Winning is fun.
Winning against your division rival is twice as nice.
The Rays concluded their weather-shortened trip to Boston by sweeping the two-game series at Fenway. It was another remarkable outing for the young Tyler Glasnow, whose 6’8” frame makes it look as if he’s literally just dropping the pitches into Mike Zunino’s glove. The only thing it might be worth noting — as the broadcast did — is that there’s a nearly imperceptible difference in velocity between his fastball and his changeup, something that might sneak up on him quickly as the season gets deeper and batters learn to adjust.
Glasnow went 6 2⁄3 innings, giving up six hits and two runs on 102 pitches — a considerably lengthier outing than his last start. He collected a solid nine strikeouts and gave up only a single walk.
Chris Sale continued to not look like his old self, with reduced velocity on all his pitches and some wobbly command of the zone. Not complaining. He lasted seven innings and threw 111 pitches, collecting eight strikeouts and giving up four runs, though only two were earned thanks to the error.
Emilio Pagan played the, uh, ROOGY I guess? Anyway, Pagan who has been a pleasant surprise in relief this season came on to collect the final out of the seventh inning, limiting the damage to only one run that inning. The Red Sox first run of the game came in the sixth on a Mitch Moreland sacrifice fly, scoring Vázquez. The second was in the seventh, on a Chavis home run.
As for the Rays, their runs came early and often. They opened the game with a double from Yandy Diaz, who didn’t need to wait on base for long, as Daniel Robertson launched a moon shot of a home run, scoring them both. Gotta love those early leads.
Diaz struck again in the second with a triple that scored both Heredia and Adames, and made me preemptively very excited about the potential for a Diaz Cycle. The triple should have actually been an easy outfield catch, but it was dropped and the Rays took advantage.
In the top of the ninth there was another lucky shot on what should have been a double play, but ended up being overthrown and giving the Rays a free run in as Avisail Garcia headed home on the overthrow, bringing the score to 5-2 and giving the Rays a little extra breathing room for the bottom of the inning.
Jose Alvarado, who had a perfect eighth inning, gave way to Diego Castillo in the ninth hoping to collect his third save of the season. He quickly struck out the first batter, then a remarkable catch IN the net, Yandy Diaz got the second out of the inning. It was all down to Steve Pearce. Pearce was not the day’s hero for Boston, thrown out at first.
Rays won 5-2 and swept the short series. Revenge is sweet.