This was the kind of game where, even though the Rays didn’t come up with a win, there were some positive takeaways and nothing to suggest the team was in any real trouble. The Giants were just able to take advantage of some opportunities and the Rays didn’t get quite as lucky.
Let’s take a look at what went right today, and what went wrong.
Ji-Man Choi got things started early with a long double to score Tommy Pham in the first inning. Speaking of Tommy Pham, he was able to extend his hitting streak to 41 games.
The Opener Ryne Stanek kept thing scoreless through the first two innings, which provided a lot of good barbs on Twitter when Giants starter Jeff Samardzija — who has openly derided the Opener strategy — was pulled in the fifth inning.
Hmm, the #Rays knock out Jeff Sammardzija in the 5th. If he had an opener in front of him, perhaps he wouldn't have had to face Meadows, Pham, Choi 3X.— Neil Solondz (@neilsolondz) April 6, 2019
Willy Adames, on to pinch hit mid-game, had a two-hit game, nicely busting up his slump, and Mike Zunino got himself an RBI single, so the guys who were struggling a bit offensively both had nice outings.
Adames also got lucky with a slide at home that the Giants decided to review, but was ruled in the plucky shortstop’s favor.
Kevin Kiermaier — who had a hit and a walk on the day, plus a hustling stolen base — also made an incredible topsy-turvy catch in center. I can’t be the only one who panics whenever he does something even vaguely risky, can I?
Speaking of Kevins catching well...
An incredibly well hit ball by Tommy Pham that might have been an inside-the-park grand slam in any other situation, was bested by that wiley AL East outfield nemesis Kevin Pillar, in his first week with the Giants. Pillar was quite the thorn in the Rays side today.
More bothersome than Pillar was Brandon Belt, with an RBI single and a two-run home run to his credit, giving the Giants both their game leads. He also fell on a line drive dribbling past first base like he was Captain America and it was a grenade.
Ryan Yarbrough’s command looked shaky even before the Belt home run, definitely not his best day on the mound.
The bottom line
Absolutely not a heartbreaker of a loss. It was a game well played on both sides that could have gone better for the Rays, but the luck just wasn’t on their side this time around. Tomorrow is a new day.