The hits keep on coming! Rays sent out Ryne “The Opener” Stanek against David “Technically Not the Opener” Hess.
We also had the lovely pleasure of having Willy Adames being mic’d up:
Can he be mic’d up every game?
Rays would get things started in of course, the bottom of the 1st when the Austin “Exit Velocity” Meadows hit a screamer of a single at 115 MPH. That would be a common theme throughout the game as the Rays S M O K E D the ball all night.
Ji-Man Choi would work a single, and the Rays quickly had 2 on with 2 out and Brandon Lowe up to the plate.
Poor Hess even knew it was out as soon as it left the bat. Statcast had that HR at 409 ft, and off the bat at 110 MPH. Exit Velocity would be the theme of the night as multiple Rays’ had EV of 100 MPH +
#Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier was shocked when told the team had 17 balls with an exit velo of 100+ mph on Wednesday: "That seems fake, that’s so stupid, to be honest. Wow, that’s incredible."— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) April 18, 2019
Stanek would have a solid opening, striking out the side and then giving way to Yonny Chirinos.
Yonny Chirinos finally had a great “bulk” outing and posted 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB and 5 Ks
#Rays Yonny Chirinos 2019 Pitch Quality— MLB Quality of Pitch (@qopbaseball) April 18, 2019
5.57 QOPA (Top 1% MLB)
Vertical Break (Top 1% MLB)
Low Rise (Top 2% MLB)
Horizontal Break (Top 12% MLB)
Velocity (Top 21% MLB)@stevecarney @juanctoribio @JCTSports @neilsolondz @jasoncollette @Steve_Kinsella1 @Mat_Germain_ @draysbay pic.twitter.com/2Qe7TjIfft
He kept O’s hitters off beat all night while the Rays brought the lumber.
For those wondering like I was, that Yandy Diaz HR had a launch angle of 20 degrees.
Home Runs are sexy, but all the runs didn’t come via the HR. Mike Zunino, who is hitting .286/.286/.571 over his last 14 PA, also helped with an RBI single of his own. A single by Kevin Kiermaier, and a Yandy Diaz double, would give the Rays their 8 runs for the night.
Pitching was very solid overall. After Yonny, Wilmer Font would come in and look...OK. He pitch for 2 innings, and only had 1 H, 1 R, 1 BB and 4 Ks with that hit being a HR to Rio Ruiz, but almost every batter had a full count.
Font leaves after 2 innings, allowing a home run and approximately 700 full counts, but he collected a few strikeouts.— DRaysBay (@draysbay) April 18, 2019
The Font-O-Meter stands at "Arial." pic.twitter.com/MW9MfGLVlK
We did get our first view of Emilo Pagan in the 9th, who was called up after the Rays placed Blake Snell on the 10 day DL, and was able to coerce a pop out, groundout and his 1st Rays’ strikeout was to...Rio Ruiz to end the game.
That would be your ball game. Rays win 8-1, are 14-4 to start the season, and have won their 6th series in a row.
Other side notes:
- Tommy Pham did NOT get on base and ends his franchise record streak at 48 games. During the streak, Pham posted a .346/.450/.593 good for a 186 wRC+. He did have 2 hard hit balls tonight over 100 MPH that resulted in a groundout, and a lineout.
- For those of you that had Willy Adames to be the first Ray to use Lil Nas X’s “Hometown Road” as his walk up song, you win!
Willy Adames with Old Town Road. We made it.— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) April 18, 2019
- Yandy Diaz had a slick play in the 9th to help Pagan in his first Rays’ appearance
Rays will look to finish the sweep tomorrow, and send out Opener Hunter Wood with TBD to follow. Gametime is at 7:10 PM.