After opening the series with a win, the Rays looked to clinch the series against the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night. The Rays turned to Jake Odorizzi to make the start against the wily veteran Bartolo Colon, as Tampa Bay sought to further close the gap between themselves and the Twin Cities, who currently hold the last Wild Card spot.
Not only did they do so, but it was courtesy of a two-man show, Odor and The Dude!
Jake Odorizzi, Have Yourself a Game!
In what was certainly his best game of the season, Tuesday night belonged to Jake Odorizzi.
It truly was a gem on all accounts. He pitched 6.1 no-hit innings, allowing only a walk, but still only faced the minimum after the defense came through behind him with a huge double play. In fact, if not for a case of bad luck, we might be talking about the second no-hitter in Rays’ history. Yes, Joe Mauer extended his on-base streak to fifteen games with the unluckiest base hit of Odor’s career.
It was just a groundball right up the middle, and Adeiny Hechavarria was positioned well enough to have made a play on the ball behind the bag and get Mauer at first. Unfortunately for Jake and the Rays, the ball bounced in front of second base and ricocheted straight up in the air, out of the reach of Hech to field timely (or anyone else you could feasibly put in that spot), and Mauer was able to reach first base safely.
Otherwise, Odorizzi’s night was spotless.
He worked all over the zone very effectively, especially up in the zone and above it, getting a number of swing and misses as well as fly outs that stayed well within the Trop’s fences. He featured his cut fastball and threw it well to both lefties and righties, essentially substituting it for his slider. His curveball was spot on, and was a go-to pitch against lefties, often starting lefties out with it early in the game, keeping the Twins’ lineup off balance from the start.
Odorizzi deserves a tip of the cap tonight!
The Duda Abides
I love using that subtitle, as unoriginal as it may be.
Lucas Duda was the Rays’ offense on Tuesday night, going two-for-three with a solo home run in the fourth inning, and it got outta the park in a hurry. Colon’s fastball stayed belt-high and Duda didn’t waste any time in shooting it into right field.
His power made a second appearance in sixth inning after Evan Longoria snuck a base hit through the hole at short, right between Jorge Polanco and Eduardo Escobar. Duda hit a bullet of a line drive up the line in right that Max Kepler had a very difficult time playing out of the corner, allowing Duda to get to second base and Longo to score from first.
· I loved how the “Getting to Know” segment in the Rays’ broadcast featured Bartolo Colon, you know, since that spot is sponsored by AARP. Not sure if it was deliberate or not, and I don’t know which case would be funnier, but I laughed out loud either way.
· Robbie Grossman hit a homer into the Rays Tank in right centerfield, which is always fun.
· Alex Colome sure likes to make his ninth innings interesting. A home run and two base runners, with the man in scoring positin only failing to score after a successful Souza diving stop. A risky play paid off.
· On a serious note, to any of our readership that might be in the path of Hurricane Irma, please be safe and well prepared throughout this storm. Stay safe out there, everyone!