Sports

Rays 1 Rangers 4: Let’s tip our cap for Nathan Eovaldi

If you simply checked the final score of this game you might not realize that for eight innings it was one heck of a pitchers duel.

On the Rays end, Aaron Civale had another very good game, which is encouraging, especially coming after Eflin’s elite performance yesterday. He gave up four hits and two walks while striking out eight in six innings. Unfortunately one of those hits was Corey Seager’s homerun in the sixth, which is why poor Aaron gets the “L” next to his name, and why when the Rays came into the ninth inning trailing we maybe didn’t get our best bullpen option (more on that below).

And also unfortunately Civale was up against Nathan Eovaldi, a very good pitcher who has dominated the Rays of late. (I could swear the Rays have never scored against him, but it seems he has a career ERA of 3.89 against Tampa Bay so apparently I’m just haunted by last years Wild Card series).

Eovaldi pitched seven shutout innings, also giving up just four hit as well as a walk. He also got eight strikeouts, but to his credit none of the four hits left the ballpark.

Also on the bright side for the Rays, Shawn Armstrong recovered from his poor Sunday outing to pitch two shutout innings. But Garrett Cleavinger came in to pitch the ninth, and he gave up three runs on a succession of hits, to put the Rays down by four coming into the bottom of the ninth.

The Rays did manage to rally to a run in that last inning — just enough to make us all grit our teeth thinking that this could, under other circumstances, have been a tying run. (And it wasn’t like Texas switched out pitchers; Leclerc was going to get the ninth even when it was still 1-0).

Oh, and Brandon Lowe was pulled from the game with “left side tightness,” hopefully back in the lineup when they start the series against Colorado on Friday.

Here’s hoping that we manage to miss Eovaldi when the Rays take on Texas in July!

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