The Rays are no longer winless in Seattle. It had been four years sine the Rays last one in the Pacific Northwest, but after todays 1-0 win, the Rays have won three in a row in Seattle.
With the Rays trying to hold off Oakland in the race for the second wildcard spot, the pitching was outstanding and the much maligned bullpen looks like it is finally starting to gain some stability.
As disappointing as it was to lose the series to the Toronto Blue Jays, who are next to last in the American League East, It was just as exciting to see the Rays sweep the Mariners in a place they have had a tough time winning games the last four years.
Ryan Yarbrough pitched within one out of a complete game as he went 8 2/3 innings giving up three hits with eight strikeouts before being pulled for Emilio Pagan.
This was Yarbrough’s best game of the season, and he earned the right to at least get a shot at completing the game. This is where analytics is ruining the game. You can’t manage by what you see or how you feel the game is going, you have to manage by what a set of numbers tells you to do. I hate that about the game.
As Cash came out of the dugout with two outs in the ninth inning to take out Yarbrough, there were some boos that filled the air as the Seattle fans thought that Yarbrough should be given a chance at a complete game.
With Domingo Santana due up, Kevin Cash said after the game that the decision to pull Yarbrough with one out away from a complete game was a tough one but that the coaching staff had decided before the inning that if Santana came up in the ninth, that Pagan would be brought in for the save.
Yarbrough said after the game that he was upset about being taken out, but had no ill will toward Cash.
Yarbrough with the win is now 11-3 on the season and has a good chance of passing last season’s win total of 16.
Since the trade deadline and the addition of Nick Anderson as the late inning guy and moving Emilio Pagan to the closers role, the bullpen has really settled down and everyone seems to be adjusting to their new roles.
Anderson has pitched five innings and allowed one hit while striking out 11.
Pagan, in the closers role has also worked five innings giving up one run on four hits while striking out eight and notching four saves.
It will be interesting to see what happens with the closers role once Jose Alvarado rejoins the big league club later this month.
The Rays have a 1.5 game lead on Oakland for the final wildcard spot, and will head to San Diego to play the Padres in a three game series.
The Rays have not announced who the starters will be in the upcoming three game series, but will probably use an opener in two of the three games and use Brendan McKay as the starter in the other game.