It’s been a good week for the Rays, and the hefty five-game series against division rival Baltimore Orioles has gone well for the club, clinching them a ticket to the postseason for the second year in a row.
But the season isn’t over, even if the postseason is a guarantee, and the late-surging Yankees are breathing down the Rays’ neck for who will win the AL East. Every game still counts, and the Rays know it.
On Friday night, Tyler Glasnow took the mound for the Rays, facing off against former Rays pitcher Alex Cobb. Both pitchers kept the game low-scoring and had decent (but not great) outings. Glasnow’s strikeout numbers were superb, but a rough second inning ramped up his pitch count early on and he spent the rest of the game trying to catch up.
In a low-scoring game like this, every little bit counts, and the Rays surely would have liked to add some insurance runs onto their score, and that’s something they’ll need to work on into the postseason where opponents won’t be as forgiving to small leads.
But you’re here for a recap, not analysis, so let’s break down the game.
The Rays struck early in the game with a Brandon Lowe single, a Brosseau walk to advance Lowe into scoring position, and then a Nate Lowe single to score B. Lowe. In the bottom of the inning Glasnow gave up an infield single but the Orioles were unable to convert it for any runs.
In the bottom of the second, Glasnow struggled somewhat, with a single to Sisco, who then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Glasnow then walked Hays, and gave up a single to Ruiz to load the bases with no one out. This could have been an opportunity for the Orioles to rally and get ahead in the score, but Glasnow kept his cool and was able to get out the next three batters to end the inning.
Worth noting here was a bizarre moment where Glasnow was unhappy with some of the balls he was being thrown and blew on one at one point, which caused someone in the Orioles dugout to scream that Glasnow had spit on it. The ball was simply replaced, but it was a strange break in the action that might have been intended to throw off Glasnow’s concentration with the bases loaded.
The top of the third started with a blazing triple by Tsutsugo that looked like it was going to be caught, but Renfroe got a bit tangled up in the outfield padding and missed the catch. A Brandon Lowe single then scored Tsutsugo giving the Rays a 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth a Hays home run put the Orioles on the board.
Things went steadily for both Cobb and Glasnow from there, and at the end of the fifth inning, the Rays pulled Glasnow as his pitch count neared 100. His final line for the night was 5.0IP, 4H, 1R, 1ER, 2BB, 10K, 1HR. That 10K is a really shining example of Glasnow’s skill, as is this dead sexy bit of NSFW filth.
⚠️ WARNING: this post contains absolute filth ⚠️ pic.twitter.com/76Osux6V7k— Tampa Bay Rays - x (@RaysBaseball) September 19, 2020
Cobb lasted on additional inning, being pulled at the end of the sixth. Oliver Drake pitched the sixth for the Rays and allowed only one hit, looking much better than his first outing back on Wednesday.
Aaron Loup pitched a hitless inning in the seventh, striking out two, then Nick Anderson took over in the eighth.
Side note here, BA and DeWayne are in love with Orioles pinch hitter Pat Valaika and it’s kind of adorable, so Rays front office if you’re reading this, they would like to you consider adding Valaika to the roster some day.
Another side note, because I’m feeling side notesy tonight, how old is Ryan Mountcastle. Like, I know I’m old and soon all these men will look like children to me, but Ryan Mountcastle looks so young! (Google tells me he is 23, a perfectly normal age for a baseball player.)
The Rays got a walk for Perez in the top of the ninth but were unable to convert it into a run. The game headed into the bottom of the ninth with the Rays leading 2-1. Ryan Sherriff came on to close things out for the Rays. Pinch hitter Jose Iglesias hit a loooong flyout that was so close to being out that the look of sheer relief on Sherriff’s face was worthy of a gif I do not have the time or skill to make.
Thankfully that’s why DRB has Dominik.
Sherriff was able to finish out the ninth and the Rays collected their 2-1 victory.