In an uneven game filled with miscues, gaffes, and weird plays, the Tampa Bay Rays dropped their third straight game (and second to those Massholes) in extra innings, 6-5.
Glasnow got the start for Tampa Bay on Tuesday tasked with putting together a quality outing as well as shutting down a Red Sox offense that plated 11 runs the night before. Given how dominant he was on Opening Day, the question begged: would Tyler be able to put up similar numbers in his second outing of the season? The answer was yes and no. Was Glasnow as dominant on Tuesday as he was on Opening Day? No. However, he was very good nonetheless. The right-hander made some big pitches when he needed to and limited Boston to one run across six innings.
Glasnow got into trouble in the first inning when he gave up a leadoff double to Christian Arroyo that chopped its way down the left-field line. The one time Ray moved up to third on a groundout by J.D. Martinez that was full of indecision by Willy Adames, who had an opportunity to tag Arroyo as he made his way to third. Arroyo later came around to score on a wild pitch to Xander Bogaerts, who subsequently struck out on a 99 mph fastball.
From there Glasnow went to work, scattering three other hits and two walks across five scoreless frames. He used roughly the same mix of pitches as he had against Miami, although he coaxed fewer whiffs: 52 four-seam fastballs (six whiffs, 33% called strikes+whiffs), 34 cut-sliders (five whiffs, 21% called strikes+whiffs), and 10 curveballs (three whiffs, 40% called strikes+whiffs). And while Glasnow did not have the eye-popping 75% strike rate of five days ago, the results speak favorably for the Rays’ ace. His final line: 6 IP/4 H/2 BB/1 R/9 K on 97 pitches (60 strikes, 62% strike rate, 16.2 pitches per inning)
Meanwhile, the Rays took the lead in the third inning when Manuel Margot singled to shallow right, allowing Yandy Díaz and Mike Zunino to score. Zunino previously reached base on a single to left, while Díaz worked a four-pitch walk. Three innings later, pinch hitter Joey Wendle added a third tally to the score when he drove home Brandon Lowe, who reached on a lead-off full-pitch walk. Yet the Rays could have scored more in the inning if not for a running error by Willy Adames, who was slow out of the box on a long single at the left-field wall — his second mental gaffe of the night. Instead of ending up in scoring position, Adames got caught between first and second and was subsequently tagged out as he attempted to slide back into first. Willy was later tagged out as he attempted to swipe a bag in the top of the eighth.
Massholes. https://t.co/l1YVGEsEg9— X-Rays Spex (@XRaysSpex) April 7, 2021
It also bears mentioning that the Rays should have added onto their lead in the seventh inning, however, an awkward double play took place when Margot “flew out to left” doubling up Arozarena off second. In reality, however, left fielder Franchy Cordero caught the ball after it caromed off the wall and into his glove, which you can see in slow motion in the video above.
As fate would have it, the Red Sox would score single tallies against The Stable in the eighth and ninth innings (respectively) when Martinez drove in Alex Verdugo on a double to deep right, and Vasquez homered to left, sending the game into extra innings.
In the 11th inning, Adames redeemed himself when he doubled to shallow left, scoring Lowe from second. Yet, the Red Sox answered against Andrew Kittredge in the bottom half of the frame when Rafael Devers singled to left, scoring Bogaerts.
What a moment for Kitt pic.twitter.com/f01bGCpmRN— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) April 7, 2021
Kittredge — making his first appearance at Fenway since his injury-shortened 2020 outing — came up big, striking out Bogaerts (swinging) with runners in scoring position, keeping the score knotted up at four runs apiece.
At any rate, Tampa Bay again took the go-ahead lead when Zunino was wild pitched to third, then came around to score on Arozarena’s RBI groundout to short. However, that lead again slipped away for good in the bottom of the 12th when Martinez hit a two-out, two-RBI extra-base hit to right field that Randy Arozarena got all sorts of twisted up on (four the third time in four days, no less), allowing Boston to win the 36-out affair, 6-5.
The New What Next
Salvage mode. The Rays will cap their road trip in an afternoon matinee on Wednesday with Ryan Yarbrough (0-0, 0.00 ERA) on the mound. The left-hander will pitch opposite of Nathan Eovaldi (0-1, 1.69 ERA).
Ryan Yarbrough got the start for Tampa Bay and retired the first nine batters in order by doing what he is wont to do: forcing weak contact. In fact, the left-hander limited hard contact all night; just two at-bats resulted in exit velocities of +95 mph, and even then both resulted in fly-ball outs. Yarbrough allowed base runners in the fourth inning, yet a Garrett Cooper double play ended the threat. Then in the fifth inning, he allowed a two-out base hit to Jazz Chisholm Jr., but a ground ball out by Jorge Alfaro whacked Miami’s mole, ending the inning. After giving up a two-out double to Starling Marte that bounced down the third base line, Yarbrough was lifted. He was efficient, throwing 65 pitches (41 strikes, 63% strike rate) total, and leaned heavily on his cutter/changeup combo while sprinkling in a few sinkers and curveballs for good measure. Yarbrough’s final line: 5.2 IP/4 H/3 K/0 BB/4 groundouts/5 fly ball outs.
Nathan Eovaldi gave up one run on four hits and a walk over 5-1/3 innings while striking out four. The right-hander found himself in a pitchers’ duel with John Means and exited the game in the sixth inning with the score still knotted up at zero, but Eovaldi got saddled with the loss when former Rays hurler Matt Andriese allowed his inherited runner to score. Eovaldi is coming off a strong 2020, posting career highs in strikeouts and walk rates. Even so, Eovaldi is 2-5 with a 5.48 ERA in 10 career outings (eight starts) against Tampa Bay. Last season, he relied primarily on a 98 mph four-seam fastball and a 93 mph cutter, while also mixing in an 80 mph curveball, an 88 mph splitter, and an 89 mph slider. Key Matchups: Michael Brosseau (1-1), Yandy Díaz (2-7, RBI), Kevin Kiermaier (3-11, 3B, 4 RBI), Manuel Margo (1-2), Austin Meadows (5-9, 2B, 3B, HR, 3 RBI), Joey Wendle (5-7, 2B, 3B, HR, RBI)
You can read about the series in our preview, and I’ll try to post the starting lineup upon availability.
Rays 4/7/21 Starting Lineup
- Tsutsugo 1B
- Meadows LF
- Arozarena RF
- Lowe 2B
- Diaz DH
- Wendle 3B
- Margot CF
- Mejia C
- Adames SS
- Yarbrough LHP