Eovaldi dazzles for Rays in win over Mets

by Gary Shelton on July 9, 2018 · 6 comments

in general

Cron hit his 17th homer, a personal best./CARMEN MANDATO

Cron hit his 17th homer, a personal best./CARMEN MANDATO

Monday, 4 a.m.

With every pitch he threw, with every batter he retired, Nathan Eovaldi sent the Rays' front office a message.

Do not trade me.

Darn it.

How much clearer could the signal be? If the phone rings, do not answer. If someone sends a text, do not respond. For all the whispers about this team or that team being interested in Eovaldi, the team that needs him most appears to be the Tampa Bay Rays.

For the third time in eight starts this season, Eovaldi flirted with a no-hitter. This time, it was against the Mets, and Eovaldi was perfect through six.

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Bauers had a double and home run./JEFFREY S. KING

Bauers had a double and home run./JEFFREY S. KING

innings. He gave up a single to Brandon Nimmo in the seventh, then promptly threw a double-play ball to erase Nimmo.

Earlier in the season, Eovaldi threw six innings of no-hit baseball against Oakland, and he had six innings of one-hit ball against Washington.

Yet, the rumors continue to swirl that the Rays may be interested in moving Eovaldi.

"His stuff is pretty powerful," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "It’s electric. When you're throwing 94-95 miles an hour cutters with that kind of late action. you see the swings that some of the lefties and righties take. But when he’s driving those cutters into the lefties, you just can’t catch up to it. That’s why he’s getting so many swing and misses."

Should the Rays trade Eovaldi?

Should the Rays trade Eovaldi?

Obviously the trade talk hasn't been a distraction for Eovaldi.

"It’s the nature of the business," Cash said. "The nature of what's taking place here. We’ve got good players teams are going to ask about. We have to do our due diligence as an organization. to hear that. I don’t think Nate, being a veteran, is going to let that bother him. He’s been traded before. You keep your nose to the ground and keep doing what you're doing."

What Eovaldi is doing is making hitters look foolish. He struck out nine Mets on Sunday. He threw only 79 pitches, which means that as long as he had his no-hitter going, he had a chance to finish it off.

"(A perfect game) is super hard to accomplish," Eovaldi said. "It  can be off

Wendle had two hits and a diving catch./JEFFREY S. KING

Wendle had two hits and a diving catch./JEFFREY S. KING

the end of the bat. It's one of those tough things. I  tried to keep it out of my mind as much as possible and concentrate on one pitch at a time. Once you start to focus on the no-hitter,  you try to be too fine instead of attacking hitters."

It was the Rays' second straight shutout.

This one was lopsided from the start. C.J. Cron, Jake Bauers and Joey Wendle all had two hits, and all of them had a home run. It was 5-0 after three innings.

The Rays return home to face Minnesota tonight at 7:10 p.m. Chris Archer throws for the Rays against Francisco Liriano.





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