Secret weapon Thompson leads Rays’ win

by Gary Shelton on June 9, 2021

in general

Tyler Glasnow was overpowering./JEFFREY S. KING

Wednesday, 3 a.m.

The Rays have big weapons. Tyler Glasnow, for instance.

They have interchangeable weapons. This time, it was Mike Brosseau.

And, yes, they have a secret weapon. More and more, it looks like the sidewinding relief pitcher Ryan Thompson.

Thompson isn't around when the game starts, and often, he isn't on the mound when it finishes. But sometime during the game, at a high-leverage, walls-are-burning moment, Thompson shows up. And opposing hitters sit down.

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Thompson did it again Tuesday night, snuffing the most jagged threat by the Nationals in a 3-1 Rays' victory. He came in in the eighth inning, after fellow reliever J. P. Feyereisen had walked the bases loaded with one out and the Nationals' biggest threats coming to the plate.

And Thompson struck out Ryan Zimmerman on three pitches.

That brought up designated hitter Josh Bell. Thompson struck him out on four pitches.

Crisis averted.

"He’s been doing that all year," Brosseau said. "He lives for that kind of moment. When he’s on the mound, we know we’re in a good spot. He showed up today."

Said manager Kevin Cash: "He’s facing the 4-5 guys in the lineup. They’re really good hitters. I really liked the way he came in and attacked with strikes. He established top of the zone fastballs that he doesn’t do very often. It changes the eye level  really well,"

The Rays spent much of the night stranding baserunners, leaving the bases loaded twice along the way. The Rays left 12 on base for the game.

That changed in the fourth inning, when Brosseau doubled home a run. Mike Zunino followed with a run-scoring single.

Glasnow went seven innings for his fifth win. He struck out 11.

"Timing-wise, it was one of my better ones," Glasnow said. "I felt good."

The Rays play the Nationals again tonight at Tropicana Field at 7:10 p.m. Shane McClanahan will start for Tampa Bay against Patrick Corbin.

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