ALDS. Game 1. Is anybody else as nervous as I am? Ok - Good.
Here is how each team lines up for today:
Snell opened the inning against a D.J. Lemeihu with two strikes, and quickly getting the Yankees Leadoff hitter 0-2, but after 9 pitches, DJLM got the better of Snell and hit a liner back up the middle for the first base hit.
Not ideal start to the game. Again - Snell Got ahead of RF Aaron Judge 1-2 and got into another full count, including a missed foul tip by Zunino to advance DJ Lemeihu to 2nd base. Snell got Judge to groundout, but still advanced DJLM over to 3rd base.
A sac fly by Aaron Hicks scored DJLM easily from 3rd.
Quickly 1-0 Yankees, with 2 outs and Blake Snell is already at 17 pitches for the inning. Good news for this inning: Snell got Luke Voit to ground out on 3 pitches.
Yankees get a run on the Aaron Hicks sac fly. First run Blake Snell allows in the first inning this season.#Rays down 1-0— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) October 6, 2020
Oh, and the Rays have to face Gerrit Cole down 1 run. Everything is FINE.
Gerrit Cole worked quickly, getting Yandy Diaz to ground out and struck out Brandon Lowe.
And then - Randy Arozarena happened.
Sign Randy to a long-term deal FOREVER— DRaysBay (@draysbay) October 6, 2020
Ji-Man Choi hit a pop up for an out, but the damage was done, and the Rays were back in it.
Snell came back out for the 2nd inning, and although got into a few hitter friendly counts, got Giancarlo Stanton, Gio Urshela and Gleybar Torres for a 1-2-3 Inning.
The Rays bats didn’t look too hopeless as Road Willy Adames showed up and hit a scorcher of a line drive (101 MPH off the bat) that was knocked down by Yankees’ SS Torres. That brought Kevin Kiermaier up who hit a long...fly ball.
Into the glove of Clint Fraizer. Only 10 pitches for Gerrit Cole in the 2nd inning.
SPEAKING OF Clint Fraizer, he took Blake Snell D E E P to begin the 3rd inning and give the Yankees a 2-1 lead.
I thought Clint Frazier hit that ball to friggin' Mars but it was only 418 feet?— DRaysBay (@draysbay) October 6, 2020
Good News though: Only took Blake Snell 8 pitches to get through the 3rd inning, but the damage was done.
42 pitches for Snell and just one swing and miss at an early curve. He is going to have to drop that pitch in the zone because they’re spitting at every low curve.— Jason Collette (@jasoncollette) October 6, 2020
Snell opened the 4th with a single to leadoff hitter Aaron Hicks, but got Luke Voit to strikeout to give the Rays their first out. But then Snell walked Giancarlo Stanton, then got Gio Urshela to ground out. (Un)fortunately Snell went to first base for the out instead of trying for the double play. 2 outs with runners on first and second.
Did you want more stress? Don’t worry we got you.
Snell walked Gleybar Torres to load them up for: Clint Fraizer. The same one who took Snell deep earlier and give the Rays the lead.
#Rays Snell strikes out Frazier. That's a huge out. It's still 2-1— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) October 6, 2020
Strikeout on foul tip on only 6 pitches. Snell opened the AB with a beautiful curveball for the first strike. I think Fraizer was hunting fastballs again.
Anyways - great recovery by Snell (and Mike Zunino who looked like the Tampa Bay Lightning goalie behind the plate, smothering at least 3 or 4 balls to keep Aaron Hicks at third base)
In the 4th, Randy Arozarena show why everybody should know his name as he opened up the 4th inning with a single against Gerrit Cole, and bring up the next batter, Ji-Man Choi.
Y’all already know what happened next:
Rays’ get their first lead of the game with some Ji Man Magic. 3-2 Rays.
Rays would continue to grind out Gerrit Cole with Joey Wendle singling, but couldn’t put any more runs on Cole.
Snell’s Third Time
In the top of the fifth inning Snell had to face the #9 hitter, catcher Kyle Higoshika. Who promptly hit a inside Blake Snell fastball 417 feet for a HR and tie the game at 3.
Now, Blake faces the top of the Yankees’ order for the third time, and Snell & Cash paid the penalty.
Snell got DJLM to ground out, but Aaron Judge sat on a first pitch curveball and demolished it for another HR to give the Yankees a 4-3 lead.
And none of them were cheap hits either:
Snell eventually got out of the inning, with a strikeout of Giancarlo Stanton, but the damage was done and the Rays were down 4-3.
Rays’ Chance in the 5th
The Rays’ bats looked to be going down quickly again in the 5th, but with two outs, Brandon Lowe worked a walk and Randy Arozarena kept his hot streak vs Gerrit Cole with a single to put runners on first and second base with Ji-Man Choi. After getting behind 2-0 on Choi and not wanting to risk it, Cole & Co decided to IBB walk Choi to load the bases with 2 outs and bring Manuel Margot to the plate.
Who struck out on a 100 MPH fastball by Cole up in the zone.
Bullpen vs Bullpen
Snell would be done after 5 IP, and giving up 6 H, 4 ER, 2 BB and 4 Ks. Definitely not the normal Snell we were used to seeing, but it could’ve been a lot worse.
RHP Ryan Thompson would come on in relief, and confused Yankees hitters for 2 innings, giving up 3 hits, but getting the double play ball in crucial situations.
In the end, Thompson gave up 0 R, 0 BB and struck out 0. But productive innings from Thompson against a dangerous Yankee lineup.
Cole gave the Yankees another inning going 6.0 IP with 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB and 8 Ks. The last out was a 111.4 MPH scorcher off Randy Arozarena’s bat, straight to Gleybar Torres.
Arozarena crushes one (111 off the bat) but right at Torres. #Rays trail 4-3 through 7— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) October 6, 2020
Manager A.A. Ron Boone went to the new 3 headed monster of Chad Green and Zack Britton.
We got our first Austin Meadows sighting, who was pinch hit for Mike Zunino (?) who struck out swinging late and over on a perfectly located fastball
In the 8th inning, Rays went with Oliver Drake, who looked great as well with a clean inning, only giving up 1 H and striking out 1, keeping the Rays within reach.
Yankees still lead 4-3.
Rays’ bats stayed silent in the bottom of the 8th, with Margot working a great walk off of Zack Britton, but Wily Adames struck out to end the inning,
Nail in the Coffin:
Before I get into the mess of the 9th inning, I want to just reiterate. The Rays were only down by one run. OK here we go.
John Curtiss came in for Oliver Drake, and promptly gave up a leadoff single to Kyle Higashioka, then a 4 pitch walk to DJ LeMaheiu.
Curtiss got Aaron Judge struck out looking, but then gave up a single to Aaron Hicks and give the Yankees a 2 run lead.
I’m going to rip off the band-aid at this point. Curtis loaded the bases with a Tyler Wade walk, and hung a slider to Giancarlo Stanton.
Stanton hits it to dead center and gives the Yankees a 9-3 lead.
Checks notes - And Cash still let Curtiss go, only to pull him after a Gleybar Torres single.
This is the effect of the possibility of five games in five days. Can't burn another arm and Curtiss couldn't figure it out.— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) October 6, 2020
Curtiss final line: 0.2 IP 4 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 1 K.
With Curtiss out, Cash went to Rays Prospect Shane McClanahan, who got to make a bit of MLB history.
Shane McClanahan is about to become the first pitcher in Major League history to make his debut in the postseason— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) October 6, 2020
He had a rough start, with a Brett Gardner Single (and awkward collision with Brandon Lowe), and another walk, but Sugar Shane got DJLM to ground out and end this horrible inning.
Rays couldn’t respond in the top of the ninth.
Cash Consideration Conclusions:
To End your night, here are two mini Cash Considerations for the night:
- Snell being left in for the TTO, even though being 1-18 against Aaron Judge (before the HR)
- Ji-Man Choi not being pinch hit in the 8th inning against LHP Zack Britton
FINAL: Yankees: 9, Rays: 3.
Rays will look to win Game 2 with Tyler Glasnow taking on Deivi Garcia of the Yankees. Game time is 8:10 PM ET.