After winning their third consecutive game yesterday, the Tampa Bay Rays look to sweep the three-game series from the Blue Jays this afternoon, in Toronto. A victory would put Tampa Bay at four games over .500 going into an off-day, equalling the club’s high-water mark for the season. The Rays are 7-1 so far against the Blue Jays in 2018.
Willy Adames came up big yesterday, going 2-4 with an RBI and a run scored. He has gotten toasty at the plate, slashing .359 BA/.409 OBP/.564 SLG/.973 OPS/.412 wOBA/167 wRC+ with two home runs, six RBI and 10 runs scored over the last 14-days — joining Mallex Smith, Joey Wendle and Matt Duffy as the most productive hitters over the same stretch of play. That is important because CJ Cron and Jake Bauers have both cooled down considerably.
The New What Next
Tyler Glasnow (0-0, 2.57 ERA) will get the start for Tampa Bay, pitching opposite of Marcus Stroman (4-8, 5.20 ERA).
Ryan Yarbrough was not used on Saturday, and he is available for length today behind Glasnow.
Glasnow made his second start for the Rays on Monday, but because he had been used as a reliever in Pittsburgh, Glasnow was on a pitch count of four innings or 60 pitches and will continue to be until he is fully stretched out.
Over his first two frames, Glasnow struck out five of six batters on 98 mph fastballs and low 80’s curveballs that were hard to time up due to the speed differential and the movement.
Baltimore got its first baserunner with two outs in the third, when Caleb Joseph singled and swiped second, but Glasnow struck out Jonathan Villar on four pitches, setting up a filthy 86 mph slider with a trio of fastballs.
Tim Beckham, ever the intrepid fastball hunter, led off the fourth inning with a solo home run when Glasnow’s velocity dropped a touch, but that was the only damage incurred against the tall right-hander.
All told, Glasnow struck out nine and walked none — not bad for a guy with a reputation of having control issues.
Following the game, Glasnow told reporters he feels comfortable with Tampa Bay and is pitching more athletically than trying to control his delivery.
I felt good physically and I wanted to go out and attack, Glasnow was quoted as saying.
The next step for Glasnow is to prove he’s capable of going five or six innings per outing.
Stroman suffered an injury that forced him to leave Tuesday’s game after seven innings; a blister on his right middle finger. The right-hander cruised through Boston’s lineup before he was pulled during warmups prior to the eighth inning. And while Stroman said he “won’t be missing (his) next start,” everything will depend on his progress over the next few days. He has dealt with the blister issue throughout the season. He has relied primarily on a whiffy 93 mph sinker with natural sinking action and a sweeping 86 mph slider with two-plane movement, while also mixing in a 91 mph worm-killer cutter, an 83 mph curveball with slight glove-side movement, a 93 mph four-seam fastball and an 83 mph changeup with slight arm side fade. Stroman is 5-4 with a 4.37 ERA in 11 career starts against the Rays. Key Matchups: CJ Cron (3-8), Matt Duffy (2-5. 2B, BB), Carlos Gomez (2-2, HR, 3 RBI), Kevin Kiermaier (8-28, 2 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB), Mallex Smith (1-4, 2B)
You can read about the series in our preview.
Rays 8/12/18 Starting Lineup
— Chaz Roe threw a perfect inning for the Charlotte Stone Crabs on Saturday. He is scheduled to face one batter today to complete the second of back-to-back outings and should join the team in New York.
— …And because it bears mentioning: