Three takeaways from Tampa Bay Rays opening loss
By Rylan Stiles
The Tampa Bay Rays dropped game one of the 162 game grind, but there were still things to take away.
The Tampa Bay Rays fell in game one of the four game set with the Houston Astros to kick off the season yesterday, 5-1.
It was not the game anyone anticipated ahead of this season that is still filled with playoff hopes, and overall positive vibes from players and fans.
Luckily, the Tampa Bay Rays have a chance to bounce right back on Friday evening in game two of the series. But first, let’s look at some takeaways from Thursday nights loss.
Number one: Blake Snell got rocked.
The Reigning CY Young Award winner, Blake Snell, matched up with the CY Young runner up in what everyone hoped would be a jaw dropping, dazzling pitchers duel between two of the best hurlers in the American League. That is not exactly how it went down.
Blake Snell gave up five runs, more runs in home game at home than he allowed all of last year at the Trop.
He was not sharp outside of the first two innings and was taken deep by three different Astros, and there was not a doubt about any of the Astro Moon shots. That is already more than the most home runs he allowed in a game last year.
However, that does not take away from his stellar 2018 campaign, nor does it ruin what could be another great season for Snell in 2019.
Last year, on April 4th, Snell went into Yankee Stadium and got absolutely rocked by the always dangerous Bronx Bombers. Snell went on to give up five runs one more time against the Orioles on May 13th. Still, despite those two horrific starts, Snell won the CY Young. This was not even the first time he was lit up for three home runs, it is the first time at home, but last year in Baltimore the lowly O’s hit a trio of long balls.
This bad game is not the nail in Blake Snell’s season.
Number Two: Do not run on Mike Zunino
The newly acquired Tampa Bay Rays backstop enjoyed throwing out a pair of Astro base runners. Which is why he had the fourteenth best pop time in Seattle of 1.98 in 2016 when the stat first was recorded, before dipping each of the last two seasons. Zunino hopes to return to his 2016 watermark and Thursday was a great start.
Number Three: Austin Meadows break out season is well underway.
The promising prospect that was the big prize in the Chris Archer deal at last seasons trade deadline went yard in the first inning, then came right back with a sliding grab defensively. His entire career, people who watch prospects have said: “Just wait until he puts it all together.” and that would be huge for the Tampa Bay Rays if they could have that breakout season in 2019.
Even the pitch that Austin Meadows took Justin Verlander deep on was not a bad pitch, Verlander hit his spot, but Meadows still made him pay.
Check back tonight for a recap of game two of the series. And follow us on Twitter for live updates throughout @RaysColoGlasses.