José Siri hit his first big-league postseason home run on Friday. (Photo Credit: Tampa Bay Rays)

After a 2-1 pitcher’s duel on Friday, in which Tampa Bay came out on the losing end of things, the Rays look to even the best of three American League Wildcard Series this afternoon.

Shane McClanahan almost went pitch-for-pitch with Shane Bieber, going seven innings and giving up two runs on seven hits with five punchouts. The two Cleveland runs came in the sixth inning after Ahmed Rosario singled with one out, bringing José Ramírez to the plate. Ramírez got just enough of a misplaced changeup for a two-run wall-scraper to right center, giving Cleveland all the runs they’d need on the afternoon. The left-hander retired five of his last six after the home run to finish his outing on an efficient 85 pitches (58 strikes, 68% strike rate). If Tampa Bay can eke out a pair of wins, and move on to the ALDS, McClanahan would line up to face New York.

Unfortunately for Tampa Bay, Bieber was a few pitches better than McClanahan. The right-hander exploited the Rays’ hitters, leaning on off-speed and breaking stuff that found the outer portion of the zone. They couldn’t lay off his breaking pitches. Beyond that, Bieber received more than a few friendly calls from home plate umpire Doug Eddings.

Bieber held the Rays hitless until the fifth inning when Harold Ramírez led off the frame with a single, and scoreless until the sixth inning when José Siri hit his first big-league postseason home run. He finished the day with 7.2 innings of one-run ball, allowing three hits with eight strikeouts.

The New What Next

Tyler Glasnow (0-0, 1.35 ERA, 2.96 FIP) will get the start in the elimination contest, pitching opposite Triston McKenzie (11-11, 2.96 ERA, 3.59 FIP).

Tyler Glasnow was very good against Boston on Monday, hurling 3.2 scoreless frames, while allowing two hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Glasnow was stretched out a little further, tossing 64 pitches (41 strikes, 64% strike rate). That puts him in a good position to throw 75-80 pitches on Saturday. Over his two outings, he’s allowed one run on four hits and two walks while striking out 10 batters over 6.2 innings. In that time, he maintains a 1.35 ERA and 2.96 FIP, with a 0.90 WHIP, and a 5.00 K/BB.

Something else to consider:

Triston McKenzie allowed one run on four hits over five frames against Kansas City on Monday. He struck out four. McKenzie gave up a run in the third inning but otherwise worked a pretty clean outing. The 25-year-old right-hander ended his regular season by allowing three runs or fewer in his final 11 starts, posting a 2.27 ERA through 71.1 innings during that stretch. In his previous start against Tampa Bay, McKenzie allowed one earned run on three hits and a walk while striking out six across six innings. Over his 2022 campaign, McKenzie owned an impressive 2.96 ERA and a 3.59 FIP, with a 4.32 K/BB across 31 appearances (30 starts). Key Matchups: Christian Bethancourt (2-5, 2B, RBI), Ji-Man Choi (1-4, 2B, BB), José Siri (1-4)

You can read about the series in our preview, while the starting lineup is below.

Rays 10/8/22 Starting Lineup

  1. Díaz 3B
  2. Franco SS
  3. Arozarena LF
  4. Ramírez DH
  5. Choi 1B
  6. Paredes 2B
  7. Margot RF
  8. Bethancourt C
  9. Siri CF