Rays News

Tampa Bay Rays Getting Good at the Game Winning Home Runs

By Michael Emdeyar
ST PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 07: Willy Adames #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates a walk off home run in the ninth inning during a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field on August 7, 2018 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
ST PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 07: Willy Adames #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates a walk off home run in the ninth inning during a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field on August 7, 2018 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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The Tampa Bay Rays continue to show bursts of what the future holds.  If fans didn’t watch last night’s game and get excited about players like Tyler Glasnow and Willy Adames, they will never be excited.

At times last night, it looked like Tampa Bay Rays starter Tyler Glasnow was doing something illegal.  For only his second performance in a Rays uniform, things look pretty good.  Considering he is only one-third of the return in the Chris Archer deal, things are headed in the right direction.  If you missed any of the nine strikeouts in four innings of work, here’s what you missed:

Leave it to ex-Ray Tim Beckham to be the only blemish in Glasnow’s night.  But, it’s good to see Glasnow get stretched out. By the end of the season, we should really have a good idea what he is going to look like in the rotation.  A one-two punch of him and Blake Snell is going to be pretty tough to match around the league if things continue to click.

Fast forward to the bottom of the ninth and Willy Adames.

The Rays have a knack for the drama.  Several days ago, it was Daniel Robertson hitting a walkoff grand slam to win it.  Last night, it was Willy Adames‘ turn.

Adames has taken some grief so far this season.  He’s struggled at the plate, hitting only .218.  He has made two trips back to Durham.  I saw comments among Rays fans on social media who were disappointed that Adeiny Hechavarria had finally been moved along. Some were actually advocating Hech continue to start, stating that Adames wasn’t ready.

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But, today, the shortstop position is Willy’s.  And, he can only benefit from that.  Playing him at shortstop one day and second base the next was not going to help his hitting.  Now, he has a chance to settle into his role.

If you look beyond the .218 batting average, Adames is showing offensive numbers that he didn’t necessarily show in the minors.  His top home run numbers in the minors were 11 in 2016 in 568 at bats and 10 last season in 578 at bats.  All of a sudden this year, he has seemingly found more power, belting five home runs in just 133 at bats.  That pace is almost double what he’s done in the minor leagues.

Last night’s win was fun to watch.  It’s a glimmer of what Rays fans should expect in the future. Just wait until Brandon Lowe collects his first big hit and Jake Bauers just keeps doing what he’s doing.  They will quickly be sneaking up on teams in the American League.

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