True Outcomes Night At The Trop As Rays Fall To Indians

Rays’ home win streak ends at 12

Cleveland Indians starter Shane Bieber threw strikes on Tuesday night.  The Tampa Bay Rays looked at some of them, swung at others, but most importantly there were a lot of strikes.  There were also a lot of strikeouts.  Cleveland’s starter tallied eleven of them in his 6.2 innings of work, bringing the Rays’ total in the series against Cleveland to 27 at that point.  In all, the Rays would strike out 13 times on the night en route to a 2-0 loss to even the three game set and set up a rubber match for Wednesday afternoon.

It was True Outcomes Night at Tropicana Field.  Both runs came care of the solo home run, the Rays’ biggest offensive threats were punctuated by walks, and then there were the strikeouts.

The loss snapped a franchise record 12-game win streak at home.  At 45-25, they are tied for Major League Baseball’s third-best record in home games this season.

Glasnow’s night

Tyler Glasnow came into Tuesday night’s start less than a week removed from the worst start of his career, one in which he didn’t make it out of the first.  He did not have that problem against the Indians on Tuesday, getting through the first without a baserunner while throwing only ten pitches.  The tall righty was very sharp early, getting through two innings in just sixteen total pitches.  He gave up his first hits in the third inning, and both baserunners found themselves stranded.

Doing well against Cleveland’s lineup on Tuesday was no small feat.  Every Indians starter had made at least one All Star Game.

The last time Cleveland sported a lineup that loaded, Manny Ramirez and Sandy Alomar Jr. were involved.

The Indians lineup didn’t stay quiet for too long.  In the fifth, Yan Gomes took Glasnow deep to center field for the game’s first run.  The next inning, Edwin Encarnacion hit the ball hard enough to dent the round, white object, launching the ball over every seat in left field to give Cleveland a 2-0 lead.  Both of the homers being solo shots, Glasnow did a great job of keeping the Rays in a game where the opposing pitcher was nothing short of dominant.

Tyler Glasnow was relieved after seven solid innings of two-run baseball Tuesday night.  He struck out three Indians hitters, gave up six hits, and all while his team needed it the most, scuffling at the plate.

Pham stays hot

Tommy Pham wasted no time extending his hitting streak to fifteen games on Tuesday night, providing the game with its first hit in the bottom of the first inning.  After a frustrating start in Tampa Bay with a near-immediate injury, Pham has demonstrated why many saw him as a steal of a pickup this July.  The left fielder came into Tuesday night hitting .321 during his time in Tampa Bay with an OPS of .970, more than solid numbers at the plate for one of baseball’s grinders.

Cash ejected in eighth

For the first time in over a calendar year, Kevin Cash was ejected from the ballgame when he argued a balk called on Vidal Nuno in the eighth inning.  Nuno appeared to have picked off Michael Brantley between first and second, but umpires thought he had not distributed his weight properly (the actual reason for a balk), so they awarded Brantley second base.

When Cash came out of the dugout, he triggered an automatic ejection for arguing what is known as a “step balk.”  This is a close cousin of the tried and true rule that any manager arguing balls and strikes is immediately ejected upon leaving the dugout.  Cash’s last ejection had come on July 17 of 2017.

What’s next for Rays

The season series with the Cleveland Indians concludes Wednesday afternoon as the Rays send ace Blake Snell to the hill.  Snell will have a chance to add to his growing Cy Young Award candidacy matched up against Carlos Carrasco.  Carrasco comes in off what was likely his best start of the season, tossing eight innings of two run ball in which he struck out 14.

Snell finds himself on at least the periphery of the Cy Young Award race in the American League.  He comes into Wednesday’s start tied for the league lead in wins with 18 and second in ERA with a 2.06 while striking out over ten batters every nine innings.  By Baseball-Reference’s metrics, Blake Snell is second among American League pitchers in Wins Above Replacement as well.

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.