Mets clobber Rays’ bullpen in comeback

by Gary Shelton on May 18, 2023

in general

Thursday, 4 a.m.

The Tampa Bay Rays blew a ballgame Wednesday night.

Then, just to be sure, they blew it again.

The Rays blew their game against the New York Mets like it was a fireworks show. They blew it with a three-run lead in the ninth and a two-run lead in the 10th. They blew it with their best two relievers on the mound. They blew it by not being able to keep the ball inside the park.

In the end, the Rays lost 8-7. but it felt as if they had lost twice. The Rays lead 5-2 with two outs in the ninth. They led 7-5 with one out in the tenth.

Content beyond this point is for members only.

Already a member? To view the rest of this column, sign in using the handy "Sign In" button located in the upper right corner of the blog (it's at the far right of the navigation bar under Gary's photo). Not a member? It's easy to subscribe so you can view the rest of this column and all other premium content on

And, amazingly, they lost. Despite 10 hits, despite seven steals, despite six walks, despite 19 batters in scoring position, despite the best performance of the year by starter Josh Flaming, they lost.

The Rays struck out 17 times in the game. Still, they led 5-2 in the ninth when they turned to reliever Jason Adam. Adam walked one player and hit another before getting two out. Then, on a 1-1 pitch, No. 9 hitter Francisco Alvarez knocked the ball out to tie the game.

The Rays scored twice in the top of the 10th on singles by Harold Ramirez and Josh Lowe, but in the bottom of the frame, Pete Fairbanks -- who had not given up a run all year -- made his return from the injured list. With the ghost runner on, he gave up a single and then surrendered a long home run to Tampa's Pete Alonso for the loss.

The Rays had struggled against Mets' starter Kodai Senga, who struck out 12, but took a 4-2 lead in the eighth on a two-run homer by Brandon Lowe.

The Rays couldn't hold the lead, however.

“Alonso is probably the wrong guy you want to face in that situation," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. " He can knock the ball out of the park anywhere and he did."

The Rays close out their series against the Mets today at 1:10 p.m. Taj Bradley will start for the Rays against Tylor Megill.

Previous post:

Next post: