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Rays: 1, Astros: 6 - Rays’ magical ride ends at the hands of Gerrit Cole

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No matter what, This Rays’ team is special

Divisional Series - Tampa Bay Rays v Houston Astros - Game Five Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Win or go home. Game 5. Surprisingly I’m not stressed out. That is probably going to change.

Let’s GO!

Cole started the Rays out with two strikeouts of Meadows and Pham, but fan favorite Ji-Man Choi worked a full count walk to give the Rays their first baserunner, but Travis d’Arnaud would fly out to end the 1st inning. Still the Rays worked Cole to about 20 pitches

Glasnow didn’t have quite the great start as Cole did, giving up a leadoff single to George Springer, and another single by Michael Brantley, and ANOTHER single by Jose Altuve, on a pitch outsize the strike zone, put the Rays and Glasnow in early trouble. 1-0 Astros with nobody out.

Guys. It didn’t get any better.

MVP Candidate Alex Bregman puts a double in the gap to bring home two more runs and make it 3-0 Astros and nobody out.

A sacrifice hit by Yordon Alvarez moves Bregman over, and then Yuri Gurreil singled to bring HIM home, and suddenly the Rays are in a 4-0 hole with only one out.

Silver lining is that Glasnow struck out Carlos Correa and Josh Reddick to end the inning but the Rays have a lot of work ahead of them.

Rays started down the long road of recovery with a leadoff Eric Sogard home run. Yes. Eric Sogard.

Rays get on the board, and now its a 4-1 Astros lead. That would be it for the Rays as Gerrit Cole got Garcia, Wendle and Kiermaier out, with Wendle’s strikeout coming on a questionable appeal.

Oh my god Cash is letting Glasnow go another time through the order.

1-2-3 inning? Cash is a genius!

Rays also wen’t down in order, but Meadows and Pham had two, long fly balls to right field that were fly outs, but the Rays were putting good swings on Cole.

Glasnow came out again for the 3rd inning, and got the first two outs, a pop up of Altuve and a groundout of Bregman thanks to a strong throw by Adames, and wonderful Ji-Man Choi split.

Willy to Ji-Man
Dom V

As Yordon Alvarez came to the plate, that would be it for Glasnow. His final line: 2.2 IP, 5H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 3 Ks.

In the 4th inning Ji-Man Choi singled to give the Rays a lead off baserunner!

But TdA and Sogard struck out, aaaaand Garcia just grounded out. To Cole. At least Cole is up to 60 pitches after 4?

Snell came back out for the bottom half of the 4th inning and besides some good swings and ABs by Astros hitters, Snell silenced their bats.

Unfortunately, the Rays bats also stayed quiet, and went down quickly. again.

Snell was pulled in favor of Chaz Roe.

Snell’s final line for game 5: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. Not exactly how we thought it would be drawn up.

Roe quickly got Martin Maldonado to pop out and George Springer to ground out, and just as quickly as Roe came into the game, Cash lifted him for Ryan Yarbrough to face the lefty Brantley. Yarby was quickly up on Brantley 1-2, but couldn’t put him away and ended up walking him.

Bullpen day it is. No way you let Yarby face Jose Altuve.

Nick Anderson would have that chance.

1 pitch is all that was needed for Altuve. Anderson got him to fly out weakly and end the inning.

For the 2nd year in a row, the Rays won the trade deadline!

At one point during the broadcast, the commentators said “Its like a spring training game for Cole. He’s in cruise control”

It is annoyingly accurate. Cole sealed his Cy Young case by keeping the Rays batters guessing all night. It didn’t matter the pitch. High fastballs, low sliders, changeups. Rays’ seemed to have no shot.

We know the Rays had to get to the bullpen, but at this rate it didn’t look like it the Rays would see anybody from the Astros bullpen.

Rays got a leadoff walk from Travis d’Arnaud in the top of the 7th, but Sogard fouled out, and Garcia grounded into a tailor made double play.

I mean what are you supposed to do? Rays weren’t even supposed to be here. There were supposed to lose the Wild Card game, they were supposed to get swept in the ALDS, then lose in 4, and yet they are still here.

Just like the Rays’ defense kept them in games 3 and 4, the Astros defense was just as good, they didn’t make any mistakes.

And yet, there was the tiniest glimmer of hope as the Astros’ bullpen started to warm up Will Harris in the 7th inning.

Besides the 1st inning, Rays pitching held the Astros’ bats to 1 hit. ONE. It came in the 7th inning off a bloop single by Josh Reddick. A.J. Hinch took this opportunity to pinch hit Martin Maldanado for Kyle Tucker, and Kevin Cash countered with LHP Colin Poche. Poche did his job, and it was lifted for Emilio Pagan to face George Springer. Who promptly struck out Springer on a nasty, nasty pitch.

I’m so glad to have most of these guys back next year.

That glimmer of hope in the 7th? Yeah forget about it. Cole came out for the 8th inning. And struck out Wendle & Kiermaier, and got Adames to strike out.

Besides two balls, Cole painted the corners with absolute heat.

What are you supposed to do? I don’t even blame the Rays’ bats for this one. Cole was absolutely masterful.

This is the best pitcher in baseball. On the best team in baseball.

Nail in the coffin came in the bottom of the 8th when Pagan came back out, and gave back-to-back home runs in the 8th to Michael Brantley and Jose Altuve.

This wasn’t our year. It wasn’t supposed to be our year. We were supposed to be in 3rd place in our division. We won 96 games in a season in the same division as the Yankees and the Red Sox. We weren’t supposed to win the wild card game. We weren’t supposed to win any games in this ALDS, and yet this team is here, in Game 5 against the best team in the league, and with a pitching staff that went toe-to-toe with two generationally talented pitchers.

The sadness hits you gradually, like realizing one of your favorite stories is about to end. The emotional journey this young Rays’ team has taken us on has been second to none. From the opening series win against this Astros team, to taking the same, 107 win Astros team to 5 games in the ALDS. This Rays team has been worth every up and down, every emotion, and every frustrating loss, and every walk off win.

I didn’t want this story to end. I grew to love this team, but after the sadness ,comes pride.

No one expected this team to do this.

I can’t wait to do it again next year.

Final: Rays - 1, Astros - 6.