to round out the non-offense.

Notes:

Oh, hey. Here’s Cash talking about why he left Stanek in. It still doesn’t make any damn sense. Stanek talk starts about a minute in.