Swept! Rays’ bullpen takes another defeat

by Gary Shelton on April 22, 2019 · 4 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Rays RHP Tyler Glasnow was pulled early. /CHUCK MULLER

Monday, 4 a.m.

Suddenly, the bullpen of the Tampa Bay Rays is struggling.

And the Rays along with it.

Tampa Bay's bullpen lost again Sunday as the Rays were swept by the Boston Red Sox, a team that been struggling for most of the month. A sacrifice fly by Christian Vazquez off of Jose Alvarado in the bottom of the 11th inning brought in the winning run.

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Alvarado lost his second straight game./CHUCK MULLER

It was Alvarado's second straight defeat after 10 successful outings to start the year. Diego Castillo, who also had pitched well earlier in the season, had lost the previous two games.

Of the Rays' eight losses, five of them have come with the winning run scoring in the eighth inning or later. The Rays are now 0-3 in extra innings.

This time, Rays' manager Kevin Cash will take grief for pulling another

Pham hops into homer after his home tied the game at 3. /CHUCK MULLER

starting pitcher too early. Tyler Glasnow had thrown just 76 pitches and led 2-1 when he got the hook. The Rays bullpen immediately gave up two runs. Glasnow was obviously upset.

“He’s frustrated because he came out," Cash said. "I totally respect that. Look, everybody wants to be out there pitching. Sometimes there are some difficult decisions that have to be made and not everyone is going to see eye-to-eye on it. I totally understand. That one in particular was pretty challenging.

“He’d thrown the ball well. It was a really tough decision on my end. Went

Robertson had a two-rin double./CHUCK MULLER

ahead and thought to get aggressive right there. A couple things could have happened."

Glasnow had battled former Ray David Price evenly before leaving.

“In the moment, I’m definitely frustrated, but it doesn’t matter if I agree or disagree with (the decision)," Glasnow said. "That’s how the Rays do it. [Manager Kevin] Cash has made some really good decisions. If that goes and works out then everybody is singing a different tune. I think in the moment there is some frustration, but we have such a good bullpen and I respect any decision that Cash makes and those guys have gone out and closed the door for me multiple times. That’s just how baseball works.

Diaz had two hits for the Rays./CHUCK MULLER

“It’s a long season. There isn’t too much frustration right now. I just think that we got off to that good start, which is a good thing and we bought ourselves some games, but we have been playing well. [We need to] keep going out, forget about the results and keep our head down and going for it.”

Tommy Pham tied the game with an eighth-inning home run. Daniel Robertson drove in the Rays' first two runs on a double.

Despite the sweep, Cash was optimistic.

“We got knocked down," Cash said. "We’re capable of getting back up. We’ve got to get back to finding ways to win games. We were in every ballgame, which ultimately is not good enough. You’ve got to find ways to

Adames had a hit in the loss./CHUCK MULLER

win them. We just came up short. A lot of confidence in this team to find a way to get right back at it. We’ve got a series against the Royals coming up here, so we’ll be mad tonight and then get ready to play.”

The middle of the Rays order was 0-for-15 Sunday.

“You’ve got to credit their pitching," Cash said. "I think they used a bunch of the same names every single day and really put it to us. They’ve got a bunch of guys in there that have some good curveballs. You don’t see that very often. It’s kind of like the new weapon. They executed pitches and made it really challenging.”

Kevin Kiermaier said he was pleased with the team's comeback.

“We battled," he said. "You have to tip your cap to the guys for that. We had four really close games in a row that we’ve come out on the losing side. It’s hard to point out positives because we are here to win ballgames and
we haven’t done that the last four days. Today was another tough one, but they got the big hit, once again. That’s been the storyline these last four days when we’ve had our opportunities, just not capitalizing in big moments and today was a pitcher’s duel."

The Rays begin a three-game series with Kansas City tonight at 7:10 p.m. Yonny Chirinos will pitch against Brad Keller at Tropicana Field.

Castillo got out of back-to-back jams./CHUCK MULLER

 

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

BILL MYERS April 24, 2019 at 8:43 am

Gary, I agree! I really do not get the strategy Cash is using. But the Rays will not have a pitcher with a no-hitter on their belt this season if he keeps it up!

Reply

Gary Shelton April 24, 2019 at 5:40 pm

Bill,I love no-hitters. But in the grand scheme, they aren’t important. I think Cash is trying to mkae sure his starters don’t get worn out too soon, but he may be causing his bullpen to be.

Reply

Larry Beller April 22, 2019 at 5:55 pm

At this pace Castillo and Alvarado will each have 81 appearances for the year. That is not sustainable. The bullpen is already showing signs of over use and it’s only April. The Rays have got to get more innings from their starters & bulk inning guys on opener days. If Cash and management doesn’t figure that out soon you can forget about any hope of a playoff appearance this season.

Reply

Gary Shelton April 22, 2019 at 6:08 pm

Cash could start with letting pitchers with the lead and 76 pitches continue for a while. Just a thought.

Reply

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