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Rays staff shuts down Yankees offense

Photo by Alex Walworth I The Scrum Sports Staff Photographer

The Tampa Bay Rays came out on top in a pitching duel shutting down the New York Yankees offense. An 8th inning pinch-hit sac fly by Michael Perez gives the Rays a much needed 1-0 victory.

St. Petersburg, FL — To call 2020 bizarre might be an understatement. What is equally bizarre is watching a major league baseball game with zero fans in the stadium.

Do me a favor and spare me the “Rays are used to playing with no fans,” because it’s played out and not funny. Be more creative!

The vibe at Tropicana Field was — off. The artificial fan noise that they pumped in the stadium was weird. It worked, and it’s better than silence, but it’s not the same. The postgame interview via Zoom felt odd. Again, it works, but it’s just not the same.

I miss the clapping, the rally towels. I miss everyone chanting whatever the Jumbotron tells them to chant. I want to hear the guys yelling that they’re selling extremely overpriced, yet always delicious Bud Light’s. I want to hear them scream “Getcha popcorn here!” I miss the between inning games and trivia that takes place during the game. I truly miss all of it. But what I missed most was just sitting in the press box watching baseball. And tonight, I was finally back where I feel I belong — in the press box watching baseball. And dammit it was glorious.

This year, we’re going to try and do the post game recaps a little different. We at the Scrum Sports have access to the Rays that not many people have. We likely won’t get as many opportunities being at the Trop this year due to COVID and the limited games at that are played, but we’re going to try and provide a more fun approach to recapping the games. Because let’s be honest, if you’re reading these recaps you likely already know the outcome of the game. You can get that info anywhere. This year we’re going to try and give you the insight you can’t get everywhere — although with the limited access I may have to get a bit more creative on how I’m going to do that!

Pitcher’s duel

Tonight’s game featured one run and four hits in total. Fun! Well, for me at least. Blake Snell‘s pitch count ran a little high early in the game, but the Rays ace didn’t allow a hit in his three innings of work. He did walk two, however, and managed five strikeouts. In total, Snell threw just 59 pitches — 32 for strikes.

After the game Snell said he felt like he could have kept going, but said he understands that the team wants to continue to build him up and keep him healthy. He later went on to say that in his next start the plan for him is to pitch five innings or throw 75 pitches.

The Rays bullpen threw six scoreless innings tonight. Reliever Chaz Roe earned his first win of the season as he pitched a scoreless 8th and 9th inning.

Late inning heroics

It’s likely going to go unnoticed by most, but Willy Adames had the play of the game in the 8th inning. After a lead off double by Yankees Mike Tauchman, DJ LeMahieu hit a grounder to short and Adames threw out Tauchman at third, potentially saving the go ahead run.

In the bottom of the 8th, after two walks and a wild pitch, Rays backup catcher Michael Perez came in to pinch hit for Mike Zunino. Perez came through with a sac fly to score the game winning run.

The (fake) crowd went wild!

Tonight’s walk up music

This is oddly something I always pay attention to. Whether it’s me at a game live or watching on TV. I’m fascinated at what songs players choose to walk up to the batters box to. Shoutout to @mcwhiteDJ who always does great work with the music!

I’m not sure if anyone else caught it, but in his first at-bat, Ji-Man Choi walked up to John Cena’s entrance music — sadly it wasn’t Thuganomics. Maybe that’s a good thing because I would have lost my mind!

Up next

The Rays and Yankees are going to play two tomorrow. Game one will feature Tyler Glasnow and Gerrit Cole. First pitch it scheduled for 2:10 PM. Game two will be right after. Cash announced game two will be a bullpen game while the Yankees have not announced their starter.

Don’t forget to follow us on social media @TheScrumSports and me personally @EvansEric10!


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