Clearly, a fanbase that feels the need to throw baseballs and trash onto the field because its team is playing like garbage is the best in the league.

After an 8-2 win over the Yankees in the Bronx, the Tampa Bay Rays will look to win their second consecutive series of the season against New York this afternoon. Tampa Bay is now 3-1 this season against the Yankees and 14-5 against them over a 19-game stretch (including postseason play).

The eight runs scored last night were one shy of Tampa Bay’s total in the previous four games against Texas, and the Rays have scored four runs or more in each of the team’s four games against New York — 26 runs total. However, they also went 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position (.200 wRISP BA) and stranded seven men at second or third. They, however, still found ways to pile on runs, sometimes with help from New York’s defense.

The Yankees committed three errors last night, allowed seven walks, and hit a batter … a shocker, I know. They have now hit 31 Rays since 2018. New York had a team meeting immediately after the game, although you can’t polish a turd, so take the outcome with a grain of salt.

For his part, right-hander Michael Wacha was fantastic across six frames on Friday, allowing just two base runners on a walk and a hit. The right-hander didn’t allow a runner to get past first and struck out nine (all swinging) batters — matching the highest total of his career — on 93 pitches (60 strikes, 65% strike rate). He saw an uptick in his fastball velocity, as his heater touched 96 mph, and he coaxed 18 swings and misses (19% SwStr%) on eight four-seam fastballs, five cutters, four changeups, and one curveball. Wacha was able to lower his ERA from 7.00 to 4.20 on the season, while he now has collected 20 strikeouts across three appearances (15 innings, two starts) to start the season.

My pitches had some good movement. Everything was just dancing. We were able to get ahead of them and felt like we were in attack mode pretty much the whole game. … It’s fun whenever everything’s working, for sure.

— Michael Wacha

The New What Next

Tyler Glasnow (1-0, 0.46 ERA) will get the start in Saturday’s matinee contest, pitching opposite of Jordan Montgomery (1-0, 3.27 ERA).

Tyler Glasnow got the start against the Rangers on Monday and was electric from the jump, striking out seven of the first nine batters he faced, and not allowing a base runner until Joey Gallo walked with two outs in the fourth. Meanwhile, Eli White broke up the right-hander’s no-no with an infield single one out into the fifth. He, however, was erased on a strikeout/caught stealing double play.

Favoring his 96-98 mph four-seamer, while also leaning on his cut-slider and curveball, Glasnow struck out 14 total batters — one shy of the franchise record (set by Chris Archer and James Shields) — across 7-2/3 fantastic innings. He scattered just two hits and a walk and posted a career-best 27 swings and misses (26% whiff rate) on 102 pitches (73 strikes, 72% strike rate). In short, he filled the zone with strikes and challenged hitters with practically unhittable stuff, and earned his first “W” of the season.

Jordan Montgomery gave up four runs on five hits and two walks while striking out four in five innings of work against Tampa Bay on Sunday. Montgomery gave up a pair of two-run shots in consecutive innings — Mike Zunino went deep in the second inning and Randy Arozarena did the same thing in the third — although he looked solid the rest of the way albeit rather unspectacular. Key Matchups: Willy Adames (1-4, 2B), Randy Arozarena (2-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI), Mike Brosseau (2-3, HR, 2 RBI), Yandy Diaz (2-4, 2 RBI), Manuel Margot (2-4, 2 2B), Austin Meadows (2-3), Mike Zunino (1-2, HR, RBI)

You can read about the series in our preview, while the starting lineup and Noteworthiness are below.

Rays 4/17/21 Starting Lineup

  1. Díaz 1B
  2. Arozarena RF
  3. Meadows DH
  4. Brosseau 2B
  5. Margot LF
  6. Mejía C
  7. Wendle 3B
  8. Adames SS
  9. Phillips CF
  10. Glasnow RHP


— Kevin Kiermaier (quad strain) will see 20-30 pitches from David Hess in simulated at-bats before this afternoon’s game. He could be activated as soon as Sunday.

— Kevin Cash is reportedly mulling over a decision to have Ryan Yarbrough start tomorrow or follow an opener. That decision will be made after the game today.

— Oh yeah, fuck the Yankees and their fans. Whoops, did I say that out loud?

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