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Wild Card Game 1 Diary: One win down, one to go

We react to every moment in the game, no moment too big or small!

Wild Card Round - Toronto Blue Jays v Tampa Bay Rays - Game One Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Lightning won the Stanley Cup last night, now it’s time for the Rays to start their Postseason journey to the second trophy in 2020 to the Tampa Bay area.

5:08 pm: First pitch! It’s a strike! We’re going to the World Series!!!

Top 1st: Blake Snell struck out leadoff hitter Cavan Biggio to get the Postseason started for the Rays.

Willy!!!!!! The Kid made a great play to throw out Bo Bichette with one out in the inning.

Bottom 1st: Brandon Lowe single! But he was stranded at first.

Top 2nd: Snell’s had an obvious plan of attack so far, throwing nothing but off-speed to Bo Bichette while throwing exclusively fastballs to Lourdes Gurriel in the first inning. It looked like Teoscar Hernandez would get exclusively off-speed but Snell struck him out with a good fastball for out number two.

And then Snell struck out Jonathan Villar with a curveball to end the inning.

Bottom 2nd: Eight-pitch inning for Matt Shoemaker, not ideal! At least Manuel Margot hit a single to add to the hit column.

Top 3rd: Snell is looking really good after three, striking out Cavan Biggio for K number five.

Bottom 3rd: Shoemaker has gone through the order for the first time on only 27 pitches . He finishes the inning with 35 pitches after striking out Zunino and Yoshi.

Top 4th: Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but Snell recorded two more strikeouts in the top of the fourth, striking Bichette and Grichuk out.

Bottom 4th: Charlie Montoyo took Shoemaker out of the game for *checks notes* Robbie Ray?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

The man with 38 earned runs in 51.2 innings this year?! I know Montoyo loved the Rays but I didn’t think he loved this team that much.

How did the move for Ray work? Well, about as expected. Randy Arozarena hit a triple...

...and Ray threw a wild pitch to walk Willy Adames, allowing Arozarena to score. 1-0 Rays!

Top 5th: Blake Snell with strikeout number eight!

But then he walked Teoscar Hernandez, so no perfect game.

But then Villar grounded into a double play to end the inning!

Bottom 5th: Facing the left-handed pitcher, Hunter Renfroe was brought in to replace Yoshi but Renfroe struck out, so we move on to the sixth with a one-run lead!

Top 6th: NO!!!!!!!! The no-hit bid is over. Alejandro Kirk broke up Snell’s hitless outing, but Snell recorded the next two outs including a strikeout of Cavan Biggio.

After 82 pitches, Snell’s day was done, and what a great day it was for number 4. Nine strikeouts, one hit, 5.2 innings, quality stuff from the left-handed ace.

Diego Castillo came in and closed out the inning .

Bottom 6th: Absolutely nothing happened for the offense, as Robbie Ray has actually looked good despite a shaky first inning for him.

Top 7th: Castillo stays in, gets a K, hits Vlad Jr and allows a hit to Lourdes Gurriel, so it was time for Castillo to come out and Nick Anderson to come in.

And a popup!

And a lineout! The. Shift. Works.

Bottom 7th: Right-handed pitcher AJ Cole comes in to relieve Robbie Ray but Cole walks Joey Wendle with one out in the inning.

Manuel Margot’s up next. The guy who throughout his career hit left-handed pitching better than right-handed pitching. The guy who just hit a


<) )╯ TWO

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to make it 3-0 Rays!

Ryan Borucki got out of the inning for the Jays to send this 3-0 game to the eighth inning.

Top 8th: Oh no Nick Anderson might actually be human. Alejandro Kirk popped out, but Rowdy Tellez hit a bloop single and Cavan Biggio hit a double to give Bo Bichette a chance to do damage, but all he does is hit a sacrifice fly, making it 3-1.

Anderson’s thrown more pitches this outing than he has in any outing this year, but if he can keep it to one run, that might be ok, especially with so many off-days between the Wild Card round and the ALDS. Of course you have to win to enjoy those off-days.


The Kid’s defense has been so good today, snagging a 105 mph liner to end the inning, all while possessing all of the swag in the world.

Bottom 8th: Ji! Man! Choi! Ji! Man! Choi! He’s back, and so is his chant! Unfortunately he lined out. And Brandon Lowe flew out. And Randy grounded out. Time to try for the save!

Top 9th: Who else to try and close this one out than Pete Fairbanks, this season’s most improved bullpen arm. Fairbanks struck out Vlad Jr but allowed a double to Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Oh boy, the thoughts are creeping in.

Teoscar Hernandez up, and Fairbanks gets him to a 3-0 count... and he swings and misses at a high fastball.

Oh my goodness Pete Fairbanks. This guy strikes Hernandez out LOOKING with a slider down the middle, completely freezing the Blue Jays outfielder.

All that was left was Joe Panik. Panik hit a blooper and when I tell you it looked like it was going to drop, but it didn’t, as Joey Wendle stepped back from third and made the catch, and just like that, the Rays are one win away from the ALDS.