5 Days Until Camp Opens
With less than a calendar month to go before baseball begins to smell new again we wanted to spend each day going through some of the best performances in 2016. Using game WPA for 15 starting pitcher and hitter performances we hope to be able to take you on a trip down memory lane each day.
We’re getting close now! The Rays needed every bit of Brad Miller on this fine 70 degree summer day at the Trop. You see, Drew Smyly did Drew Smyly things. He struck out ten Royals while only walking one 🙂 He gave up five hits in seven innings 🙂 He also did the Smyly thing where he gave up a two-run homer to Alex Gordon 🙁
Cut to the top of the eighth where we saw Brad Boxberger give up two soft singles before getting Hosmer to roll one to second. Unable to turn the double play the team elected to have Boxy walk Kendrys Morales to load the bases with only the one down. Cool as a clam Boxberger proceeds to strike out Salvador Perez and Alex Gordon to get out of his homemade jam.
The adrenaline must have been pumping by now. After putting up only one measly Longo double to go with Cy Kennedy’s four walks thus far the team could use the jolt. The soon to be very-missed Logan Forsythe cracked a single off Joakim Soria up the guts for a single before Kevin Kiermaier worked a walk. In steps Longo with the tying run at first and nobody down. Gotta move the runners up. He strikes out on three pitches.
Brad Miller saunters up to the box in that way that the ladies of St. Petersburg love. After two pitches the count stays even at 1-1. Then Soria catches more of the plate than he had any right to even go near, and Brad Miller yokes one well into the rightfield seats to put the team up 3-2. Alex Colome shuts the door, not without some creaks, first, and the Rays take one from a Royals team that was clawing to get back in the race.
Throw in a couple of walks, and it was a pretty nice day for Mr. Miller. Somehow, there were still two better games for a Rays batter. Tomorrow will be the second best pitcher performance so we’re almost there on both sides. Until then, check out the highlights: