Game 41: Jake Odorizzi Carries No-Hitter Into the 6th as Rays Win

By Thomas Swan

Apr 4, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi (23) throws a pitch during the fourth inning against the Texas Rangers at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Jake Odorizzi looked to build on his strong last outing where he struck out 11 in five innings of work. Again, today against the Seattle Mariners, he was very strong, carrying a no-hitter through 5.2 innings. James Jones, broke up the no-hitter but Odorizzi came back to strike out Stefen Romero on a 3-2 pitch to ensure there was no damage. Was the 11 strike out performance against the Cleveland Indians the point where Odorizzi turned it around and finally became a true big league starter? There is still a lot he needs to work on, mainly control. There were a lot of 3-2 counts in the game, but he did do a great job of keeping his poise. When he wasn’t getting Mariners hitters to fly out, mainly to Matt Joyce, he was striking them out, racking up 7 K’s in the game. It was a very good pitching performance by Mr. Odorizzi, who as a whole who finished with 6.0 innings of scoreless ball. You would like to see him not getting into so many 3-2 counts and be more efficient, but one step at a time.

As for the bullpen, Jake McGee was brilliant as usual. McGee has finally proven that it really doesn’t matter that he is a one pitch pitcher. Like Mariano Rivera, hitters know what is coming and still can’t hit it. Joel Peralta pitched the 8th and looked so-so. With one out in the 8th, Dustin Ackley doubled and Peralta also got some luck, as John Buck had an apparent checked swing, but 1st base umpire said he went and Buck was out. Peralta got out of the inning un-scored upon. Grant Balfour secured the win with a painless bottom of the ninth.

As for the offense, it was pretty non-existent the entire game. In fact, the Mariners and Rays combined for just five total hits. The Rays did draw six walks in the game, three of which came in the fourth inning when the Rays scored their two runs. One of the runs came when Yunel Escobar drew a bases loaded walk and the other came when Wil Myers scored on a wild pitch. Otherwise, there wasn’t much happening on the offensive side. When you look at the game, you could almost describe it as an old-style Rays win, pitching, defense, and taking advantage of opportunities when they present themselves.

And now the bad news. Ben Zobrist dislocated the thumb trying to steal second base. Bill Chastain of reports that Ben will remain with the team and be re-evaluated when they return to St. Petersburg. But, a brief DL stint seems to be the likely outcome.

The Rays travel to Anaheim to take on the Angels starting tomorrow. Come back here to get all the Rays news and recaps of the game.