It has been an up and down year for Jake Odorizzi. At times he can look like the best pitcher on the team, but at other times he has simply looked lost on the mound. Luckily for the Tampa Bay Rays, Jake Odorizzi was on-point on Saturday, leading the Rays to a 7-0 victory over the Boston Red Sox.
Odorizzi went 7.0 innings, allowing just 1 hit while striking out 7 and walking 3. They key for Odorizzi was his fastball. Recently, he hasn’t elevated it like he has wanted, rather leaving it in the strike zone on the inside corner. That was not the case Saturday, as Odorizzi did an excellent job of ensuring his elevated fastball did not become too hittable. His command was outstanding for most of the game, but it slipped a bit in the 7th. That inning he got two quick outs, but then walked the next three batters in a row before escaping the jam. Overall, this is the type of start that shows how good Odorizzi can be when his pitch mix is working well. Behind him, Jeff Beliveau and Kirby Yates each threw a scoreless inning. Rays’ pitching as a whole allowed just 1 hit.
James Loney started off the scoring in the 2nd when he doubled home Evan Longoria. The Rays hardly stopped there, as they went on to score 2 more runs in the second, 1 in the 4th, and 3 in the 5th. Brandon Guyer stayed hot, going 2 for 3 with a pair of runs scored. Ryan Hanigan also did a nice job, going 2 for 2 with a hit by pitch and an RBI. The team as a whole managed 7 hits, leading to 7 runs- more than enough to win given the great job of the pitching staff.
Also notable was that the Red Sox pitchers hit Rays’ batters on 4 different occasions, and Odorizzi also hit a Sox batter. All the hit batsmen might have been a result of a play in the 2nd inning in which a sliding Logan Forsythe collided with Dustin Pedroia at second base. Forsythe’s elbow appeared to make contact with Pedroia’s head, and Pedroia was removed from the game with concussion-like symptoms. The Rays- Red Sox have been feuding all season, and it appears that this is only the latest saga.