Rays beat Yankees after Eovaldi trade

by Gary Shelton on July 26, 2018 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Romo reacts to his 12th save./JEFFREY S. KING

Romo reacts to his 12th save./JEFFREY S. KING

Thursday, 4 a.m.

The story, for the day, wasn't the pitcher who left.

The story, for the day, was the guys who stayed.

The Tampa Bay Rays, moments after trading starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi, followed with a half-dozen relief pitchers -- one of them twice -- to piece together a 3-2 victory over the New York Yankees.

Eovaldi, who was supposed to start Wednesday's game, instead was traded to the Boston Red Sox for Jalen Beeks. (The Rays later traded Matt Andriese to Arizona for two minor leaguers).

For the long run, this will hurt. Eovaldi was one of the few starting pitchers on the team. But with an expiring contract, it was easy to predict that he would end up elsewhere.

For a day, however, it didn't seem to make a difference. The Rays won their fifth game over the Yankees of their last six, and for the three-game homestand held the Bombers without a home run.

Content beyond this point is for members only.

Already a member? To view the rest of this column, sign in using the handy "Sign In" button located in the upper right corner of the GarySheltonSports.com blog (it's at the far right of the navigation bar under Gary's photo)!

Not a member? It's easy to subscribe so you can view the rest of this column and all other premium content on GarySheltonSports.com.

Cron hit his 20th home run of the season./JEFFREY S. KING

Cron hit his 20th home run of the season./JEFFREY S. KING

"They (the members of the bullpen) were coming in knowing how Nate is throwing the ball for us and he gets 6, 7, 8 innings just about every outing," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "Not that they were shutting their minds down, but they probably weren’t prepared to be pitching in the first five innings and all of them looked like they were.

"When I told Ryne he was starting, it kind of shocked him. He looked at me

Kiermaier circles the bases after his homer./JEFFREY S. KING

Kiermaier circles the bases after his homer./JEFFREY S. KING

like ‘really?’ and then he got over it real quick. I think everybody that came in from Schultz to Diego, they generally don’t pitch that early in games, but they certainly did a nice job and allowed us to keep it within striking distance.”

In the ninth inning, Sergio Romo was pitching. He was then moved to third so Johnny Venters could pitch, then returned to the mound for his 12th save.

“That was rather ironic," Romo said. "Go figure I had the short little athleticism there to get to the ball. Either way, it was a fun game. Very, very fun game. Very eventful in many ways, many aspects. We got a series win against a really tough team so kudos to them for coming out and battling. Never an easy thing against those guys. So glad we won.

Baumers made a sliding catch in the ninth./JEFFREY S. KING

Bauers made a sliding catch in the ninth./JEFFREY S. KING

“I was still feeling kind of giddy and feeling like a little kid when you’re super excited, but then I threw a first-pitch ball and I was like ‘OK, let’s go, lock in.’ Once I threw the first pitch I was definitely back in pitching mode so quick transition thankfully and then sure enough the 9th was extremely eventful after that. It’s baseball.”

The Rays won with a pair of home runs. Kevin Kiermaier hit a two-run shot, and C.J. Cron hit his 20th to add to the lead.

"I wanted to capitalize on a pitch to hit, and that’s something that I haven’t been doing this whole season," Kiermaier said. "And like I’ve said, it’s been a frustrating go for me, but at the same time, I’m always coming to the field

Wendle goes to the wall for a catch./JEFFREY S. KING

Wendle goes to the wall for a catch./JEFFREY S. KING

with a good attitude and trying to string together as many quality at-bats as possible. I got a good pitch to hit right there and I took advantage of it, putting it in the seats. I had the same pitch the at-bat before and swung right through it. That at-bat was going to haunt me for the rest of the day, but I made up for it in the next (at-bat).

"It’s not how you make a living in this game, missing pitches that you’re supposed to take advantage of. That’s what I’ve been struggling to do this year. Like I said, I come to field every day with a clear mind, and it felt good putting the team on top right there, especially against a very good Yankees team. And then C.J. (Cron) with the insurance homer, and that was a crucial homer as well. Good win. It feels good to be on the winning side of these one-run games, I know that’s kind of been the storyline of our season. But it’ll be a good fight, so we’re happy.”

Schultz threw three innings of shutout baseball./JEFFREY S. KING

Schultz threw three innings of shutout baseball./JEFFREY S. KING

Cash was happy to see Kiermaier's blast.

"Obviously it was good to see KK and Cron hit the home runs," Cash said. "KK probably needed it as bad as anybody in the building. We need to find a way to get him going. That was a big jolt right there. Can’t say enough about the pitching and what they’ve done over a pretty lengthy period of time now. We have to continue to lean on them. We win games like this. We win low-scoring games.”

Since June 11, the Rays are 17-4 (.810) at home, the 2nd-best in the majors over that stretch behind the Red Sox (11-2, .846).

“It’s just another reminder that we can compete with the best of the best and that we just have to go out there and execute to our potential," Kiermaier said. "That’s something we did today. Our pitching was

Cash watches his team beat the Yankees./JEFFREY S. KING

Cash watches his team beat the Yankees./JEFFREY S. KING

phenomenal, and any time you hold a team to two runs you expect to win those games. That’s what we did today. It got a little exciting there in the 9th, but Sergio (Romo) did a great job closing it down. Like I said, we have to do whatever it takes to win these one-run games and hold the lead, and that’s what we did today. It was a great, great series victory against a really good team, and hopefully we can keep building off this and go win a series in Baltimore.”

There is no doubt of this: The Rays aren't as strong today as they were yesterday. You don't trade a mainstay of your rotation for potential.

"He’s a really, really good dude," Ryne Stanek said if Beeks. "Good stuff. He was good for us in 2012 and 2013 when I played with him. He’s going to be a good addition to our squad.”

The Rays now travel to Baltimore to play three games against the Orioles. Hunter Wood will pitch for the Rays against an unannounced starter for the Orioles in a 7:05 start.

A ground ball eludes Daniel Robertson./JEFFREY S. KING

A ground ball eludes Daniel Robertson./JEFFREY S. KING

Share with:Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: