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Astros 5, Rays 4: Mistakes will kill ya

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Any of you ever watch The Chase? It’s a British game show that was adapted (somewhat poorly) to American television on GSN. It’s probably my second-favorite game show on TV right now, next to Jeopardy! In it, contestants answer trivia questions head-to-head against very, very smart trivia masters who seem to know everything about every little topic you’d possible imagine. Seriously, the amount of stuff they know is incredible.

Contestants do an initial head-to-head game where they try to “race” to the finish by answering questions correctly, while the Chaser answers the same questions (usually correctly) to try to reach them before they get the money. If they beat them, they play for the chance to truly win their money in a final Chase, where winners play together to answer as many questions in a minute before the Chaser can. Because it has a timed element and is modeled around a sprint to the finish, it’s usually pretty compelling and will often be decided in the final 10 seconds or so. The name of the game, however, is to bank as many questions right as possible, because you know that the Chaser is smarter, faster, and more dangerous than your team.

Here’s a brief snippet of how down to the wire these chases can get:

On an extremely unrelated note, the Tampa Bay Rays scored a bunch of runs early against the 2017 World Series Champions Houston Astros, and had to fight and claw to fend off an offensive attack in the later innings.

Jake Bauers and Wilson Ramos opened the scoring in the first inning off of Gerrit Cole. Cole recently came off his worst outing of the season where he allowed 4 runs (spoiler alert: that’s how many he allowed tonight) and the Rays took advantage early. Bauers worked a walk, and Wilson Ramos drove him in with a big ol’ fly to right field for two runs.

Ramos deserves to be in the All-Star Game, and if you aren’t voting for him you’re part of the problem.

Meanwhile, the duo of Ryne “The Opener” Stanek and Jonny “The Cyborg” Venters kept the potent Astros stymied early. The Boys allowed but a single hit, and collected two K’s from a lineup that doesn’t know how not to hit. Stanek even got out of the first inning with a mere 8 pitches pitched. “The Opener” might be killing baseball but Stanek is killing it on the mound.

In the third R B I B O Y E Joey Wendle collected two more runs on a seeing-eye single to left field. The Rays loaded the bases on three straight one-out walks by Cole. After striking out C.J. Cron (Cron would wear the collar tonight for 3 K’s), the newer Astro looked to close out the inning with no harm, no foul. But it wasn’t meant to be.

Jake Bauers’ fantastic slide is what bought the Rays another run right there. It would prove to be rather crucial in the later game. Unfortunately, it wasn’t crucial enough.

From this point on it just seemed like the Astros were kicking it into high gear. In the fourth inning, the Astros finally awoke. Off of newly-minted long-man Matt Andriese, Altuve and Correa both reached scoring positions with one out. ‘Stros Yuli Gurriel and Josh Reddick brought their men in, and scoring a pair for the home team. In the sixth they tacked on another one. When Johnny Field misplayed a ball in left field, it put Jose Altuve on third base with no outs. Yuli Gurriel knocked him in off of Jose Alvarado, who entered to face him. The lead had been cut to one run.

Meanwhile, the Rays couldn’t get two hits to rub together. After performing so well in the early innings, the Rays didn’t get another hit until the eighth inning. Jake Bauers worked a full count against Astros reliever Will Harris to lead off the inning, and then struck a ball hard to wind up on second base. Alas, the heart of the Rays’ order couldn’t bring him home, and this would be a killer in the end.

In the ninth inning, Sergio Romo entered to close out the game. He struggled, and ultimately failed, loading the bases and allowing a double to give the Astros the win. This sucked, since this was ultimately a winnable game that the Rays had a grasp on.

In the end, we lost the chase.

But hey at least Kevin Kiermaier is back tomorrow.