Rays hold off O’s, finally end their losing streak

by Gary Shelton on July 26, 2017 · 14 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Beckham's three-run homer earned a bear hug from Souza./CARMEN MANDATO

Beckham’s three-run homer earned a bear hug from Souza./CARMEN MANDATO

Wednesday, 3 a.m.

They ended the game hanging on by their fingernails. They had to scrap to outlast a sub-.500 team. They spent much of the game being shut down by the opposing pitcher.

But they won.

Finally, the Tampa Bay Rays won.

The Rays, riding a five-game losing streak, held on to beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-4 on Tuesday night. Tampa Bay took a 5-0 lead in the second inning, but then had to survive a ninth inning. The Rays had an error and gave up two hits in the ninth before winning.

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Colombia was shaky, but got his 29th save./CARMEN MANDATO

Colome was shaky, but got his 29th save./CARMEN MANDATO

“We needed a win and that was a good win,” Rays’ manager Kevin Cash said. “Maybe there is something to be said about winning a game that tight that can jolt you to get you on a roll more than winning a 5-0 win. We will take them however we can get them.”

The Rays got yet another quality start from rookie Jacob Faria, his eighth in his nine starts. He went 7 1/3 inning and gave up only three unearned runs.

Faria had yet another quality start./CARMEN MANDATO

Faria had yet another quality start./CARMEN MANDATO

“Jake Faria provided everything and more for what we needed,” Cash said. “There wasn’t really any trouble except for the one bases-loaded situation. There were some louds outs, but they were outs. We were pretty well-positioned tonight.

“He doesn’t get rattled. The stuff is really good. He threw a ton of fastballs. There is something about his fastball that it stays in 90-93 range. But he gets a lot of swings-and-misses, a lot of chases and a lot of popups.”

Still, things got dicey at the end. Tommy Hunter gave up a run to cut the deficit to 5-4, and Alex Colome had another nail-biting save, his 29th.

Evan Longoria started a key double-play in the ninth, fielding the ball and spinning before throwing to second base. “It was tremendous,” Cash said. “Very Manny Machado-esque.”

After five games, no one was willing to make fun of the way this one happened.

“We needed to shake hands (in a post-game ceremony),” Cash said. “We have to get on a roll now. We have a challenge tomorrow with a day game and then we go on

Longoria started a crucial double play in the ninth./CARMEN MANDATO

Longoria started a crucial double play in the ninth./CARMEN MANDATO

the road. I’m hoping that a close win like this is more beneficial than winning a game that gets separated early and there’s no intensity at the back end of it. There was plenty of intensity.”

Faria still seems unruffled after his early success.

“I don’t get shaken up when I get hit hard,” Faria said. “This is a team that hits a lot of homers. They are going to hit the ball hard, but if they make an out, it’s still an out. I don’t care how I make the out as long as it’s made. I don’t really get shaken up with balls hit hard. I get mad at myself if I leave a ball over the zone and they crush it because I made the mistake, but if they hit it hard, but it’s an out it really doesn’t bother me.”

Tim Beckham had a three-run homer to center in the second to lead the win. With the slumping Corey Dickerson and Logan Morrison out of the lineup, it was needed.

“No matter what lineup it is, we are going to come out and compete every day. We want to come out and win the ballgame,” Beckham said. “No matter what lineup or where we are in the lineup. Everyone is capable of putting together good at-bats and everyone is capable of hitting the ball hard somewhere. It was fun today. We want to keep it going.”

The Rays close out their seres against the Orioles in a 12:10 game today at the Trop. Alex Cobb pitches against Ubaldo Jimenez.

Smith singles to center in the second inning for the Rays./CARMEN MANDATO

Smith singles to center in the second inning for the Rays./CARMEN MANDATO



{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Larry Beller July 26, 2017 at 11:32 pm

Ok I was kind of kidding about that last comment and in general I agree with what you say about reading the starter before pulling him. I probably I would have let Cobb pitch in that 9th inning the other day as well but after seeing the results of losing those 3 games when pushing the starters I would rather take my chances on the Rays back end relievers even though we know they are not perfect. Complete games are way down in MLB in recent years for a lot of reasons and one is the starters don’t seem to have the stamina they used to. I could be wrong but I don’t think the Rays starters have a complete game all year.

I thought Cash handled the bullpen perfectly today. He had Colome ready if needed but both Hunter and Boxburger rose to the occasion and got the job done. Well done on everyone’s part.

Baseball is all about second guessing the manager. That’s the fun part for fans. Maddon got things right more than anyone but was still second guessed at ton. Cash is still learning but getting better. That’s nice to see.


Gary Shelton July 27, 2017 at 10:41 am

You know what’s odd. From what I hear, Maddon was second-guessed a ton more than Cash has been. I think his personality, his quirks, his outside-the-box or whatever may have been the cause. I thought it got silly when he was here.

I don’t mind second-guessing the manager. I do mind when it’s a moveable feast where fans are going to criticize whatever doesn’t work. That Cobb game is a perfect example. He left Cobb in, and Cobb lost, so he was wrong. If Cash had gone to the pen, and Colome blew the game, all you would have heard was how he should have kept Cobb in.

To me, a smart fan gets to criticize one way. Pull Winston? Bench Stamkos? You either agree or disagree at the time of the decision.




Larry Beller July 27, 2017 at 8:26 pm

Sure. My comment was based on a cumulative amount of times the Rays starters were not able to be effective when starting a new inning after having thrown 95+ pitches. Is that a hard and fast rule? Not really but it’s a pretty good rule of thumb as was evidenced by the way Cash handled the bullpen in the game on Wed. I think he saw the same thing I did. At least that’s how I’m reading it.


Gary Shelton July 27, 2017 at 9:31 pm

Wouldn’t you agree that every situation is unique? What another pitcher did on May 18 against another team has little to do with whether you pull a guy or let him throw. My favorite all-time stat is this. The year the Orioles’ great quartet of pitchers all won 20 (81 total), they had 70 complete games. Again, nothing wrong with a guy throwing nine if he’s still got it in him. The error this time was that he didn’t, and Cash didn’t pull him after a leadoff double.


Larry Beller July 27, 2017 at 11:30 pm

You just won’t give me credit for calling the situation right on this one. I suggested that Cash handle the bullpen in a certain way. The very next day he did exactly what I suggested and the Rays won the game. I had it right. End of story. Over and out. The 1960 or 1970 something Orioles aren’t coming back anytime soon. We are in a different era where starting pitchers get pulled early and often. We can move on now.

Larry Beller July 26, 2017 at 5:32 am

Memo to Kevin Cash: When your starter has thrown 95+ pitches don’t send him back out to start a new inning!! This is the 3rd time in the last week you have done that and each time 2 or more runs are scored against you. Learn from that.


Gary Shelton July 26, 2017 at 12:59 pm

I think that addresses his level of mistrust of his bullpen, don’t you?


Larry Beller July 26, 2017 at 2:08 pm

I do and it’s hard to blame him but if the starter can get through 7 innings the level of trust should be higher with Hunter, Boxburger and Colome even though none of those guys are infallible either. It’s just not working out to push the starters into another inning once they get to the 95+ pitch level so let’s not keep doing it.


Larry Beller July 26, 2017 at 6:22 pm

Glad to see Cash followed my suggestion today with regards to handling of the bullpen. The results were pretty good. Do you think he follows your website?


Gary Shelton July 26, 2017 at 9:19 pm

The coaches-managers I’ve been around don’t do day-to-day reading. They do have, however, a public relations department that brings to their attention most things that are controversial. I know Kevin reads the Times most of all.

I’ll tell you the truth. I have no problem with a manager or coach saying something to me. Maybe he was thinking about a matchup I didn’t consider. Maybe he was saving a time out. And maybe we’re simply going to disagree.

I’ve told this story before. When Jon Gruden was with the Bucs, he really didn’t respond to a lot of what was written. But once, when one of his teams started the season 0-4, I wrote that the situation with Bruce Allen and him simply wasn’t working. They weren’t bringing in big-time players at the pace they were losing them.

One day in the locker room, emboldened by the team winning for the first time, one of Gruden’s gophers walked up to me and said “I read what you wrote in this morning’s paper.” I said ‘Well, thanks. It’s always good to meet a reader.” And the guy blows up. “That was garbage,” he said. “It was lies. It was all lies.”

Usually, I have a temper. But this time I just smiled at him and said “I thought I got the part right about 0-4.”

That’s the thing in this business. Whether someone disagrees or belittles you, you have to be honest and be right. With Gruden and Allen, history says I was right.

Gary Shelton July 26, 2017 at 9:23 pm

I disagree. I think a manager has to look at his starter and figure out how much he has left and how he will do against the matchups ahead. Otherwise, no pitcher would ever throw a complete game, no matter how well he is doing.

The other night, when Cobb was burned when Cash tried to give him the ninth, I thought the mistake wasn’t starting Cobb, but it was in not pulling him after he gave up a leadoff double.

But managing is a matter of reading the players and adapting to the situation. You can’t always go to the bullpen, especially a wobbly one.


Gary Shelton July 28, 2017 at 1:02 am

Larry, I don’t quite know how to respond. You seem upset, which puzzles me. We are allowed to disagree. I’ve never understood why it seems that some readers demand that I agree with them.

You asked my opinion. I gave it. If I wasn’t deferential enough, I apologize.

We still cool?



Larry Beller July 28, 2017 at 4:25 pm

Yeah we’re cool. It’s just that I made what I thought was a shrewd observation and I felt my argument was a slam dunk, air tight, no brainer but you disagree. So be it. Very few people in this country agree on anything these days. That’s just the times we live in. And this is only baseball so not so important in the grand scheme of things. But we have beat this horse to death so let’s move on. I didn’t read your story on last night’s game but I can’t believe how the Rays gave it away in the 9th inning. That one is going to leave a mark I’m afraid.


Gary Shelton July 28, 2017 at 8:47 pm

That, we agree on. Gardner triples in the ninth and homers in the 11th (what was Kittridge doing there?), and all we are left to talk about is a routine ground ball.


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