A career milestone for young Willy Adames, and another for Tyler Glasnow in Rays’ win
Willy Adames had to stop just outside the Tampa Bay Rays’ clubhouse after the game. He had business to attend to before he could go inside.
Adames signed a fresh baseball, to be exchanged with a lucky fan who picked up his first career walkoff home run. He did so joyfully, handing the ball to a staff member. The door flung open and he walked inside, followed by a loud cheer that greeted him. He had already been greeted by teammates at home plate as he scored the game’s final run, but now it was time to celebrate away from cameras and reporters.
The shortstop called his home run “amazing. I tell you the day [Jake Bauers] did it, I felt like it was me. Today when I did it, it’s an amazing feeling. I have no words to explain the feeling that I have right now.”
It was a wild win for the Tampa Bay Rays, who had to come back from a deficit of 3-1 in the eighth inning to tie the game, only to win on a walkoff from Adames hit so hard it sailed over the left field seats and onto the tarp behind them that says “Rays” on it. It was the kind of home run that was gone the instant bat and ball met. The victory evened the season series with Baltimore, and capped off a game that started with a brilliant if short start from newly-acquired righty Tyler Glasnow.
— Tim Williams (@TimWritesSports) August 8, 2018
Glasnow sets a career high in strikeouts
Glasnow showed everybody on Tuesday night just why so many people truly believe in his potential. The tall righty had his fastball working against Baltimore, and the Orioles were left grasping at straws. In his second start with the Rays, Glasnow struck out nine Baltimore Orioles in four innings of work. He threatened to top 100 on the radar gun all night, and at points he did exactly that.
“You don’t see stuff like that throughout the game,” said an impressed Kevin Cash. “He starts out throwing 98-99 in the first inning. He maintains his velocity, he’s done a really nice job with the curveballs.”
The nine strikeouts were a career high for the starter turned reliever turned starter-in-the-making. Glasnow threw just 61 pitches, but the Rays are going to extend him slowly, hoping to readjust him to a starting pitcher’s workload gradually instead of throwing him back into the deep end of the pool. He did give up a home run, but with a fastball approaching triple digits just about anybody can run into a home run every now and then. Given the quality he displayed on Tuesday night, the occasional solo shot is very much just the cost of doing business.
Jaime Schultz picked up after Glasnow, and the Orioles found his pitching much more to their liking. In two innings of work he gave up three hits and two runs. With two Orioles on base in the sixth, it could have been worse but for a double play to end the inning.
The double play kept the Rays in striking distance, but Alex Cobb was in rare form Tuesday night. Cobb has been struggling all year, his first with Baltimore, but the former Ray looked right back at home in Tropicana Field on Tuesday night.
The Rays did take an early lead, with all three of their first batters singling to create a run and put the Rays on top in the bottom of the first. Still, with Cobb pitching as well as he did on Tuesday night, their total stayed at just the lone run for enough time for the Orioles to take a lead of their own by the fifth and to extend it in the sixth. By the seventh inning stretch, the Rays trailed 3-1 and found themselves scuffling at the plate.
Up next for Rays:
It should be noted that Adames’ first reaction to hitting a walkoff home run was to flip his bat high into the air in celebration. This is an absolutely natural reaction. It is what a young player should do after having to earn his way onto the big club over years, earning an assured starting job just this week, and connecting on his first walkoff home run in front of home fans.
It is also the kind of reaction that makes one wonder if a member of the Baltimore Orioles, led by Keeper of the Unwritten Rules Buck Showalter, might just take issue and throw a baseball at Adames’ ribcage on Wednesday night. Such an understandable and, again, entirely natural celebration often leads to fighting and shouting the next day.
The weekday series against Baltimore continues Wednesday night, as Andrew Cashner is scheduled to take the hill for the Orioles against another opener for the Rays. On Tuesday, manager Kevin Cash tapped Ryne Stanek to take the first few outs before giving way to a long reliever.
The pitchers on Wednesday, and throughout this series, need to be careful. The Rays have surrendered quite a few runs to the Orioles this season. They’ve given up 9, 17, and 15 runs in losses, as well as two losses where the Orioles scored 11 runs. When Baltimore jumps on the Rays, they can close up a game early. Though this Orioles team is in transition, moving on from the competitive teams of recent years to bring in some fresh talent through trades and development, they still have the potential to hang a crooked number on just about anyone.