Once again, Alvarado abused in late-inning collapse

by Gary Shelton on July 4, 2019 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Alvarado had another implosion Wednesday night./TIM WIRT

Thursday, 4 a.m.

There goes Jose Alvarado, the magic man, once again.

He makes hope disappear.

Once again, Alvarado was a garbage dump fire Wednesday night. He entered the game with a 3-3 scie, and he promptly threw the first pitch into the dirt. He walked that batter, Anthony Santander, on five pitches, giving manager Kevin Cash plenty of warning of the implosion to come.

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Heredia had three hits for the Rays./CHUCK MULLER

And yet, Alvarado stayed in the game, and he gave up five earned runs, four hits and a wild pitch in two-thirds of an inning. The Orioles scored six times in that inning and went on to a sweep-avoiding 9-6 victory.

Alvarado has one save since May 26.

As disastrous as Alvarado's appearance was, he had help. One run scored when Willy Adames couldn't get an out at the plate despite a drawn-in infield. Another scored when Mike Zunino had the ball kicked from his glove on a tag play at the plate. A third came when Guillermo Heredia let a ball past him for a triple. Alvarado failed to cover first once.

The Rays scored three of their own in the bottom of the ninth, but as the tying run, Tommy Pham took a called strike three to end the game.

All it all, it was a perfectly miserable ninth inning. It was the fifth time this season the Rays allowed six or more runs in an inning.

It was the fifth time the Rays had a chance to sweep a series and failed to do so.

Rays manager Kevin Cash dismissed thoughts of Alvarado going to the minor leagues.

“He's had enough time away," Cash said. "We’ve got to get him right, though. He’s going to give up some hits at times. More concerning are just the fastballs that are well short at times. He just doesn’t have a consistent release point right now on his pitches. Trust that José, Kyle, Stan – everyone involved — myself. We’ll do whatever we can to get him right. Because he certainly didn’t look the part tonight.

"When he gets on a good run, he’s a strike-thrower. He’s not necessarily ever been the command guy. You’ll see some spiked pitches here and there, but they’re probably happening a little too frequently right now. I know the game, that inning, kind of unloaded on us there. The leadoff walks are telling. It’s amazing how many times those guys come around and score.”

Heredia had three hits for the Rays, while Mike Brosseau had two.

“I’ve got the same mentality every day," Alvarado said. "It’s coming out, compete in the game. I think the error for me is in the first at-bat, a walk. The next at-bat I throw my two-seam and focus on the target. That’s it. For me, I think today, I’m not working my back leg. It’s too quick, open soon. I feel ready to pitch.”

Brosseau had his first major league home run.

“I definitely did not know it was going over," Brosseau said. "I think you could probably tell by the way I was sprinting around the bases. I wasn’t really taking my time at all. Obviously a great feeling when I knew it went over. It pulled our team to within one run at the time. To get that run across at a crucial point in the game is huge. Getting that first home run out of the way is cool.”

The Rays play the New York Yankees today at Tropicana Field at 5:10 p.m. Yonny Chirinos pitches against J.A. Happ.

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