The Tampa Bay Rays finished last week on a streak of good performances. They started this week in similar fashion. With that in mind, the rest of the week got interesting very quickly.
The Rays opened the week with a series against the New York Yankees that went sour in the second game. The Yankees’ pitching staff became the news of the baseball world as they were accused of throwing at the Rays’ batters. This came to a head in the bottom of the ninth as closer Aroldis Chapman barely missed Mike Brosseau‘s head with a 101 mph fastball.
This led to a response by Rays’ manager Kevin Cash in a postgame interview. He floated a threat across the diamond by claiming he “has a whole damn stable of guys that throw 98 mph”. The league didn’t appreciate that approach, however. Both Cash and Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone were suspended one game. The league also suspended Aroldis Chapman for three games, as they deemed the pitch intentional.
The Last Week
Apart from the pleasantries exchanged between the two clubs, the Tampa Bay Rays took another series from the Yankees. Game one was all Rays. Tyler Glasnow shut down the Bronx Bombers’ bats, and the Rays put four runs up on Gerrit Cole. Rays win 5-3.
The Yankees flipped the script on Tuesday. Their pitching got the job done, and the Rays couldn’t get much going. DJ LeMahieu hit two homers on route to a 5-3 Yankees’ win.
The season finale against the Yankees saw the return of Charlie Morton. Though he only got two innings of work, the veteran showed that his offspeed pitches are still some of the best in the game. Brosseau got his revenge in the form of two home runs in a 5-2 win.
After a day to travel, the Rays got back to action against the Miami Marlins. Rookie southpaw Josh Fleming got off to a rocky start but settled in for five innings. The Rays were able to put up just enough run support for him. Rays win 5-4.
The next game did not go the Rays’ way. In what looked like a surefire win with Blake Snell on the mound, the Marlins got the Rays’ staff. Snell allowed four earned runs as the Rays fell 7-3.
In the finale against the Marlins, Tyler Glasnow took the mound again. He had another strong outing as he struck out nine over 5.1 innings. The man of the hour would be Brandon Lowe, however, as his sacrifice fly ball in the 10th gave the Rays a 5-4 win.
AL East Standings
Tampa Bay Rays: 28-13 Toronto Blue Jays: 22-18 NY Yankees: 21-19 Baltimore Orioles: 19-21 Boston Red Sox: 14-28
Batter of the Week
.467/.556/1.067, 3 HR, 4 RBI
Randy Arozarena, Welcome to the Tampa Bay Rays! And what a debut week it was. The highly touted outfielder was the marquee piece in the Matthew Liberatore – St. Louis Cardinals trade. Arozarena has made quite the impression.
The initial thoughts about Arozarena were around the lines of a defensive stalwart in the outfield and a speedy runner who could use some more power. Instead, we’re seeing a comfortable and powerful batter who has already sent two balls into the Tropicana Field stands.
Pitcher of the Week
1 W, 3.7 ERA, 1.245 WHIP, 18 K
Even though Glasnow had a rough outing against the Marlins, his stellar performance against the Yankees more than made up for it. He outdueled ace Gerrit Cole, one of the best pitchers in the AL over the last few seasons.
Glasnow is starting to look like the pitcher he was at the start of last season. His fastball control is coming back, as he continues to regain his high velocity. The biggest improvement has been in his offspeed. When Glasnow has the one-two punch of his four-seamer and curveball, he’s almost unhittable.
The Week Ahead
The Tampa Bay Rays start the week visiting the 2019 World Series-winning Washington Nationals. All things considered, the Nationals have had a more than disappointing year; they currently sit in last place in the NL East.
The Rays then get Wednesday off before returning to St. Petersburg to play a four-game series against the Red Sox, another sub-.500 team. The Rays should have another great week of baseball ahead of them, so keep an eye out!
Have a baseball lover that you need to get a gift for? Check out our partner at Dugout Mugs! Create a personalized mug made out of the barrel of a bat. Great for any baseball fan, or, let’s be honest, yourself!
Follow me on Twitter at @KingGeorge94 for more of my content! Don’t forget to join our OT Heroics MLB Facebook group, and feel free to join our new Instagram – @overtimeheroics_MLB. We’ll see ya there!
Come join the discussion made by the fans at the Overtime Heroics forums! A place for all sports!