This time, the Rays rally from seven runs down

by Gary Shelton on July 29, 2019 · 2 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Choi had three hits and a key homer./CHUCK MULLER

Monday, 3 a.m.

One day, they give a game away.

The next, they steal one in broad daylight.

Maybe you can figure out the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Rays won a game Sunday almost exactly the way they had lost one the day before. They won 10-9 over Toronto (after losing 10-9 the day before). They lost a seven-run lead Saturday, and they overcome a seven-run deficit Sunday. They left their fans with the feeling they were falling out of the wild card chase on Saturday, and they looked like a team with a chance on Sunday.

So which team is the real Rays? Probably both of them. They’re capable of some nice moments  (like Sunday), and they’re a team that can look miserable (like Saturday). The last two days (when the Rays split despite scoring 19 runs and getting 29 hits) should allow arguments on each side of the debate. The Rays are 12-12 in July.

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Adames tied the game with his 12th homer./CHUCK MULLER

The Rays are 29-13 against teams currently with losing records and 31-35 (.470) otherwise.

Sunday, the Rays overcame an 8-1 deficit to pull out their win. Joey Wendle’s ground ball brought home the winning run in the ninth, and for a day, the bullpen was very good. Diego Castillo finished it off and recorded his eighth save of the season (and his first since June 16).

“It was nice to be on the right side of it,” said first baseman Nick Lowe, who had three hits and increased his average to .286.

To come back, the Rays scored three in the sixth, two in the seventh, three in the eighth and the winner in the ninth.

“It was nice to come back,” Rays’ manger Kevin Cash said. “You have to separate yesterday and what it was and worry about today’s game. It was really encouraging. Think about where our thoughts  were in the dugouts not two hours ago. There weren’t  the most positive thoughts. Give the guys credit for bouncing back. Obviously, it was  a tough loss last night. We said that. They showed the ability to get down and come back. It says a lot about this team and the performance to bring us back.”

Ji-Man Choi also had three hits for the Rays, including a two-run homer to bring it to 9-6. Willy Adames  and Guillermo Heredia homered in the eighth to tie the game.

“I think he’s on time a little more consistently,” Cash said of Adames. “Willie has plenty of power in his bat.  Like all young hitters, he probably gets up there at times and tries to do too much. Right now, he’s  looks like he’s just focusing on being on time and getting the barrel to it. What we’ve seen is when he squares it up, the ball really  jumps. He’s come up with some big home runs the last couple of days.”

Yonny Chirinos started for the Rays, but he gave up seven earned runs in just four innings.

“I don’t think  anything was working,” Cash said. “It was just a rough day overall. A lot of 0-2 pitches went to 3-2, 1-2 counts went to 3-2.  Hopefully we just flush that one. Yonny’s been pretty good for us. We’ll get him back out there and he’ll bounce back. It wasn’t easy for him today.”

Five Rays relievers, however, gave up two runs. The last three — Chaz Roe, Oliver Drake and Castillo — threw shutout baseball.

The Rays are off today, then travel to Boston for a three-game series at Fenway. The Rays and Red Sox are both eight games behind the Yankees in the AL East standings.

 

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

BILL MYERS July 29, 2019 at 8:33 am

Gary, I know fans like scoring. But what is with all the runs this year? Every team seems to have a high amount of runs accumulated. It seems to be a trend Has the pitching changed or is the batting gotten better for some reason?

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Gary Shelton July 29, 2019 at 9:22 am

There is a widely held suspicion that the ball is different. Pitchers with good records have said that. Something must be wrong. A guy will hit what looks like a popup, and it ends up in the third row.

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