The Rays had to settle for a series win rather than a series sweep today.
The game got off to an unfortunate start, as Zach Eflin, who doesn’t give up a lot of home runs, gave up a solo shot to Andres Gimenez, who does not hit a lot of home runs. That was the only run Cleveland scored that inning, but Eflin labored to get outs and it didn’t look good. If this were a movie rather than a baseball game, ominous music might have been playing.
But really I should not have fretted about that solo home run. Because after that the game just got worse. So much worse. Sure Zach Eflin and the Rays experienced a bit of bad luck. A full count pitch called a ball that should have been called a strike. Osleivis Basabe, making his major league debut at short stop, taking a few extra beats to field a grounder and throw to first, allowing an infield hit.
But that doesn’t explain the overall stinkitude today. Eflin has had the occasional clunker of a start, but I don’t think he’s ever clunked this badly (three innings, nine hits, six runs, 82 pitches to get nine outs).
Jake Diekman follwed with a “hold my beer” appearance in which he gave up five hits and three runs in 1.2 innings. I guess we should note that the four relievers who followed somehow managed to keep the juggernaut Guardian offense from any further scoring.
Usually when the offense scores so little I think it makes no sense to complain about pitching and defense, but today’s pitching and defense was so lame that I don’t see the point in complaining about the weak sauce offense. But kudos to Basabe who hit a double (a weak roller in a lucky spot but it counts!) and scored a run in his first major league appearance.
For those who are counting, the final score was 9-2.