The Tampa Bay Rays enter play with a chance to take the first series of the season, after winning back-to-back games against the Houston Astros. The Rays defense and bullpen have looked stellar thus far, playing error-free baseball and hurling 11 scoreless frames (respectively).
Tyler Glasnow looked good in his first regular-season outing, tossing five innings of one-run ball while scattering six hits (including a home run by Alex Bregman into the 162 landing in left-field) and fanning four on 77 pitches (51 strikes, 66% strike rate). The right-hander’s fastball averaged 96.6 mph and hit 100.4 mph in the first at-bat of the game against George Springer. That particular at-bat resulted in a ground out on an 82 mph curveball on the inner third of the plate.
Yet something was missing Saturday night. After working on a new delivery during Spring Training, one which included a pause,
I was kind of thinking about it throughout the week, and it was kind of one of those things, game day, just go out and compete. Today it just felt better to not do it.— Tyler Glasnow
What’s a ballgame without a little help from the defenders?
To be able to shut down a runner like Altuve, that probably sends somewhat of a message to the Astros in that it’s not that easy to walk into second base. Even with Glasnow on the mound.— Kevin Cash
Despite the outcome of Thursday’s home opener, Tampa Bay’s bullpen has been strong, which Rays manager Kevin Cash spoke about in his post-game presser last night.
They’ve been outstanding. The way the matchups have gone, we’ve been pretty fortunate with where the lineup is and the turnover and all that. We’re not always going to have those ideal matchups, but so far when we’ve called on (the bullpen) they’ve really done a nice job.— Kevin Cash
The New What Next
The Rays will go for the series win on Sunday with Yonny Chirinos (5-5, 3.51 ERA) on the mound, pitching opposite of Wade Miley (5-2. 2.57 ERA).
Since Ryne Stanek threw two innings last night, Cash scrapped the plan to use an opener on Sunday against Houston and instead will go with Chirinos in a conventional start. The right-hander did not face Houston last season. In 2018, Chirinos went 3-2 at the Trop with a 3.66 ERA across 51.2 innings (10 games, three starts). He allowed six homers.
Wade Miley will make his Astros debut after going 5-2 with a 2.57 ERA in 16 regular-season starts for Milwaukee last season. Miley allowed two earned runs and 10 hits in 14-2/3 innings across four starts for the Brewers in the playoffs. In 12 career appearances against the Rays, Miley is 4-5 with a 3.36 ERA, and 2-3 with a 3.57 ERA in six starts at the Trop. In 2018, he relied primarily on his 88 mph cutter with strong cutting action, while also mixing in a 76 mph worm-killer curveball, an 83 mph circle changeup that generates an extreme number of ground balls, a whiffy 92 mph four-seam fastball, and a 91 mph swing-and-miss sinker. Key Matchups: Yandy Diaz (2-3, 2B), Avisail Garcia (2B, 3 RBI, 3 BB), Guillermo Heredia (2-3, 2B), Kevin Kiermaier (4-15, 2B, 3B, HR, RBI, BB), Tommy Pham (1-3, 2B), Mike Zunino (1-4, BB)
You can read about the series in our preview, while Sunday’s starting lineup is below.
Rays 3/31/19 Starting Lineup
- Diaz 1B
- Pham LF
- Robertson 3B
- Garcia RF
- Meadows DH
- Zunino C
- Heredia CF
- Wendle 2B
- Adames SS
- Chirinos RHP