Rays Welcome Glasnow, Pham With Win Over Angels

Adames, Bauers homer in 7-2 Rays win

Tyler Glasnow’s first batter faced in a Tampa Bay Rays uniform was second baseman David Fletcher.  He stood little chance, striking out looking on a 97 mile per hour fastball that showed, in one quick second, just how good Glasnow has the potential to be on the mound.

Four pitches later, Kole Calhoun took an offspeed pitch from Glasnow to right center and all the way into the Ray Tank.  The homer came on an 0-2 pitch, the kind of situation where a more seasoned pitcher might not put the ball where that kind of contact is possible in hopes the batter will chase.  Just like that, Rays fans were treated to the two sides of Tyler Glasnow:  The tall drink of water with an explosive delivery and live fastball, and the could-be phenom at times afraid of his own stuff.  The Rays have dealt with pitchers like Glasnow before, and are confident they can get him to have more faith in his own pitches on the highest level.

“I’m comfortable as a starter,” said Glasnow after his first start since September 13, 2017.  “I’ve done it my entire career.  I think getting back on that routine and working with everyone here will be good.”

It turned out to be a three inning appearance for Glasnow, somewhere between a traditional start and the Rays’ newfound love of the opener appearance.  Manager Kevin Cash had mentioned potentially using Glasnow for 70 pitches after Tuesday night’s game, but between Glasnow having to travel to St. Petersburg and Mike Trout being slated to lead off the fourth inning, discretion was the better part of valor.  Glasnow threw 48 pitches in the end and gave Rays fans a taste of things to come.  In the end, that was enough, and it was not worth risking more innings and having the appearance turn sour.

Faria returns from disabled list

Jake Faria returned from the 60-day disabled list on Wednesday night to rejoin the Rays’ bullpen.  He was brought in for the fourth inning, where he struck Mike Trout out looking before giving up three straight singles—and with them, a run—to the Angels as they extended the lead to 2-0.  Faria settled down after that, showing the form that saw him given increasing amounts of responsibility before he was sent to the disabled list, keeping the Rays within striking distance.

After the game, Faria told reporters that he was “just getting comfortable out there again, but today felt really good for the most part.”  Kevin Cash said he was impressed with Faria’s first outing back from injury.

Another big fourth paces Rays

The Rays had a seven run fourth inning on Tuesday night to propel them to victory, and they continued their luck in the fourth on Wednesday with a rally that flipped the game upside-down.  After Tommy Pham led off the inning being hit by a pitch, the Rays moved him into scoring position with a Joey Wendle double that would have scored Pham had he not fallen while rounding second.  Pham would end up scoring on an error the very next batter, when an attempted flip to third rolled into foul territory and allowed te quick left fielder to come around.  Wendle would come home on a Willy Adames single, and Adames scored on a triple by Mallex Smith.

https://twitter.com/Steve_Kinsella1/status/1024814194342981632

Smith is red hot since the beginning of July, His .377 clip since July 1 has raised his overall batting average considerably and provided a much-needed spark to a Rays lineup that has to find any way possible to scrape together runs.  On top of that, Mallex Smith can be a bit of an adventure on the bases.  This can work against the Rays at times, as Smith adds to his impressive reel of TOOTBLANs, but the Rays are an aggressive club on the bases and that allows the outfielder to fit right in.  To that end, he stole second and third in the eighth inning Wednesday night, producing a run with his feet when Matt Duffy singled him in.

The Rays would add a fourth run when Willy Adames absolutely launched a home run to left field, a no-doubter on the first pitch of the sixth.  The homer, Adames’ fourth, was very likely the best single piece of contact Adames has made in his very young career.

Also making his debut for the Rays on Wednesday night was left fielder Tommy Pham, Pham saw just two pitches in his first at bat, He reached base for the first time in the fourth when he was hit in the ribcage with a pitch.  He came around to score that inning.

What’s next for Rays

Tampa Bay goes for the sweep of the visiting Angels on Thursday afternoon in a 1:10 start.  Hunter Wood will get the ball as the opener, and it will be another bullpen day for Kevin Cash and his crew as they look to make due with the pitching staff they have once more.  The Rays have scored 17 runs in this series.  Their season high for a series is 26, coming in a three game home series against the Minnesota Twins in late April.

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Tim Williams has been covering sports since his days as a student at Northeastern University covering events such as the Beanpot. In the thirteen years since, he has covered college hockey, the NFL, Major League Baseball, the PGA Tour, and the National Hockey League. A native of the Tampa Bay area, Tim has returned home after living much of his life in the northeast, including sixteen years in the Boston area. These days the Managing Editor of Sports Talk Florida can be found on Florida's golf courses when he's not working.