The Rays found scoring success early in this rubber match game against the Yankees, first with a Joey Wendle double that scored Mallex Smith, followed later in the inning by a Welcome-Back double from Tommy Pham that scored Wendle and unfortunately Jake Bauers was out at home, limiting the runs. Pham also tried to give me a heart attack sliding into third base, because all I could think of was his poor, freshly healed ankles.
Blake Snell had a good outing and continues to look strong, with 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, and 6 K on 76 pitches. I think it’s safe to say Snell is in great shape, but the team don’t want to push him too hard to fast, and it’s smart. They’re not playing for the division, and the rest of the bullpen have helped carry those extra innings beautifully. Chaz Roe came on for .2 of an inning and gave up a single hit, but logged two strike outs in a mere 9 pitches. Also looking good.
It was also a game of missed opportunities, with another Pham hit being robbed out by the warning track, Wendle getting picked off at first, and Ji Man Choi getting picked off at second. It’s the kind of game where the score probably could have been higher for the Rays, but things just worked against them. It’s hard to be mad when they won the game.
Mistakes worked in their favor in the eighth inning when a toss to first literally hit Wendle in the butt and Smith was able to advance as Wendle safely took first, but a well laid sac bunt by Bauers scored Smith.
In the bottom of the eighth it briefly looked as the Giancarlo Stanton hit a home run, but there was some question of fan interference and the crew conferred with the replay center to determine if it was a double or if the fan had deflected it in out of foul territory. It was ruled a double and there was very naturally a chorus of boos because this game is played in New York and if they didn’t boo we’d need to check for a pulse.
The whole debacle did manage to score a single run for the Yankees, though.
The Yankees failed to complete a double play in the top of the ninth, and Brandon Lowe was able to get on base, unfortunately the Rays weren’t able to make anything of the lucky break.
Luck almost ran out in the bottom of the ninth as Sergio Romo loaded the bases with no outs, and that was the end of the day for Romo.
Adam Kolarek... no pressure, buddy.
One pitch, foul pop out.
My kingdom for a double play.
A strikeout to Gardner will do.
Okay. Okay. Okay. Breathe Ashley. One more to go.
(I have watched no hitters and been less stressed by them)
STRIKE THREE UP HIGH OH MY GOD HE DID IT.
Ahem, okay, phew.