Base-running gaffe leads to Rays defeat

by Gary Shelton on May 9, 2019 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Kevin Kiermaier was caught in a crucial rundown./STEVEN MUNCIE

Thursday, 4 a.m.

They struck out 23 times.

They left 11 men on base.

They struck out 10 times with runners in scoring position.

They were one-for-16 with runners in scoring position.

Yet, when the smoke had cleared from Tampa Bay's 3-2, 13-inning loss to the Arizona Diamond back, there was one memory that resonated. It was a bothed play running the bases that will sting fo a while. Kevin Kiermaier singled to right with two out to drive in the tying run, but he took a wide turn at first base, and the ball was thrown behind him. Arizona got Kiermaier into a rundown, then threw out Tommy Pham at the plate.

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Morton wasn't as sharpe as usual./CHUCK MULLER

The thing that made the play hard to swallow? Kiermaier wasn't the winning run; Pham was.

“Hard fought game, tough loss obviously," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said.
"We had opportunities and we were not able to capitalize. The 9th inning and then a couple more later on. (Robbie) Ray was really tough. We knew going in he was going to be pretty challenging. I think he punched out 11 over 5.2 innings. He had it all going. He had a good curveball, fastball drove into the righties made it tough. That was probably the reason for the quiet bats. Impressed with the way that we put the pressure on. Ultimately, KK (Kevin Kiermaier) comes up and gets a huge hit and then from there it seemed like we had some more momentum going, but we couldn’t capitalize. It’s one of those things. We won another series which is a good thing and we’ll get back at it after the off day.”

In the 12th inning, Pham was picked off first base after walking.

“I got the base hit and I rounded first and it’s one of those things," Kiermaier said. "The umpire was right in line with the shortstop, I didn’t even know the shortstop was there. I saw the throw go to third and I was already pretty much halfway there with a head full of steam, so I wanted to try and take the extra base right there. To see the ball get cutoff caught me by surprise because the umpire was seriously in the perfect spot at the right time and I didn’t see the shortstop there. If I would have known that, I would have shut it down. You guys know how I am anytime the defense gives me an extra base, I’m going to take it. I regret it obviously, I’m never trying to run us out of an inning.

"It’s frustrating in that aspect, but at the same time I didn’t see the guy. It didn’t work in our favor right there. Tommy (Pham) did everything right. He timed up the throw perfectly once it went to the second baseman and he made a perfect throw home. I hate doing that, I know better. Like I said, given how I just explained that, that’s what happened and it caught me by surprise. I wish I could do it over and just shut it down and let Avi (Avisaíl García) try to be the hero right there and drive Tommy in, but that wasn’t the case. I’m not happy with myself, but at the same time I didn’t see the guy at all. Unfortunate on my part and not a good baseball move.”

All in all, it was a forgettable game, with 15 pitches and 42 strikeouts. Robbie Ray of Arizona struck out 11 in 5 2/3 innings. The Rays have lost all four of their extra-inning games this season.

Brandon Lowe because the first batter in Rays' history to strike out five times in. a game.

The Rays are off today, then play against the Yankees Friday night at Tropicana Field. Tyler Glasnow (6-0) will pitch against Domingo German (6-1).



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