Look, the MLB regular season is a long season. I try to be rational and optimistic during every game, but once in a while, and every team does it, a team puts on a real tragedy of a performance in the field that really tests that rationality.
Following the first game of today’s traditional doubleheader, where the Rays lost 3-2, there was a 45 minute turnaround prior to the start of game two.
Out of the gate, this game looked like it would be a long one. With two strikeouts in the top of the first, the Rays offense didn’t improve upon their impressive first inning run differential.
In the bottom of the first, with ace Blake Snell pitching in his second game since returning from injury, the optimism was there for a strong rebound outing against a team that sits under .500. That optimism didn’t last long, after a leadoff double and RBI single, Kelvin Gutierrez launched a ball 352 feet to give the Royals a 3-0 lead.
Fast forwarding to the bottom of the third, Adalberto Mondesi drew a leadoff walk to start the inning, and shortly after stole both second and third base. Mondesi would be driven in by a Jorge Soler double, extending Kansas City’s lead to 4-0.
In the bottom of the fourth, it was time to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic following an RBI base hit by Billy Hamilton. Snell, who left with two runners on, was pulled for Wilmer Font, and Font did everything he can to put this game completely out of reach. Font even allowed an earned run of his own! At this point, it was 8-0 Royals with no ending to this game in sight.
The Rays’ social media team is really good, because this was the exact mood at this point in the game.
Glenn Sparkman, whether he’s Max Scherzer in disguise or actually the next best pitcher in baseball, allowed absolutely nothing from the Rays offense in his seven innings of work. Honestly, you cannot convince me that Montgomery’s lineup would have done worse than the Rays’ lineup against a pitcher making his fourth ever Major League start.
Last season, our guy Brett wrote what was probably the perfect recap for a game like this. When the eighth run was scored, everything that was said last year was exactly what was being felt today.
Meanwhile in the eighth, Billy Hamilton made such a great catch that I had to include it in the recap.
Austin Pruitt pitched the final two innings, and Ji-Man Choi obliterated a ball in the top of the ninth to end Kansas City’s shutout, hitting the ball 434 feet to right field.
As I was wrapping this recap up, Daniel Robertson hit a 391 foot home run to left field, cutting the lead down to only six runs! Six runs is what the deficit would stay at, as the Rays fell to the Royals 8-2 despite a few hits in the final inning.
The good news about all of this is that it’s just one game! The Rays will be 19-11 after this one, and that’s a record to be more than happy with, as long as a game like this doesn’t happen again. As frustrating as this game was, I’ll be tuned in tomorrow to watch and hope that they can split the series in Kansas City, with first pitch scheduled for 2:10pm.