Game 18 Lineups and Outlook
Coming into the final game of this set the Rays have already conceded the series, but hope to salvage some dignity. They have played with the Yankees so far, but haven’t done enough to end up the victor. The team will turn to Drew Smyly to avoid the sweep. It’s hard to say how well he has pitched without coming across as gushing. Two straight starts with 11 strikeouts will do that to a person. Imagine how you feel about the lineup and then flip that 180 degrees. That is how you should feel about Smyly. One of these days the Rays will get both sides thriving.
Smyly presents a tough matchup for a team that probably wishes Aaron Hicks hadn’t hurt his shoulder. The Rays will need to be wary of the wily veteran Jacoby Ellsbury who can hurt you with his speed and his ability to hit a catcher’s mitt with his bat. If we had a catcher that could throw anyone out I’d just as soon put him on with one pitch, but then you’re probably looking at the winning run coming around on the strangest shit you can imagine happening. The Rays are being underestimated by Vegas today, or maybe it’s my system underrating Michael Pineda. The pinetar-laden large human being pairs impeccable control with a killer slider that neuters most righties. It will be on the lefties today to start pulling their end of the rope. Other than Big Swingin’ Dickerson the team has been looking to get anything out of Miller and Morrison. Will today be the day?