After celebration, Rays flat in losing to Jays

by Gary Shelton on September 29, 2019 · 0 comments

in general

Sunday, 4 a.m.

Duffy's homer was the Rays' only run ./CHUCK MULLER

Maybe it wasn't the effects of the post-game party. Maybe it wasn't a matter of relaxing after a tough pennant race. Maybe it wasn't a day game after a long night.

But for one of the few times lately, the Rays didn't look like a playoff team Saturday.

The Rays had the zombie eyes as they went through the motions in a 4-1 loss to Toronto. They managed just three hits, and starting pitching Ryan Yarbrough had his third straight shaky outing.

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Would Yarbrough start in the playoffs?/TIM WIRT

The Rays had clinched the post-season late Saturday night and celebrated hard. You half-expected a Rays' batter to still be wearing goggles as he walked to the plate.

Except for the battle for home field advantage -- which Oakland seemed to have in hand anyway -- the game didn't have a lot of meaning. Good thing. The Rays made starter Trent Thornton throw 35 pitches in the first inning, but he got out of the inning without giving up a run and lasted five innings.

Matt Duffy's home run accounted for the only Rays run.

“He hasn’t been as crisp," Rays manager Kevin Cash said of Yarbrough. "I think  he did a nice job after the first inning of kind of settling in and made some big pitches. But in the first inning, it seemed like a lot of pitches found the center of the plate.  He just didn’t have that extra late action. A couple of cutters stayed in the zone. He’s generally so good with that pitch."

After the game, the question was how Yarbrough fit into the post-season plans. With Tyler Glasnow and Blake Snell both returning, the guess is that he would follow an opener -- neither Glassnow nor Snell is fully stretched out.

"We have to put our heads together," Cash said.

Cash wouldn't buy any talk of the previous night's celebration affecting the Rays.

“We expect to come to the park and win," Cash said. "You have to give their guys credit, especially Thornton. We had him on the ropes. He threw 35 pitches in the first inning. We didn’t have anything to show for it, but we drove up his pitch count. For him to get five innings was impressive."

The Rays finish out their regular season today in Toronto with a 3:07 p.m. start scheduled at the Rogers Center. Snell will oppose Clay Buchholz.

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