On the final Devil Rays Day of the season, Drew Rasmussen squared off against Alek Manoah in a brilliant pitchers duel. Who would come out on top? Let’s find out!
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The Rays got hosed in the first inning. No other way to say it. Home plate ump Corey Blaser called catcher’s interference just a few pitches into the game, putting Springer on first. The Rays challenged, even though there hadn’t even been an out recorded yet, because, well, it was plainly a missed call. Springer’s swing didn’t come close to hitting Mejía’s glove. It happens sometimes. Umpiring is hard. But somehow, the New York crew allowed the call to stand. It ended up not costing the Rays anything in the first, as Rasmussen dialed up a 6-4-3 double play to the very next hitter. But what was bad was, this cost the Rays their challenge. In the first inning! You really hope this doesn’t bite us in the ass!
(It did not, in fact, bite us in the ass. But it could have! And I’m looking forward to seeing the ump scorecard tomorrow, because this zone, especially early, was a mess.)
In the second inning, Kirk led off with a single, but Rasmussen stranded him. In the bottom of the frame, Peralta led off with a walk but was erased on a 3-unassisted double play.
It would be a bit for another base runner, as Rasmussen and Manoah both started to find the range. But with two outs in the fourth, Randy Arozarena doubled in the left-center field gap. But Peralta couldn’t cash in, as he grounded to second to end the threat.
With two outs in the fifth, down in the count 0-2, Mejia doubled into the right field corner. This time it was Choi who could not come through, fanning on a high fastball. And is there any hitter in the game who looks more lost now than Ji-Man Choi? It is sad and frustrating.
Things got interesting in the sixth. Merrifield led off by taking the first pitch to the wall in right center for a double. Rasmussen then walked Jackie Bradley Jr. to put two on. Rasmussen got Springer to chase a high fastball for the first out. Bichette then tapped to the right side. Choi fielded it and took a look at second before deciding he didn’t like the lane he had, and tossed to Rasmussen covering first for the second out. Both runners advanced. Guererro then drew a full count walk to load the bases. But Rasmussen wiggled off the hook by getting Kirk to ground out to Franco to end the inning.
Aranda drew a one out walk in the bottom of the sixth. Franco followed by serving a single into center, moving Aranda to second and extending Wander’s hit streak to eleven games. But Randy struck out and Peralta flew out to center to end the inning.
Hernandez smacked a one out double to left, ending a sterling evening for Rasmussen. 6.1 innings, 3 hits, 5 strikeouts, 2 walks.
Brooks Raley took over, and walked the pinch hitting Jansen. Merrifield then launched a hanging breaking ball out to left.
3-0 Blue Jays
Oh, in case you needed more ammo as to why pitcher wins/losses are dumb? Drew got the loss today, all because Brooks Raley couldn’t keep Whit freaking Merrifield in the yard.
In the bottom of seventh, Mastrobuoni lined a one out single to right, but was left stranded after ground outs from Mejia and Choi.
With Mayza taking over in the eighth for the Jays, Siri led off with an infield single. Paredes pinch hit for Aranda and flew out deep to left but not quite deep enough. After a Franco strike out looking, Randy singled back through the middle. Ramirez was called on to pinch hit for Peralta, forcing John Schneider to call on Jordan Romano for a four out save. Ramirez hit a slow chopper to Bichette, who barehanded it and threw wildly, scoring Siri and sending Randy to third.
3-1 Blue Jays
Margot was unable to finish to comeback, striking out on four pitches. Romano worked a clean ninth to finish it.
Okay, let’s look for some bright spots. Well, Ras obviously. Also, uh...Faucher? Yeah, Faucher was solid, going 1.1 innings clean innings, striking out one. And Ogando pitched a scoreless ninth, thanks in part to an absolute seed from Mejia to catch Bradley Zimmer stealing.
In the middle of the second, the Rays played a nice tribute to Kevin Kiermaier, which felt a lot like a farewell. It was cool and sad and bittersweet.
Oh, and Tyler Glasnow was back in the dugout! With plans on a return shortly!
Tomorrow will be the final home game of the regular season. Shane McClanahan will square off against Ross Stripling at 1:10 PM