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One year later, Rays’ Glasnow has a shot at redemption in Game 5

He was the losing pitcher in Game 5 of the ALDS against Houston in 2019 but gets a second shot against the Yankees in 2020.
Rays starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow delivers a pitch during the second inning of Game 2 of the American League Division Series against the Yankees Tuesday at Petco Park in San Diego.
Rays starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow delivers a pitch during the second inning of Game 2 of the American League Division Series against the Yankees Tuesday at Petco Park in San Diego. [ DENIS POROY | Special to the Times ]
Published Oct. 9, 2020

Same game, same opposing pitcher, same stakes.

Different results, however, would be nice.

For the second season in a row, the Rays are asking Tyler Glasnow to take the mound and face Gerrit Cole in Game 5 of the American League Division Series.

It didn’t turn out so well in 2019, when Cole pitched a gem and Glasnow got roughed up for four runs in the first inning in what turned out to be a season-ending 6-1 loss against the Astros in Game 5 of the ALDS.

If you recall, that was probably the first time you heard anything about Houston and pitch tipping, though there were no accusations of video monitoring or garbage-can-banging in that series. Instead, it was Glasnow who was tipping the pitches himself by holding his glove at different angles depending on whether he was throwing fastballs or curveballs.

If the experience scarred him, Glasnow has never let it show. And like a kid on the playground, Glasnow gets his own version of a do-over.

"Obviously I didn’t feel great during it, but I think after the game, I was able to separate and say, ‘You know what, I went out and did everything I could as far as preparation and the result ended up being the result,’ '' Glasnow said Thursday night. “I forgot about it a short time after.”

The situation will be a little different for Glasnow tonight against the Yankees. He is only two days removed from pitching into the sixth inning of Game 2 and will likely be used more like an opener than a traditional starting pitcher.

Glasnow, who was in the bullpen during Game 4 on Thursday night as a possible reliever, said he had no expectation about how many innings he could pitch in Game 5. He didn’t even find out he would be the starter until after the Rays had lost Game 4 5-1 to set up the series' deciding game.

“I’ll be fine. As far as health goes, I feel really good. I’m ready to go,” he said. “Recovery-wise I feel good, I feel great. I was in the pen (Thursday); I was ready to (pitch).”

The assumption had been the Rays would start Blake Snell in Game 5. He started Game 1 on Monday, so he would be operating on three days' rest, just like Cole.

Snell came out of the bullpen for short stints on two days' rest in Games 4 and 5 of the Division Series last year against the Astros. He could get the call earlier in Game 5 tonight and pitch multiple innings.

“Well, he pitched on short rest last year in a relief appearance,” Rays pitching coach Kyle Snyder said. "His workload has been reasonable coming off the Blue Jays start (in the Wild Card Series). He was a little north of that, obviously, in the start here in the first game.

“I have all the confidence in the world that Blake is going to be capable of a fairly normal, fairly typical workload in a Game 5 despite the fact it would be coming on three days of rest.”

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John Romano can be reached at jromano@tampabay.com. Follow @romano_tbtimes.

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