Tonight’s game: A play in two acts.
Act 1: The Rays are really good!
Glasnow, you may recall, had one of his least impressive performances against the Orioles last time out, seeming over-amped and unable to command his pitches.
Tonight he came out pitching like a guy determined to change the narrative.
He pitched five outstanding innings, He scattered a few hits, walked just one, struck out seven with 14 whiffs. He worked quickly and efficiently and seemed completely in command.
Act 1 also included some offense. The struggling Randy Arozarena got things started. The team’s premier entertainer rose to the occasion of the last 2023 Randyland with a double. It was a close play at second and I’ll confess I did have a moment of wondering if he should have settled for a single but he made it work. Hittin’ Harold drive him in with a sharp single, and the Rays had a 1-0 lead.
But in Act 2 it all collapsed.
First, Arozarena was pulled from the game, reportedly with a tight quadricep.
Next, after scoring that run in the first the Rays offense fell into a deep slumber as Chris Bassitt essentially shut them down.
Then, after those five exquisite innings, Glasnow just forgot how to pitch. With one out, George Springer singled and stole second. He scored to tie the game on Bo Bichette’s single. Glasnow then proceeded to walk the bases loaded and for good measure also walked Kirk to bring in the go-ahead run.
He was replaced by Kevin Kelly who didn’t do much better. He hit Chapman to drive in yet another run, and gave up a single, allowing Toronto run number four to score. And in the ninth we saw the return of Jason Adam who maybe wasn’t quite ready to come back. He gave up a home run, a double (which was fortunately erased when the runner was caught trying to steal third), another double, and a wild pitch which, as he threw it, you could see him grabbing his side. At this point the trainer came out and escorted him off the field, Three runs in the hole, Cash (rightly) decided it was Erasmo time. More runs ensued.
Act 2 had a few redeeming plot lines. Curtis Mead hit a home run into 162 landing, whose cut out was just made for right handed third basemen. And the Rays did mount a two out rally in the 8th that involved a Toronto misplay that would have had me screaming had that been my team, as well as a dive into second by Margot that would have earned a ten even from the East German judge.
But then sometime after the game ended, we learned that Brandon Lowe didn’t just have a bad bruise but rather a broken knee cap that would keep him off the field for the rest of the 2023 season.
So B-Lowe - out for good. Randy Arozarena - who knows? Jason Adam - got to be done for the year. And of course Luke Raley is out thanks to some never fully revealed batting practice accident? A season that started out with the wind in our sails is ending in a soggy mess.