Rays-Yankees comes down to one final battle

by Gary Shelton on October 9, 2020

in general

Glasnow starts on only two days' rest./JEFFREY S. KING

Friday, 4 a.m.

It comes down to this. One team dances in the infield. The other goes home. One team goes on. The other team reserves tee-times.

Nothing else matters. Not the number of times the Rays beat the Yankees. Not Ardolis Chapman throwing at heads. Not Mike Brousseau's hitting home runs. Not Kevin Cash's anger. Not the Yankees' payroll.

None of it.

The Rays lost a chance to close out their American League Division Playoff series Thursday night, losing a 5-1 game on a night their offense went mute. Tonight, they will face Yankees' ace Gerrit Cole (albeit on three days' rest). On their side, they will throw Tyler Glasnow (on two days' rest).

It stacks up as one of those duel-at-noon, sword fight-on-the-castle wall, final brawl sort of situations. If the Rays lose this, the season will be remembered for the night they were unable to get to Jordan Montgomery. If the Yankees lose, well, they have some change coming from the Cole sweepstakes.
"We’ve seen (Cole)," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. "I think we know him a little better now. We know them, they know us. I don’t know whose favor that works into. We know he’s a talented pitcher and he’ll be dialed up Just like he is on regular rest. We’ve got to have some good at bats against him like we’ve shown the ability to do in the past.”j

At the time of his press conference, Cash indicated the Rays were still deciding between starting Blake Snell and Glasnow. A few minutes later, Glasnow was announced.

"I feel good about it." said Glasnow, who lost to Cole in Game Five against the Astros a year ago. "I’m excited. I'm ready to come out and pitch well tomorrow. I’ll be fine. I feel really good. I was in the pen today, ready to come out today."

He wouldn't have helped. The Rays didn't manage a hit after the fourth inning. They did have runners on second and third with no one out in the third, but were able to score just once.

“We had some opportunities," Cash said. "We got guys on base. That big hit just eluded us for whatever reason. When he needed to, he made some pitches. I thought our bats were pretty good. We weren’t able to capitalize with the runners we had on base."

Rays' shortstop Willy Adames is looking forward to the showdown.

“It’s going to be intense, man," he said. "It’s going to be do or die. It’s win or go home. We don’t want to go home and we want to continue to play. We have to win the game ”

Tonight's game is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. 

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