Saturday, November 18, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Drew Smyly excels as Rays beat Rangers

RECOMMENDED READING


ARLINGTON, Texas — David who?

Nah, David Price did too many great things for the Rays for too long to go smart aleck and ask that question.

But after a dazzlingly impressive performance by his replacement in Monday's 7-0 win over Texas, there is a more relevant one:

Drew who?

It's Drew Smyly — Todd Andrew Smyly, actually — and he showed why the Rays wanted him in the deal that sent Price to Detroit, allowing only three hits while reaching career highs with 7⅔ innings and 116 pitches.

"He was so good," manager Joe Maddon said. "He was in command of everything. He threw it exactly where he wanted. He had himself a fabulous night."

The 25-year-old lefty was on the mark from the start, working well again with catcher Curt Casali, allowing one hit through the first six innings — and a kind of questionable one at that, a bunt in the third that Smyly fielded but tossed past first.

But before there could be much discussion over whether the official scorer would revisit the call, Adrian Beltre lined a ball by shortstop Yunel Escobar for a clean single. Rougned Odor later dropped a ball in front of diving centerfielder Desmond Jennings.

Still, Smyly sizzled, walking three, striking out nine.

"Today was just one of those days when I really felt good and had everything working,'' Smyly said.

It was a pretty good night overall for the Rays, who won for the fourth time in five games to improve to 58-60 and move within six games of the American League's second wild card. They also tied a franchise record by allowing three runs or fewer for the seventh straight game.

Six of their seven runs came with two outs. Eight starters (all but Casali) had hits, including a double and a triple by Cole Figueroa. Five different players drove in runs. The only negative was that outfielder Kevin Kiermaier left due to tightness in his back.

After leaving two men on in the first, the Rays converted for three runs in the second.

The rally started with a Figueroa walk and an Escobar single, then a break when Casali dropped a bunt and Rangers starter Colby Lewis threw wildly past third, allowing Figueroa to score and Escobar to reach third.

After Kiermaier struck out and Jennings' attempted safety squeeze failed when Escobar was thrown out at the plate (and the call withstood a crew chief review of catcher Robinson Chirinos, the ex-Ray, blocking the plate), the Rays added on. Ben Zobrist walked to load the bases, then Matt Joyce, after getting a break on an 0-and-2 pitch that looked like strike three, laced a single to right to make it 3-0, and built on from there.

"Two-out knocks are huge,'' Joyce said.

Maddon said what impressed him most about Smyly was his strike-throwing, 71 of the 116 pitches. Smyly said he was a little tired afterward but welcomed the chance to show what he could do.

"I was feeling great in the moment,'' he said. "I'm glad they let me keep going.''

Contact Marc Topkin at [email protected]. Follow @TBTimes_Rays.

 
Comments
Topkin: As Rays start dealing, how far will they go?

Topkin: As Rays start dealing, how far will they go?

After collecting intelligence at last week’s GM meetings, the Rays soon will launch their offseason mission of trading at least a couple of veterans to reduce payroll.The question is how far they will go — how many players they deal, and how big of n...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rocco Baldelli’s promotion on Rays coaching staff now makes him major league field coordinator

Rocco Baldelli’s promotion on Rays coaching staff now makes him major league field coordinator

The Rays completed the reorganization of their coaching staff by giving Rocco Baldelli the title of major league field coordinator.In being promoted from first-base coach, Baldelli will implement ideas and information from the staff, while assisting ...
Published: 11/17/17
Rays hope to cash in on Alex Cobb leaving

Rays hope to cash in on Alex Cobb leaving

LAKE BUENA VISTA — The Rays were banking on pitcher Alex Cobb declining their one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer based on the lure of a longer-term and more lucrative deal elsewhere as a free agent.With that decision official Thursday, now the ...
Published: 11/16/17
Commissioner Rob Manfred likes Ybor City stadium site, but must see more support to keep baseball in Tampa Bay

Commissioner Rob Manfred likes Ybor City stadium site, but must see more support to keep baseball in Tampa Bay

LAKE BUENA VISTA — MLB commissioner Rob Manfred didn’t want to talk Thursday about what might happen if the current effort to build the Rays a new stadium at the Ybor City site falls through."I’m more focused on working with the community to figure o...
Published: 11/16/17
A message to Rays fans from Alex Cobb

A message to Rays fans from Alex Cobb

Here is a message from RHP Alex Cobb after he officially left the Rays Thursday in declining their one-year, $17.4-milllion qualifying offer to seek a bigger and longer pact elsewhere:"Getting to this point in my career is truly bittersweet."Twelve y...
Published: 11/16/17
UPDATE: Rays to gain draft pick for loss of free agent pitcher Alex Cobb

UPDATE: Rays to gain draft pick for loss of free agent pitcher Alex Cobb

UPDATE, 5:01: Cobb did not accept the offer by the deadline, as expected.DEVELOPING: Sometime before today's 5 p.m. deadline, the Rays will get official word that their $17.4-million slight gamble on Alex Cobb paid off.The Rays made the free-agent ri...
Published: 11/16/17
As he prepares to leave the Rays, how will you remember Alex Cobb?

As he prepares to leave the Rays, how will you remember Alex Cobb?

Presuming Alex Cobb declines the Rays’ one-year, $17.4-million qualifying offer by 5 p.m. today, he has pitched his last game for Tampa Bay.Cobb has received preliminary interest from "lots of teams" already, agent Dan Horwits said. The Cubs and Twin...
Published: 11/16/17
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred says progress must continue on new stadium to keep Rays

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred says progress must continue on new stadium to keep Rays

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred made clear Thursday that identification of a site for a new Rays stadium is merely the first step for area leaders to show they want to keep the team long-term and that there needs to "consistent forward movement" on the ...
Published: 11/16/17
Sternberg: Tampa Bay Rays' share of new ballpark could be $150 million

Sternberg: Tampa Bay Rays' share of new ballpark could be $150 million

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Tampa Bay Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg said Wednesday that the team is "genuinely excited" about the proposed Ybor City site for a new stadium and more than "cautiously optimistic" the project can be completed. But ...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/16/17

Rays journal: No big deals at GM meetings, but possible groundwork laid

By MARC TOPKINLAKE BUENA VISTA — Rays officials left the GM meetings without making any big deals — such as trading Alex Colome or Chris Archer to the Cardinals — but more knowledgeable about the possibilities. "Expectations were to utilize these few...
Published: 11/15/17