The Tampa Bay Rays are on another streak, this time it’s a five game winning streak as they have back-to-back sweeps over the New York Yankees and Washington Nationals as they’re firing on all cylinders, with each player providing them with something extra.
Yesterday afternoon, they tallied a first inning run against Max Scherzer and that’s all they would need as Nate Eovaldi was unhittable for the first five innings and ultimately held Washington in check for six innings, racking up nine strikeouts over the course of the day.
Diego Castillo pitched two scoreless innings before giving way to Jose Alvarado in the 9th inning.
That’s where things got fun.
Alvarado walked Bryce Harper to kick off the inning.
Then, Chaz Roe was brought in. Instead of removing Alvarado from the game, he was moved over to first base, and Jake Bauers was moved to left field, while Mallex Smith went from left field to right field.
Johnny Field, who had come into the game as a defensive replacement for Joey Wendle, was removed to facilitate the move.
Roe did his job, striking out Anthony Rendon, then Cash came back out and finished his lineup finagling as he put Alvarado back on the mound. Brought Jake Bauers back to first base, moved Mallex Smith back over to left field, and Carlos Gomez technically replaced Chaz Roe and took over in right field.
Alvarado would promptly give up two bloop hits and loaded the bases with one out with a one run lead.
Sergio Romo was summoned and got Trea Turner to pop out to shallow right field for the second out.
Then, Michael A. Taylor came up, who had some very brief tension with Sergio Romo during the series in Washington. Romo would strike Taylor out on three pitches to end the game, then proceeded to verbally barrage Taylor, which prompted the benches to clear and a lot of shoving ensued, plus some hugging, but not much else.
Neil Solondz’s recap of the game, with more audio from Jake Bauers and Nate Eovaldi
The Rays are off today, but they’re now one game under .500 at 39-40.
- Prior to the 9th inning shenanigans, Matt Duffy had what may have been the Rays best at-bat of the year as he went 10 pitches against Max Scherzer and ultimately singled, pushing Kevin Kiermaier to third base, who ultimately scored the only run of the game. It was fantastic to watch.
- In the All-Star Game voting, Wilson Ramos is starting to break away from the pack behind the plate
- The Rays the best ERA in baseball since employing ‘The Opener’ strategy
- MLB Pipeline named Brandon Lowe among their top minor league performers from yesterday. Lowe has been on an incredible hot streak as of late.
Last 6 games for @DurhamBulls #BrandonLowe:— Patrick Kinas (@PatrickKinas) June 27, 2018
BA: .478 (11-23)
Two 5-RBI games in his last 4 starts. (Including tonight.)
Kid can hit.#Rays
- WDAE poses the question, are you willing to help the Rays pay for a new ballpark?
Are you willing to help the #Rays pay for a new ballpark?— WDAE (@620wdae) June 26, 2018
Around the League
- Baseball America looks at the top 50 prospects of this year’s international class, with the Rays being linked to a couple of names
- Grant Brisbee writes about how the Yankees are infuriatingly winning games and are using extremely underpaid players to do so