It’s win or go home tonight. And if you win, it’s win or go home again on Wednesday. Baseball is cool.
First batter of the game Desmond Jennings tries to stretch a base hit into a double and gets thrown out at second. Could it be a bad omen for the Rays? Nah. Wil Myers walks, then Zobrist and Longoria both single to load them up for Delmon “Politically Correct” Young. Young’s sac fly RBI scores Myers. Wil Myers, by the way, apparently has lettuce for hair according to Tom Verducci in the pregame show. I don’t get it either. That’s a pretty weird comment, let alone a super geeky one. Perez K’s the next batter and escapes the first only down 1-0.
David Price gets the “honor” to pitch for the Rays in the play in to the play in game tonight. He K’s Ian Kinsler for out #1. Bad omen for the Rangers? Nah, probably not. Elvis Andrus, up second, draws a walk off of Price. Nothing comes of it as Price get out of the inning unscathed, but this is game 163. Something dramatic has to happen right?
In the bottom of the second the announcers are quick to point out that “Those aren’t boos, they are yelling Cruz”” Thanks dummies. I TOTALLY would have thought the home crowd was booing their own player.
Martin Perez seemed to have settled down briefly but in the top of the 3rd, Evan Longoria hits one deep to put the Rays up 3-0. At this moment I would love nothing more than for a Cruz homer to tie it up. Mainly for the inevitable hyperbole from the outraged writers.
In the bottom of the 3rd Ian Kinsler drives in a limping Craig Gentry on a misplayed ball to shallow left center but then gets “caught stealing” after taking a bit of a large lead to end the inning. This is going to be fun. We are only 1/3 of the way in. 3-1 Rays.
Perez gets pulled in the top of the 6th after retiring 8 in a row after the home run and starter Alexi Ogando gets the call only to give up a double to… “Mr. Game 163” Evan Longoria. David DeJesus Drives Longoria in with a double. The bases are walked loaded and Texas finds their season on the ropes with two outs in the 6th. Ogando gets Jose Molina to line out, gets out of the jam, but the Rays now lead 4-1 going into the bottom of the 6th.
David Price had been the king of “bend but don’t break” until the 6th when two straight hits score another run for Texas to cut the Rays’ lead in half. The Ballpark at Arlington gets LOUD after that, but Price gets out of the 6th without any further damage. Still banking on that “dramatic” Cruz HR to knot it up eventually. Hyperbole will surely ensue.
In the top of the 7th, Longoria comes to the plate with two outs, Myers on base, and is “a triple away from the cycle.” What does Mr. Game 163 do? He draws a walk. And Wash has to pull Jason Frasor for Joakim Soria. Delmon Young drives one into center off of Soria, but Leonys Martin fools the 6 umpires on the field into thinking he made the inning ending catch even though the ball bounced off of the grass. And that’s for sure a replay challenge next season. LOLhumanelement.
Price then goes 1-2-3 in the bottom half of the 7th inning. Makes his point. He pitches another “0” frame in the 8th, at one point making a fantastic glove flip to first for the second out. 4-2 Rays. 3 more outs for the Rays to win the tiebreaker game now.
In the 9th the Rays threaten again. Sam Fuld, now in at CF for his defense, singles and then moves to 2nd on a Wil Myers ground out. Fuld steals third and comes home on a throwing error by the pitcher Tanner Scheppers. 5-2 Rays. This is likely the nail in the coffin for Texas.
Beltre, Pierzynski, and Cruz are due up so my dream scenario of a game tying Cruz bomb can still theoretically happen. Only issue? Price is still in pitching the 9th. On the second pitch Adrian Beltre drives one to the warning track for out number one, while simultaneously crushing my former-cheater-and-PED-user-Cruz-as-hero dream. Now I just want a Price-pitches-complete-game-and-Rays-don’t-finch-at-blown-call story.
Price gets Cruz to ground out for out number 3 and Tampa Bay wins the play in to the play in game.
Indians-Rays on Wednesday for the Wild Card. Hello October.