Here we go, the Rays are back in the ALDS and this time it’s inside of the San Diego bubble. Blake Snell vs Gerrit Cole.
8:09 pm: First pitch and I’m not nervous in the slightest no I am not.
Top 1st: Snell had DJ LeMahieu down 0-2 but LeMahieu singles on the ninth pitch of the at-bat. And Snell might be overthrowing as he throws a wild pitch to allow LeMahieu to move up to second. Thankfully Aaron Judge grounded out but it moved DJLM up to third.
The wild pitch wasn't ideal as it allowed LeMahieu to score on a sacrifice fly, but it’d be the only run Snell would allow in the inning, although he did throw 20 pitches in the first.
Bottom 1st: Yandy grounded out and Brandon Lowe struck out, and Cole looked good after is first two batters. Unfortunately, for Cole, he has yet to meet Randy Arozarena. With two balls to the Cuban outfielder, Arozarena got a fastball in the zone.
HOME RUN FOR RANDY
107 off of the bat, 410 feet, 1-1 ballgame.
Top 2nd: Snell looked a bit better and he even got his first strikeout!
That’s a strike if you ask me.
Bottom 2nd: Gio Urshela made a great play to prevent Manuel Margot from getting a hit.
Gio Urshela made a great play to prevent Joey Wendle from getting a hit.
Road Willy meanwhile gets an infield single! But Kevin Kiermaier flies out to end the inning.
Top 3rd: Oh no. Clint Frazier absolutely destroyed a high fastball to the left field seats and it gave the Yankees the lead again. Fortunately, Snell threw only eight pitches in the inning, so he’s at 43 through three.
Bottom 3rd: Well that wasn’t a good inning at the plate. Zunino struck out on a pitch practically in the grass, Yandy grounded out and BLowe struck out on a high-and-inside 99 mph fastball.
Top 4th: Aaron Hicks hitting a single isn't the worst thing in the world but when Luke Voit is hitting behind him, it is a little concerning. Good thing Snell sat Voit down with an inside slider!
But then Snell walked Stanton and Gio Urshela moved both runners up by grounding out. Gleyber Torres walked, bringing up Clint Frazier who already has a home run tonight.
It was at this point I was hoping Snell would start out off speed and finish with heat against Frazier. I’m glad I’m not a Major Leaguer, because Snell through only one fastball to Frazier, striking him out with a high slider to end the inning and leave the bases loaded.
Bottom 4th: Randy Arozarena needs a lifetime extension and it needs to be signed tomorrow. He singled to bring up Ji-Man and what did Ji-Man do?
That ball’s driven deep to left field, there it goes!!!!!!!
SEE YA! A two-run home run, for Ji-Man Choi, and the Rays, lead the Yankees, 3-2!
Top 5th: Snell stayed out for the fifth which was an interesting decision, but if it works out, it saves the bullpen from coming in to work five innings.
Uh oh. Tie game.
Oh no. 4-3 Yankees.
Well at least it’s still a one-run game? I’m not sure if I would say keeping Snell in for the fifth worked, but it did in fact prevent the bullpen from pitching the fifth inning, so that’s up to the determination of whether this is Kevin Cash trusting his process over results or if this was over-managing.
Bottom 5th: Two quick outs and this inning looks like it’ll be over but Brandon Lowe drew a walk to avoid the 1-2-3 inning. Randy hits ANOTHER ball for his third hit of the game, putting runners on the corners, and the bases become loaded when Ji-Man Choi is intentionally walked. But Margot struck out to end the inning.
Top 6th: Ryan Thompson! He's in the game! And despite allowing a single, he got a double play. And then he hit pinch-hitter Brett Gardner with a slider . Most importantly, Kyle Higashioka grounded out to end the inning.
Bottom 6th: Gerrit Cole is still in. Joey Wendle flew out. Willy Adames struck out. Kevin Kiermaier struck out. Not a great inning!
Top 7th: Ryan Thompson staying in against the top of the order is an interesting decision, but I’m on the Trust Kevin Cash train. LeMahieu singled, but Aaron Judge grounded into a double play on a come-backer to Thompson, so the side-armer is doing a great job inducing the groundball tonight.
The bad thing about groundballs is they can sometimes find their way for a hit, and that’s how Aaron Hicks got on after the Judge double play. Luke Voit flew out, making it seven innings without the use of a high-leverage bullpen arm.
I’m pretty sure that’s the rationale behind Cash’s decisions tonight, and while it may look like he’s just sitting back and not managing, those are valuable innings you’re saving in what could be a five-game series with each game behind the other. Especially in a season where pitchers are dropping with injuries left and right. I get it and I don’t hate it at all.
Bottom 7th: Hello Austin Meadows and welcome back! Pinch-hitting for Zunino against new pitcher Chad Green, Meadows hopefully will look like he did last season and not his forgettable 2020 regular season. But he struck out, swinging and missing on three 96 mph fastballs.
Yandy grounded out so many Brandon Lowe can do something with the number of outs left decreasing. Hey, a walk! That brings up Arozarena. A game-tying hit sure would be nice right about now. Too bad he lined out to short, hitting it 111 mph off the bat.
Top 8th: Oliver Drake time and he needs to be as good as Thompson was. Michael Perez the new catcher.
One pitch, one out. Pitch number three was a single, while pitch number seven was a flyout. Pitch 13 struck Brett Gardner out to end the inning.
Bottom 8th: Choi, Margot and Wendle due up and we really could use at least one run against Zack Britton who is now pitching for the Yankees. But Choi grounded out on the first pitch he saw.
Margot drew a walk! Mike Brosseau is gonna replace Wendle so the optimism is growing! Brosseau hit a grounder to second, avoiding the double play but making it two outs for Willy Adames. And Adames struck out, his third K of the game.
Top 9th: John Curtiss comes in and immediately allows a bloop single to Higashioka. DJ LeMahieu walked and Aaron Judge struck out looking. Two on, one out. Two stayed on when Aaron Hicks hit an RBI single, and one runner was added when Tyler Wade walked.
At this point, just allow the grand slam and get this game over with.
Lol. Stanton apparently read my mind, because he did just that, making it 9-3. That’s tough. I don’t even have a reaction GIF, because that’s just tough.
Curtiss stayed in as he should and he got an out, allowed a hit and came out after 42 pitches. I couldn’t even care less that he wasn’t good, because wanting to get just one run since the Judge home run was apparently too much to ask for.
At least Shane McClanahan gets to make his Major League debut in this atrocity of an inning. 98 mph first pitch, wow. 99 on his second pitch, he’s definitely amped up. 99 again on the third pitch. 98 on the fourth pitch and it’s a blooping infield single. McClanahan then walked Higashkioka, but finally ended this nightmare inning with a LeMahieu groundout.
That inning was just miserable to watch.
Bottom 9th: Hey Rays go ahead and attempt a comeback. Hopefully we get the bad Luis Cessa!
Just need a bloop and a bloop and a bloop and a bloop and a bloop and a bloop and a blast— DRaysBay (@draysbay) October 6, 2020
Yandy drew a two-out walk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But Brandon Lowe struck out, finally ending this tragedy of a game.
Onto game two.