Y’all, this was fun. Charlie was rested and firing 96 with ease. Randy got another dinger, plus a couple singles and a walk. KK had a couple clutch hits, including a dinger of his own. MIKEY PEREZ hit one out, after he decided bunts were for losers.
It really was a game that wasn’t as close as the score suggests. That score was 8-4, as the Rays took a 2-1 lead in this five game Divisional Series. The Rays won in all facets of the game, out-slugging, out-pitching, and out-managing the Bronx Bombers. Now if we could just get the TBS crew to wake up.
Anyway, lets get down to the details.
The Rays sent up a lefty heavy lineup against Yankee veteran right handed Masahiro Tanaka.
Meanwhile, the Rays sent Charlie Morton out to keep New York in check.
The Rays seemed to be seeing Tanaka well from the beginning. After Choi just missed a two run run blast in the first, the Rays put two on with two outs for Michael Perez in the second. Mikey Clutch came through with an RBI single.
Morton cruised through the first two innings, but ran into trouble in the third when he loaded the bases — on a single, an Adames error and a walk — with one out. Aaron Judge then lifted a fly to medium right field, scoring Brett Gardner and tying the game.
Morton then walked Hicks to reload the bases, but got Voit to ground out to end the inning.
The Rays answered in the top of the fourth. Joey Wendle singled, and Willy Adames walked on a borderline pitch — a pitch that the Yankees never quite recovered by, judging by all the chirping.
Kevin Kiermaier followed by taking a first pitch curve out to right.
in the top of the fifth, Randy Arozarena chased Tanaka from the game by driving one DEEP to left.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Yankees put up one to make it a 5-2 game. DJ LeMahieu reached on an infield single, then scored on an Aaron Hicks double to right. That closed the book on Charlie: 5 IP, 4 hits, 2 runs, 1 earned, 6 strikeouts, 2 walks.
In the top of the sixth against Chad Green, Kevin Kiermaier doubled to right. The Rays then asked Michael Perez to bunt him over. He failed, twice. So of course Mikey squared up the next pitch, a 97 mph heater, and hit it out to left. Don’t bunt! Hit dingers!
MICHAEL PEREZ 2-RUN SHOT AND IT'S 7-2 RAYS pic.twitter.com/dSR73NvLji— Starting 9 (@Starting9) October 8, 2020
With two outs and Cessa pitching, Arozorena drew a four pitch walk. Choi followed by doubling to right, scoring Randy.
JI. MAN . CHOI !!! 8-2 pic.twitter.com/hA1cFgpmZn— Tampa Bay Rays France ⚾️ (40-20) (@TBRaysFr) October 8, 2020
John Curtiss took over in the bottom of sixth, hoping to put the rough game one performance behind him. He gave up a hard single from Stanton, but then retired the next three without much drama. It was good to see him bounce back.
Curtiss came back out for the seventh and retired the first two hitters before giving up a single to Aaron Judge. He then yielded to Shane McClanahan, who got Hicks to pop to right.
McClanny stayed out for the eighth. Voit reached on an Adames throwing error. Stanton followed by hitting one out to center. 8-4 Rays.
There was a little chicanery in the ninth. With McClanny still on the hill to start the inning, Boone sent up Frazier to pinch hit. Cash then made the call to the pen for Diego Castillo, and Boone countered again with Mike Ford. It was an exchange the Rays clearly won.
Ford popped out to Perez, DJLM grounded out to short, and Judge grounded to third.
Rays win! And Tampa Bay is one win away from advancing to the ALCS.