Human? Anderson finally gives up a bomb

by Gary Shelton on September 17, 2020

in general

Anderson gave up a two-run homer./CHUCK MULLER

Thursday, 4 a.m.

Some plays amaze you. Some surprise you. Some anger you.

And some?

Some of them make you disbelieve.

Nick Anderson, the relief machine, finally showed he was human Wednesday afternoon. He gave up a two-run homer to Luis Garcia -- the first runs he has allowed all season -- in the top of the 10th inning as the Rays dropped a 4-2 decision to the Washington Nationals.

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Anderson had appeared in 13 previous games this year, and he had given up just four hits and no runs. But on his first pitch, Garcia drove the ball into the right field stands for the winning home run.

"I just missed my spot," Anderson said. "It's the big leagues. You miss your spot, someone usually hits it. It was bound to happen. Giving up runs is part of the thing."

Still, it was a surprising downturn to a team that Anderson had performed so well for. So what went wrong?

"Really nothing," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "He was pretty superb again. The guy  got him. It’s pretty shocking to all of us who have watched Mick since he’s put on a  Rays’ uniform. He’s been as dominant as anyone in baseball. Really, there was no difference today.  Tip your cap. The guy came up and got a pitch he could handle and did some damage with it.  Then you see Nick do what he does and knife through the next three guys. It was just unfortunate that happened and it got him at the wrong time.”

Before the Nationals closed out the game, the Rays seemed on the verge of winning a big comeback. One strike away from the end of the game, Lowe hit his 13th home run of the year to tie the game at 2-2.

Despite that, the Rays struggled at the plate for most of the day. They were hitless in 11 at-bats with runners in scoring position, and they struck out 16 times. Only Nate Lowe's double and Brandon Lowe's homer brought runners home.

"Over the last 10 games, we haven’t been firing offensively," Cash said. "We’ve got to get going and make a push at what we’re playing for."

The Rays are 3-5 in their last eight games.

How bad is the hitting? A look at some numbers.

-- Austin Meadows is hitting .205 on the season.

-- Willlie Adames is two for his last 32.

-- Yoshi Tsutsugo is hitting .190.

-- Michael Perez is one-for-his-last 15.

-- Randy Arozarena is one-for-his-last 15.

-- Hunter Renfroe is hitting .106 in his last 17 games.

-- Joey Wendle is hitting .185 over his last 13 games.

Cash was asked if he would consider sitting Adames for a game or two.

“He’s not going to get a day or two off," Cash said. "He’s going to continue to play and fight through it. He’s too important to us to give him multiple days off. WhatIi’m seeing is a guy who is certainly scuffling. When you’re scuffling, it seems like your 0-2 before you go into the batters’ box. He’s being pitched pretty tough. He’s missing some balls he could handle. He’s out of sorts with his timing, leading to some of those swings that don’t look as balanced. He needs to find a way to get a hit or two and get the momentum shifted for him.”

The Rays travel to Baltimore to play a double header today at 4:35 p.m. at Camden Yards. Blake Snell will pitch the opener for the Rays and a yet-to-be-determined pitcher will start Game Two of the seven-inning games.


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